After converting to Christianity as a young woman, Cameron Dezen Hammon moved from New York City to Houston with Matt, the worship leader who would become her husband. Her memoir, This Is My Body, explores her efforts to reconcile the gender politics of evangelical churches with her own craving for love and affection, and her scars from past relationships with other men, including her father.
A musician and writer who immersed herself in her new faith, Hammon soon found herself singing onstage alongside Matt, then working as a worship minister for several large evangelical churches. But as she spent more time in a culture that valued women only within certain parameters, she found herself frustrated at the gentle but insistent pressure to be quiet or to defer to the men (any men) in the room. As Hammon pursues the work she loves in a context that grows ever more confining, she fights to build and sustain a life she isn't sure she wants. Her experience echoes that of many women who attempt to embrace a brand of Christianity that never fully accepts their personhood. She copes with her frustration in both healthy and unhealthy ways, including a long-distance romantic attachment and, later, a support group that sparks helpful discussions and genuine friendships. By the book's end, she is moving toward a way of believing and being that feels at once less certain and more honest. Hammon's journey will resonate with many readers who have struggled to reconcile their faith with other parts of their identities. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger atCakes, Tea and Dreams