Nearly Orthodox – Book Review

Resident of Chicago, Illinois, Angela Doll Carlson is an intriguing writer with a multitalented background. Her work has been published in various print and online publications like Thin Air Magazine, Eastern Iowa Review, Burnside Writers’ Collective, Rock and Roll Swing, Good Letters, Apeiron Review, St. Katherine Review, Art House America, and Elephant Journal.

After being recognized for several of her fictional works, she started working on her own memoir – Nearly Orthodox. Her story is unique and yet diverse in its nature. Coming from a religious background, Angela was raised as a Catholic, and attended an all-girls Catholic school. Even though her upbringing directed her towards one definite direction, she was full of doubts. She entered the world of religion with many doubts that brought out deep fears within her.

The next phase of her life was rebellious – naturally. This outburst was followed quickly by a punk rock phase full of piercings, tattoos, cigarettes, the whole shebang. Her journey from being a little Catholic girl to her conversion to Eastern Orthodox Christianity is documented with every intimate detail in Nearly Orthodox. The experience of reading this book is similar to viewing a movie based on her life, as her words paint quite a vivid picture in one’s mind which is quite impossible to overlook. Everyone’s story of enlightenment is different, as is Angela’s.

Her story isn’t white or black – it is many shades of grey. You will find many jumps from her childhood to being an adult and then back in time, but the transition is smooth and effortless. It’s not only the story of her religious transformation, but also speaks greatly of feminism and just her personal coming of age. Angela’s experiences will raise questions, overwhelm the reader, and leave them with a satisfying feeling as she finds her purpose in life.

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