Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming
It Books October 2014, 288 pages, from the library
Cumming is exceptionally brave to share what are obviously very painful memories. His father was verbally and physically abusive to his sons during their childhood. Throughout this book (and I would imagine in real life as well), Cumming is endlessly gracious to those in his life and manages to find great stores of kindness and forgiveness to those who have done him wrong. That being said, I had difficulty really getting into this story. The narrative jumps between past and present, often without apparent connection. In spite of my difficulties, I think Mr. Cumming is a brave soul and I hope that his work here will give others the courage to speak up about and fight against the kind of abuse that he suffered.
Love: The Saint and the Seeker by Christina Stevens
Hay House September 2014, 352 pages, read via Netgalley
I found this book very disappointing. I was fairly young when Mother Theresa died, but I have always been fascinated by her life and by her work. Through reading this story, I hoped to learn more about her from someone who actually had the chance to meet her. But in spite of the premise, very little time is actually spent with the saint. Instead, we read a great deal about Christina's life, her childhood, and her own spiritual journey. The author takes Mother Theresa's words and uses them to downplay her devotion to and love for the Catholic Church, which I found very frustrating and perhaps disrespectful. If you are looking for a book that will give you new insight into Mother Theresa, this probably isn't the book for you.