Friday, April 15, 2016

Review: Night Driving

As a teen, Addie Zierman was taught to always be excited about her faith. But as a mom in her thirties, she thinks about God and feels nothing. The darkness of a Minnesotan winter is closing in and depression is threatening to sink her. So she loads up her minivan with her two small sons and drives toward the light, hoping that the Florida sunlight will reveal God's presence to her again.

This is the book I want to push into the hands of every person who works in a church, especially those who work with teens. So often, our faith is presented as an endless mountaintop experience--we will always feel God's presence and always be blessed with good things. But that's not how life works. Addie, like many of us, realized that no one had ever discussed how to proceed with faith when you feel like your prayers are only being answered with silence.

“I wish someone had told me then that eventually the fire would go out and that it would be okay. That it didn’t mean my faith was dying. I wish someone had told me that the fire doesn’t make me whole; that I am whole because of Jesus, whether I feel him or not.”

One of my favorite things about the story of Addie's trip is meeting the people along the way. Addie and her children stay with friends, family and, at least once, someone Addie only knows from her blog. It is beautiful to see people accept them exactly as they are - tired, cranky, and unsure of the sanity of their trip. These people open up their homes and feed the weary travelers without judgement. They offer whatever they have before sending them on to the next part of their journey. Wouldn't it be beautiful if that was the way we treated others all the time?

Her trip doesn't go quite the way she anticipates. When she finally reaches Florida, it rains torrentially for most of their time there. And then the second half of the book chronicles her journey home, with no more of an answer than she had when she left. It's only when she returns home that the pieces start to fall into place. "I hadn't understood, then, that love doesn't always look like romance and faith doesn't look like fire and light doesn't always look like the sun--and that this matters."

We need to hear more stories like Addie's. I am thankful that she has written this beautiful book and I hope she continues to share with readers the journey in both light and darkness.

My review of Addie's first book When We Were On Fire

Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark
By Addie Zierman
Convergent Books March 2016
240 pages
Read via Netgalley 


  1. This sounds like a beautiful story of self-discovery, even though fiction.

    I like the symbolism of leaving a dark Northern winter to seek Southern sunshine and not finding what she assumed she would. I would read it, though I don't review many faith-based stories for my blog. I read them for my own enjoyment sometimes, though.

    I think people would be surprised to know that I'm a left-leaning liberal who is also very spiritually-minded. Yes, you can be both.

    1. You certainly can! I know lots of liberal and spiritual people.

      Night Driving is actually a memoir and it's written really beautifully. If you end up picking it up, let me know!

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