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“For a woman who thinks of herself as a New Yorker at this point, I buy a lot of clothes from companies named things like Shrimp & Grits. Why? Because identity is complicated.”   Elizabeth Passarella is content with being complicated. She grew up in Memphis in a conservative, Republican family with a Christian mom and a Jewish dad. Then she moved to New York, fell in lov “For a woman who thinks of herself as a New Yorker at this point, I buy a lot of clothes from companies named things like Shrimp & Grits. Why? Because identity is complicated.”   Elizabeth Passarella is content with being complicated. She grew up in Memphis in a conservative, Republican family with a Christian mom and a Jewish dad. Then she moved to New York, fell in love with the city—and, eventually, her husband—and changed. Sort of. While her politics have tilted to the left, she still puts her faith first—and argues that the two can go hand in hand, for what it’s worth.    In this sharp and slyly profound memoir, Elizabeth shares stories about everything from conceiving a baby in an unair-conditioned garage in Florida to finding a rat in her bedroom. She upends stereotypes about Southerners, New Yorkers, and Christians, making a case that we are all flawed humans simply doing our best. Good Apple is a hilarious, welcome celebration of the absurdity, chaos, and strange sacredness of life that brings us all together, whether we have city lights or starry skies in our eyes. More importantly, it’s about the God who pursues each of us, no matter our own inconsistencies or failures, and shows us the way back home. 


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“For a woman who thinks of herself as a New Yorker at this point, I buy a lot of clothes from companies named things like Shrimp & Grits. Why? Because identity is complicated.”   Elizabeth Passarella is content with being complicated. She grew up in Memphis in a conservative, Republican family with a Christian mom and a Jewish dad. Then she moved to New York, fell in lov “For a woman who thinks of herself as a New Yorker at this point, I buy a lot of clothes from companies named things like Shrimp & Grits. Why? Because identity is complicated.”   Elizabeth Passarella is content with being complicated. She grew up in Memphis in a conservative, Republican family with a Christian mom and a Jewish dad. Then she moved to New York, fell in love with the city—and, eventually, her husband—and changed. Sort of. While her politics have tilted to the left, she still puts her faith first—and argues that the two can go hand in hand, for what it’s worth.    In this sharp and slyly profound memoir, Elizabeth shares stories about everything from conceiving a baby in an unair-conditioned garage in Florida to finding a rat in her bedroom. She upends stereotypes about Southerners, New Yorkers, and Christians, making a case that we are all flawed humans simply doing our best. Good Apple is a hilarious, welcome celebration of the absurdity, chaos, and strange sacredness of life that brings us all together, whether we have city lights or starry skies in our eyes. More importantly, it’s about the God who pursues each of us, no matter our own inconsistencies or failures, and shows us the way back home. 

30 review for Good Apple: Tales of a Southern Evangelical in New York

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    This is an amusing book that isn't quite sure what it wants to be. Is it a memoir? Parenting book? A tribute to Christianity? A political commentary? An introduction to New York City life? Self-demeaning humor? It's hard to say since the author has tried to combine all of these into one book and has succeeded overall, but perhaps confused her readership. Each page will have you reclassifying what you're reading and either it will appeal to a large and diverse audience or if you're not up for a v This is an amusing book that isn't quite sure what it wants to be. Is it a memoir? Parenting book? A tribute to Christianity? A political commentary? An introduction to New York City life? Self-demeaning humor? It's hard to say since the author has tried to combine all of these into one book and has succeeded overall, but perhaps confused her readership. Each page will have you reclassifying what you're reading and either it will appeal to a large and diverse audience or if you're not up for a very human confession, you may put it down. But you shouldn't. There are gems in this book and it may be helpful in breaking down some stereotypes. One can only hope! Thank you to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    This was a great, leisurely read. I love memoirs, and Elizabeth Passarella's incredible writing skill, sense of humour and her ability to address serious issues made this one a joy to read. Her essays are filled with nuance, address serious topics in a witty and lighthearted way, and address the real and powerful issues facing so many Evangelicals in North America today. You'll want to read this one! This was a great, leisurely read. I love memoirs, and Elizabeth Passarella's incredible writing skill, sense of humour and her ability to address serious issues made this one a joy to read. Her essays are filled with nuance, address serious topics in a witty and lighthearted way, and address the real and powerful issues facing so many Evangelicals in North America today. You'll want to read this one!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kayo

    Book was funny, irreverant, and just plain true-life. Loved the book. Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Leigh Rawdon

    I just finished Good Apple in my second sitting, and I feel like I just had a girls weekend with a lifelong friend. I laughed a lot - and definitely had more than one tear in my eye as I read the stories. I am grateful for Elizabeth’s vulnerability, strength and transparency. I drank more than my fair share of a pot of coffee as I spent my entire Saturday morning in my sweats, bearing a bit of witness to her life stories so far. Throughout, it felt like sliding doors - a path not taken but one t I just finished Good Apple in my second sitting, and I feel like I just had a girls weekend with a lifelong friend. I laughed a lot - and definitely had more than one tear in my eye as I read the stories. I am grateful for Elizabeth’s vulnerability, strength and transparency. I drank more than my fair share of a pot of coffee as I spent my entire Saturday morning in my sweats, bearing a bit of witness to her life stories so far. Throughout, it felt like sliding doors - a path not taken but one that easily could have been mine. She grapples with her politics, her faith (well it seems she has a lot less grappling than mine- but still), her identity as a Southerner, a woman and a mother. The book also felt like a love letter to her home, New York — most certainly a sliding doors scenario for me. I initially pre-ordered Good Apple to cheer on my high school friend’s little sister. That was months ago and I wasn’t sure I would even read it, to be honest. But I picked it up as I turned into bed and loved how honest, funny and open it was. So it was clear to me that I would spend my Saturday morning with Elizabeth’s story from waking up until now - and I only stopped reading to pour another cup of coffee or to read a passage to my husband. Maybe I thought it would help my NY-born husband know his Southern wife (of 20 years) a bit more. Yes, I saw myself in bits of the story - the common history and the sliding doors story of life in Manhattan - but most of all, I had that wonderful feeling, as I said before, of lingering time with girlfriends. Hearing another person’s story, the important and the seemingly unimportant, listening, laughing, and being fully present. No judgments (despite my teenager telling me how judgmental I am) - only curiosity and empathy and acceptance and pride and connection. We can’t have in-real-life girls weekends during these last months of the pandemic, so until then, I savor mornings like this one. And it makes me all the more happy to know that the in-real-life stories with bottomless pots of coffee will come again. Sharing stories with each other is more important than I think we give it credit for. Taking time to pause being productive, so that we can just be, in community, with each other.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mandy Weidenheft

    I really expected to not like this book. I begrudgingly picked it up, expecting to put it back down after chapter two. I was skeptical of how this book would portray Christians because I knew so little about the author. Most of the time, I don’t like essays books. However, I fell in love with it. It was unputdownable. I literally put reading this book into my schedule because I so enjoyed it. This book offers a refreshing perspective on how to live in the world, not of it, while also making me l I really expected to not like this book. I begrudgingly picked it up, expecting to put it back down after chapter two. I was skeptical of how this book would portray Christians because I knew so little about the author. Most of the time, I don’t like essays books. However, I fell in love with it. It was unputdownable. I literally put reading this book into my schedule because I so enjoyed it. This book offers a refreshing perspective on how to live in the world, not of it, while also making me laugh out loud. I cannot wait to read more of Elizabeth’s work.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Lewton

    I enjoyed her writing: funny and touching, honest and vulnerable. I would say she wrestles truthfully with her faith, but she stands firmly in her convictions about Jesus’ work in her life in a lighthearted way. I didn’t enjoy crazy long paragraphs and perhaps some rough around the edges sentences, but the book’s charm is enough.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Like Passerella, I grew up in an evangelical Republican family in Tennessee, albeit about 15 years earlier and on the opposite end of the state. Also like her, I became a liberal Democrat. Unlike her, I have rejected evangelicalism (though I do still consider myself Christian. I really wanted to give this book a 3.5 because some chapters really got on my nerves. But she’s a fine writer, and some chapters were laugh-out-loud funny.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Meeks

    LOVED!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alison Lodder

    Living in the Big Apple Sadly, I dididn't like this book. It was not my personal taste. Elizabeth writes very well and this whole book reads like any good magazine column. Elizabeth gives us clever and thoughtful, comedic insights into life in New York, whilst raising 3 children. She compares and contrasts her childhood and Memphis upbringing. I am British. I think that is partially why I didn't enjoy the book. I have good memories of visiting the Southern States and I have disappointment from m Living in the Big Apple Sadly, I dididn't like this book. It was not my personal taste. Elizabeth writes very well and this whole book reads like any good magazine column. Elizabeth gives us clever and thoughtful, comedic insights into life in New York, whilst raising 3 children. She compares and contrasts her childhood and Memphis upbringing. I am British. I think that is partially why I didn't enjoy the book. I have good memories of visiting the Southern States and I have disappointment from my visits to NY city. London is more expensive but has so much more. I lived there. I know. I think that many, many people will love this book. Mums, young women living away from home in big cities, Southerners who have moved to New York or Chicago.....

  10. 5 out of 5

    Hallie Brand

    I want to write a positive review for this book, if only because I know writers take these things to heart. But also because I loved the trailer I saw on a Facebook ad enough to order it immediately from my local bookstore. Elizabeth seems lovely. But this book drove me crazy. It felt like she thought she would only get one chance at a book deal and so she threw it all in here — instead of believing for 3-5 books over the next few years. There was no clear point she was trying to make, beyond th I want to write a positive review for this book, if only because I know writers take these things to heart. But also because I loved the trailer I saw on a Facebook ad enough to order it immediately from my local bookstore. Elizabeth seems lovely. But this book drove me crazy. It felt like she thought she would only get one chance at a book deal and so she threw it all in here — instead of believing for 3-5 books over the next few years. There was no clear point she was trying to make, beyond that it’s “okay” to be a Christian democrat that once lived in the south but now loves New York? After not living in the south for 20+ years, her perspective of southerners felt whiny — and I was especially bothered about how she talked about her mom with little nuance. Elizabeth could be a talented writer, but this needed a better editor.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Hannah • So Obsessed With

    This book hadn't been on my radar, but I loved the cover and the subtitle, Tales of a Southern Evangelical in New York. Passarella's faith was deeply important to her and grounded everything she wrote. She didn't just call herself a Christian because she'd always gone to church; it was about a deep relationship with God. I loved reading about it! However, the essays overall were a mixed bag and the book lacked direction. It felt like reading all her opinions on various topics (marriage, parentin This book hadn't been on my radar, but I loved the cover and the subtitle, Tales of a Southern Evangelical in New York. Passarella's faith was deeply important to her and grounded everything she wrote. She didn't just call herself a Christian because she'd always gone to church; it was about a deep relationship with God. I loved reading about it! However, the essays overall were a mixed bag and the book lacked direction. It felt like reading all her opinions on various topics (marriage, parenting, miscarriage, politics, faith, life in New York, and more), and some felt like TMI or bothered me (like her anger/temper). I'd also argue that she isn't a "Southerner in New York" – she's a New Yorker who is from the South. I was So Okay With It.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carla (happiestwhenreading)

    Somewhere within me, I have this tiny desire to want to live in NYC someday. The thought of being able to walk everywhere, little bodegas open along the streets at all hours of the day and night, and the amazing restaurants within your grasp. Passarella is quite literally living my dreams and it was so fun to see NYC through her eyes and as a mother! She is unapologetic in her decision to raise her children in the heart of NYC, depite others' criticism about the lack of a suburbia experience. I Somewhere within me, I have this tiny desire to want to live in NYC someday. The thought of being able to walk everywhere, little bodegas open along the streets at all hours of the day and night, and the amazing restaurants within your grasp. Passarella is quite literally living my dreams and it was so fun to see NYC through her eyes and as a mother! She is unapologetic in her decision to raise her children in the heart of NYC, depite others' criticism about the lack of a suburbia experience. I totally admire her love for the city and I had so much fun living vicariously through her book! I did become bored by the book as it went on. Some of it felt repetitive and maybe I'm just on politics overload, but those sections were not my favorite. Regardless, the scenes of riding bikes with my children through Central Park kept me turning the pages and the lightess of the story was a nice respite to the rest of what's going on in life.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stacey A. Prose and Palate

    I think this would have worked better as a short story collection as opposed to a memoir.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Allison Hendrix

    Funny, relatable and an enjoyable read! This book felt like a series of conversations with a good friend. Passarella is an excellent storyteller, and is just plain hilarious!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Juli Waits

    Oh, how I can and did relate This is a beautiful book, and so many can relate Elizabeth’s words. I don’t want to spoil anything! A must read!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sharon May

    I recently read an article in Real Simple written by Elizabeth Passarella and loved it. I immediately sought out the book and was thrilled to receive a digital copy thanks to NetGalley and Nelson Books. 5 stars for a book that I know I will return to again and again. This is a series of essays about Elizabeth's life as a wife and mother of 3 living in NYC after being raised in the south. She has a strong evangelical Christian faith, was raised in a mixed religious family (her father was Jewish) a I recently read an article in Real Simple written by Elizabeth Passarella and loved it. I immediately sought out the book and was thrilled to receive a digital copy thanks to NetGalley and Nelson Books. 5 stars for a book that I know I will return to again and again. This is a series of essays about Elizabeth's life as a wife and mother of 3 living in NYC after being raised in the south. She has a strong evangelical Christian faith, was raised in a mixed religious family (her father was Jewish) and is a Democrat. Needless to say, there is a lot of material here! Elizabeth has such a completely honest description of her life including admitting to yelling at her kids and her husband - you know, those things we all do but don't always tell everyone about. This book was like having a glass of wine with a friend and spilling all your secrets with the added bonus of a spiritual twist. Not smack in your face, my way is the only way, religious words but comforting, thought provoking ones. As a cradle Catholic, I valued her thoughts. And humor - so many laugh out loud moments! It's also a love letter to NYC - while I live in NY, I'm 3 hours away, squarely in the upstate, mountainous part of the state and happy about it! But it was still an interesting perspective. This book offers so much and I highly recommend it!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Although I found the author quite open and admirably honest about her life, I did not find much of the collection to be especially interesting or particularly humorous. I enjoyed the glimpses into city life and some of her family stories, and found her writing about her miscarriages to be especially poignant. But in truth, I thought some of her lifestyle practices were odd such as her affection for fighting with her husband in public despite her emphasis on good manners (maybe due to her self-pro Although I found the author quite open and admirably honest about her life, I did not find much of the collection to be especially interesting or particularly humorous. I enjoyed the glimpses into city life and some of her family stories, and found her writing about her miscarriages to be especially poignant. But in truth, I thought some of her lifestyle practices were odd such as her affection for fighting with her husband in public despite her emphasis on good manners (maybe due to her self-professed “lion” attributes) as well as her revelation of when she, as a young woman, took off the top of her dress in front of her parents so that her father could repair it. While the author asserts that this collection is for “everyone”, I would counter that it might be best appreciated by those who either enjoy hearing how someone experiences their faith in real life or those who have also worked to bridge the divide between a conservative upbringing and a more liberal urban environment. Her writing is clear and surprisingly revealing about her marriage and family life, but I hurried through much of the book. Unfortunately, I tend to finish books and am not someone who dnf’s them. I kept waiting for it to get more relatable, but I just could not bridge the gap to get there.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nikkiharsh

    My facebook algorithms picked this book out for me, after too much googling on the crisis that Christian evangelism is currently in. The author is an editor at Southern Living, and as you might except, the chapters read like magazine articles and focus on how a Southerner living in New York City faces the breaking down - and the building up - of her Christian culture, by the sheer fact of moving to the Big Apple and into a tiny 2-bedroom apartment with 3 kids, vice a sprawling suburban life in M My facebook algorithms picked this book out for me, after too much googling on the crisis that Christian evangelism is currently in. The author is an editor at Southern Living, and as you might except, the chapters read like magazine articles and focus on how a Southerner living in New York City faces the breaking down - and the building up - of her Christian culture, by the sheer fact of moving to the Big Apple and into a tiny 2-bedroom apartment with 3 kids, vice a sprawling suburban life in Memphis that all her family and friends approve of. I laughed and identified with her descriptions. Living as a Christian in a city is different than living in a more rural or suburban location. You become counter-all-the-cultures....against the family and place that brought you up and certainly a minority in the big city. It's a weird place to be and I was glad to read this and know I wasn't too crazy coming from my Sacramento Adventist world to the DC Adventist world and then out of Adventism into the mainstream Christian DC world. And I guess I need to write my own book, because it has been quite a ride.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Williams

    Rounding up to 4.5 - Goodreads add a half system please. First - the reason for the .5 point deduction (the narration) for some reason bothered me. Other than that I loved this. Being a southern transplant from Texas to Los Angeles I can relate. Although I still consider myself a Texan, I should perhaps start calling LA home based on Elizabeth Passarella idea that living in one place for 21 years makes you a (insert city). I was raised Baptist (in the bible belt no less) and while I have my own Rounding up to 4.5 - Goodreads add a half system please. First - the reason for the .5 point deduction (the narration) for some reason bothered me. Other than that I loved this. Being a southern transplant from Texas to Los Angeles I can relate. Although I still consider myself a Texan, I should perhaps start calling LA home based on Elizabeth Passarella idea that living in one place for 21 years makes you a (insert city). I was raised Baptist (in the bible belt no less) and while I have my own relationship with God now that does not involve weekly church visits, I do relate to all of her brilliantly written stories. She spins her tales with the love of the city and faith that provides her stability in an ever changing world. Her responses to questions southerns ask about living in New York I find relatable to people who question my decisions to live in LA. I am also one of two democrats in a family that staunchly Republican. Highly recommend for a funny, witty, and at times laugh out loud memoir I wish I had written.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Linda Hutchinson

    Elizabeth Passarella’s book, Good Apple, is the story of a born in the deep South evangelical Christian who moves to New York City and STAYS. Bless her heart! This is the shocker...a southerner living in the land of Yankees. Now before anyone gets their panties in a wad, next to Boston, my favorite place to travel is New York City, and I live in the land of Disney World, where dreams really do come true (I jest). I ❤️ New York. But the author's stories of adjusting to life, marriage, and childre Elizabeth Passarella’s book, Good Apple, is the story of a born in the deep South evangelical Christian who moves to New York City and STAYS. Bless her heart! This is the shocker...a southerner living in the land of Yankees. Now before anyone gets their panties in a wad, next to Boston, my favorite place to travel is New York City, and I live in the land of Disney World, where dreams really do come true (I jest). I ❤️ New York. But the author's stories of adjusting to life, marriage, and children in a major metropolitan city are funny, witty, and downright laugh-out-loud hilarious. In full disclosure, Elizabeth shares her beliefs liberally in this book, and while it is nothing I fear, I wanted people to know that she does talk extensively about her Christian faith. This has been a surprising start to my book year, with a lot of nonfiction and Good Apple is another win for me. Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC, but all reviews and thoughts are my own and without bias. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #GoodApple #newyork #netgalley @netgalley @espassarella #witty . IG: @bookbimbo

  21. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    Pros: Recently, I’ve been wanting to read memoirs by progressive Christian women (e.g., Jen Hatmaker and Rachel Held Evans) and added this book to my “to read” list as soon as I learned about it. In addition to the anecdotes about religion and politics (separately and together), I especially enjoyed the section on southern manners—so relatable. Also, I’m sure I’ve read the author’s work before in Southern Living, but I look forward to intentionally looking for her articles in future issues becau Pros: Recently, I’ve been wanting to read memoirs by progressive Christian women (e.g., Jen Hatmaker and Rachel Held Evans) and added this book to my “to read” list as soon as I learned about it. In addition to the anecdotes about religion and politics (separately and together), I especially enjoyed the section on southern manners—so relatable. Also, I’m sure I’ve read the author’s work before in Southern Living, but I look forward to intentionally looking for her articles in future issues because I enjoyed her writing in this book so much. Cons: I read this book as an ebook, but I think I would have enjoyed it more on audiobook read by the author. (I enjoyed the author’s interview on the From the Front Porch podcast, which makes me think I’d enjoy listening to the audiobook version of the book.) 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 on the Goodreads scale. Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for the opportunity to read this book!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Wells

    I enjoyed this read, including several laugh out loud moments. The premise of the book, being a Southern evangelical in NYC, is compelling. While specific to her circumstances, it will apply to readers who are living in a culture that differs from their culture of origin. As a Southern Californian transplant to Central PA, I could relate. I'm an avid memoir reader, and in one significant way this memoir falls short. A memoirist does his/her work best when, by the end of the text, they have gaine I enjoyed this read, including several laugh out loud moments. The premise of the book, being a Southern evangelical in NYC, is compelling. While specific to her circumstances, it will apply to readers who are living in a culture that differs from their culture of origin. As a Southern Californian transplant to Central PA, I could relate. I'm an avid memoir reader, and in one significant way this memoir falls short. A memoirist does his/her work best when, by the end of the text, they have gained new insight into themselves and taken the reader along in their journey to new meaning. This memoir doesn't do that; the author's self-insights seem largely the same by the end of the book. The chapters felt a bit formulaic by the end as well. Good Apple is a good read, not a great one.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stacie

    I saw this book listed as a must read in Southern Living magazine. After reading the SL blurb, I immediately bought it. Elizabeth writes well and some parts of the book were humorous; however, the book jumps around on so many different topics. I caught myself skimming some paragraphs and often skipping over others. It appears to me that she is still trying to convince herself that her decision to move to NYC was a smart choice. I can’t figure out if she’s giving parenting advice or making fun of I saw this book listed as a must read in Southern Living magazine. After reading the SL blurb, I immediately bought it. Elizabeth writes well and some parts of the book were humorous; however, the book jumps around on so many different topics. I caught myself skimming some paragraphs and often skipping over others. It appears to me that she is still trying to convince herself that her decision to move to NYC was a smart choice. I can’t figure out if she’s giving parenting advice or making fun of some of her parenting choices, which I found to be borderline dysfunctional. She delights in her good Southern manners and such, but yet argues in public with her husband. And, some subjects, such as naked waist up in front of her father and thinking the devil specifically tried to make her late for church and so forth, literally left me with my mouth agape.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sherri Puzey

    22 // “For a woman who thinks of herself as a New Yorker at this point, I buy a lot of clothes from companies named things like Shrimp & Grits. Why? Because identity is complicated. We can be proud of where we came from and desperate to escape it at the same time.” GOOD APPLE is a collection of essays about marriage, motherhood, stereotypes, and life in New York. @espassarella was raised in the South as a Christian Republican, but after moving to New York, parts of her identity shifted, as can ha 22 // “For a woman who thinks of herself as a New Yorker at this point, I buy a lot of clothes from companies named things like Shrimp & Grits. Why? Because identity is complicated. We can be proud of where we came from and desperate to escape it at the same time.” GOOD APPLE is a collection of essays about marriage, motherhood, stereotypes, and life in New York. @espassarella was raised in the South as a Christian Republican, but after moving to New York, parts of her identity shifted, as can happen when someone experiences a different culture and forms a community among people with different viewpoints. she’s now a New Yorker, a Democrat, and yes, still a Christian. I found this book to be an absolute fresh breath of air as Elizabeth writes about her experiences and her shifting politics, giving readers a perspective they might not have previously had and reminding us that we all have more in common than we think. I laughed throughout the entire book because her stories and her way of telling them are hilarious. I marked passages that were thought-provoking and found myself thinking about how complicated all of our identities really can be. she’s the kind of person I’d love to have as a friend, and this is the book I’d like to put into the hands of all of my friends. 5/5⭐️—I loved it!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Cormack

    I really wanted to like this book, but I didn’t. It’s less of a funny progression of learning life in NYC and more like a book of essays on things that relate to her living in New York with thoughts on faith. I went back and forth between admiring how candid she is and feeling uncomfortable about what she yells at her husband and kids. I also didn’t agree with her statements about other people’s “salvation” because they are Jewish. Her joke that it might just be worth “risking her salvation” to I really wanted to like this book, but I didn’t. It’s less of a funny progression of learning life in NYC and more like a book of essays on things that relate to her living in New York with thoughts on faith. I went back and forth between admiring how candid she is and feeling uncomfortable about what she yells at her husband and kids. I also didn’t agree with her statements about other people’s “salvation” because they are Jewish. Her joke that it might just be worth “risking her salvation” to become Jewish so she could send her kids away to Jewish summer camp for several weeks really bothered me. Hopefully God is more open minded than she is She’s funny, I will give her that, and parts were enjoyable, but overall I would skip it. 2.75 ⭐️

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joelle

    What a fun read from an old friend! Elizabeth's story is witty, quirky, honest, and passionate. I loved hearing her voice in my head, and remembering some of the stories she tells, as I read. If you are looking for an easy read with some actual thought-provoking substance, this is a good one for you. She weaves her faith into her love for NYC, her self-discovery, her triumphs and her missteps. If you are from the South, you can relate. If you have ever lived in NYC (or have a love for the city), What a fun read from an old friend! Elizabeth's story is witty, quirky, honest, and passionate. I loved hearing her voice in my head, and remembering some of the stories she tells, as I read. If you are looking for an easy read with some actual thought-provoking substance, this is a good one for you. She weaves her faith into her love for NYC, her self-discovery, her triumphs and her missteps. If you are from the South, you can relate. If you have ever lived in NYC (or have a love for the city), you will relate. If you are an unconventional or unpredictable believer, or if you are a believer that straddles many worlds, you will relate to what she is saying. Enjoy!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Abbey Pope

    I love Elizabeth Passarella’s sense of humor and ability to laugh at herself! As a Southerner and someone who loves to visit NYC (but definitely couldn’t live there), I felt this book was relatable and gave an honest look into what it’s like to live/raise a family there. I think this book is definitely more suitable to those with children as she talks a lot about parenting, but something I didn’t expect but loved about the book is her spirituality and ability to tie every situation to Christiani I love Elizabeth Passarella’s sense of humor and ability to laugh at herself! As a Southerner and someone who loves to visit NYC (but definitely couldn’t live there), I felt this book was relatable and gave an honest look into what it’s like to live/raise a family there. I think this book is definitely more suitable to those with children as she talks a lot about parenting, but something I didn’t expect but loved about the book is her spirituality and ability to tie every situation to Christianity and God’s will and love for us. Overall an easy, lighthearted (with lots of Christian references) read!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    From start to finish, I felt at home with this book. I would have read 100 more chapters if she had included them. Elizabeth is hilarious, wise, and down to earth, and her writing brings clarity to small but significant (and even embarrassing) experiences that you thought were yours alone. Alas, she reminds you that you’re not that only one! Though she could hold her own among “coastal elites” and “Southern country club socialites,” she is solidly neither. Her lack of pretense disarms pretentiou From start to finish, I felt at home with this book. I would have read 100 more chapters if she had included them. Elizabeth is hilarious, wise, and down to earth, and her writing brings clarity to small but significant (and even embarrassing) experiences that you thought were yours alone. Alas, she reminds you that you’re not that only one! Though she could hold her own among “coastal elites” and “Southern country club socialites,” she is solidly neither. Her lack of pretense disarms pretentiousness.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Maddie

    It really felt like this book didn't know what it was. Was it about politics? About life in NYC? About miscarriages and pregnancy? About marriage? About Christianity? And a LOT more than I was expecting was about parenting. Every chapter felt like totally different thing. There were a few chapters I really liked, but most of them were not necessarily what I was expecting and were difficult to engage with, personally. I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. I think I would recommend It really felt like this book didn't know what it was. Was it about politics? About life in NYC? About miscarriages and pregnancy? About marriage? About Christianity? And a LOT more than I was expecting was about parenting. Every chapter felt like totally different thing. There were a few chapters I really liked, but most of them were not necessarily what I was expecting and were difficult to engage with, personally. I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. I think I would recommend it to some people, but it just wasn't for me.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Latka

    I loved this book! I am an agnostic but raised Lutheran so this book intrigued me. I grew up in the Catholic Midwest and the differences in Christianity have always been of interest to me. Elizabeth Passarella writes with such honesty, openness, and lots of humor! However, my favorite parts of the book were the places where the author described anger and how she finds happiness in anger. I can definitely relate as a fellow Lion. I cannot recommend this book enough, such a refreshing perspective.

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