Cover image for How do we know when it's God? : a spiritual memoir
How do we know when it's God? : a spiritual memoir
Wakefield, Dan.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Little, Brown, [1999]

Physical Description:
258 pages ; 25 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BX9869.W18 A28 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



From the bestselling author of "Returning" and "Expect a Miracle" comes a personal book about the preservation of faith in a complicated world.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Wakefield accounts for his spiritual journey, from shortly after returning to church--the experience that gave his successful Returning (1988) its title--to the present. Finding the answer to the question of this book's title is what keeps him trekking spiritually, although he seems to have concluded that there is no way of answering the question with certainty every time it is asked or even just once. For while discovering an answer has led him to est training, Jungian deconstruction of Christianity, many monastery sojourns and weekend retreats, lots of counseling from both ministers and shrinks, conducting workshops in writing spiritual autobiography, and other adventures that he reports vividly and not without humor, he still made major mistakes in life decisions, such as his third marriage, which lasted only a few weeks. Still, his journey of discovery seems to have been worthwhile for him, and those not put off by the upper-middle-class privilege he unconsciously exudes (how does he afford all those growth experiences?) may find it worthwhile to read about. --Ray Olson

Publisher's Weekly Review

In 1988, Wakefield (Going All the Way) thought he had set his feet firmly on the spiritual path. He had just published Returning, an inspiring memoir about his return to faith and health after decades of heavy drinking and serious despair. He was happily running workshops around the country, helping people recognize the way the spiritual manifested in their own lives. As detailed here, when he then meets up with an old high school crush on a visit to his hometown in Indianapolis, he feels that the overwhelming attraction they share is a sign from God that they should marry and live happily ever after. As soon as the ceremony is over, however, Wakefield realizes that he has made a major mistake. Divorced within months, he's left feeling as if the joy and balance he has treasured has "collapsed within me, like a tent brought down in a high wind." Step by step, Wakefield finds his way to a new kind of openness to himself and to God. He turns to yoga, "going back to the body to find the spirit," and learns in other areas of his life to listen more deeply to the truth of his physical and emotional being. Moving from Boston to New York to Miami Beach, Wakefield learns that discerning God's will starts with paying attention to what is, without rushing to facile conclusions. Wakefield offers readers an engrossing story as well as a guide to spiritual maturity. With breathtaking honesty, he shows that real spiritual faith requires that we be explorers, open to the possibility that our wrong turns and mishaps might lead to the richest territory of all. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Best-selling novelist Wakefield, who recounted his rediscovery of faith in Returning: A Spiritual Journey, here explains how to keep faith alive today. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. 8
1. The Questp. 9
2. Chasing the Demonsp. 31
3. Hollywood Again?p. 76
4. Six Days of Hellp. 106
5. Brain-Washing, "Post-Christian" Stylep. 147
6. The Weddingp. 185
7. Words Fail Mep. 227
8. Doorsp. 255
9. Getting Onp. 286
10. Plain Christianp. 319