BookSneezing: Jesus, My Father, the Cia, and Me
When my review journal closed up shop I suddenly felt like Linus when Lucy grabs his blanket away: “Aauugh–I need my review books!” Fortunately more and more publishers are realizing the value of promoting authors through review opportunities. This is where BookSneeze comes in. Odd name, but it got my attention. Like most review platforms, a person fills out the application, gets accepted, selects a book, reviews it, and then posts it. Oh, and the disclaimer statement:
I received these books for free from the publisher through the booksneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
My first BookSneeze selection is:
You have to admit the title is catchy. It’s also a bit misleading. This isn’t a memoir about how a hardened CIA agent finds Jesus, or is even about the radical transformation of a born-again spy, instead it is a fascinating account of how the author coped with having a father who happened to be a CIA agent. Jesus provided the glue that kept the author from flying apart during his dysfunctional childhood, although the author didn’t realize it until he was an adult.
Writing with candor, Ian Cron provides a glimpse into that secret life of being a spy kid, although Cron didn’t find out about his father being a CIA agent until his mother pulled him aside when he was a sophomore in high school. Unfilled question blanks about his father began to get answered, but it didn’t necessarily help the bonding process. The biggest problem in the author’s life was not having a CIA agent for a father; it was having an alcoholic for a father.
Sometimes we go on a search for something and do not know what we are looking for until we come again to our beginning. –Robert Lax
This quote at the beginning of the book provides the nucleus, for the author was on a quest for his father’s approval throughout his life; however, this quest also became a search for who he was as a person. This is a truly mesmerizing chronicle of the author’s journey of trying to understand his father so that he may understand himself. Throughout the havoc of growing up with an alcoholic parent we also see how a mother’s love provided an anchor, how friends provided support and diversion, and how mentors provided counsel until healing, forgiveness, and acceptance finally occurred.The author has a talent for weaving in levity while relating the pain of his circumstance. The only downside is that sometimes there were continuity lags as the author switched from the present to flashbacks. Overall, the book is well-written and a recommendation for those interested in overcoming difficult childhoods or for those who are curious about what it might be like to be a real “spy kid.” While this is non-fiction, I can’t help but think it would be an intriguing novel. And yet, if it were a novel, some would no doubt find it a little difficult to believe. However, as they say: the best stories are always the true ones.