The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw
“My mother made a peach cobbler so good, it made God himself cheat on his wife.”
We meet Olivia. Her mother's peach cobbler is so good it made God cheat on his wife.
Entering the house after school she hears her mother cry "Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God!" Olivia can hear God too, as he says "Yes, yes, yes!"
Turns out God is Pastor Neely, and her mother makes that entire special 8x8” pan of peach cobbler every Monday just for him.
The book closes with "Instructions for Married Christian Husbands", during which the narrator takes the reader on a passionate journey of desire, saying, "I want to be held, caressed, cupped, and grabbed. I also like lips and tongues and kissing. Deep, passionate, kisses, and biting."
What I thought
Powerfully raw and emotionally gripping. The Secret Lives of Church Ladies seized me from the moment I opened it. A recommendation from a friend, this book lived up to the hype, its prose penetrating and significant. These tales are filled with love, faith, longing, and desire.
I bookmarked just about every page, and was tempted by my highlighter far too often. The girls and women are strong and vulnerable, and this book is simply gorgeous. The Secret Lives of Church Ladies left a lasting impression on me.
|Courtesy of Deesha Philyaw|
Author Deesha Philyaw was raised in Jacksonville, Florida. She received a BA in economics from Yale University and an MA in teaching from Manhattanville College.
Although she’s been writing fiction for about 20 years, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies is her debut novel.
Her work before this was nonfiction, co-authoring books Co-parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households after Divorce and So S/He Had an Affair: Writing to Keep From Losing Your Sh*t.