Not That Kind of Girl
By Carlene Bauer
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060840556, 276pp.)
Publication Date: June 2010
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Raised in evangelical churches that preach apocalypse now, Carlene Bauer grows up happy to oblige the God who presides over her New Jersey girlhood. But in high school and in college, her intellectual and spiritual horizons widen, though still she finds it hard to let go of her ingrained ideals and to rebel as she knows she should. She loves rock 'n' roll but politely declines offers of sex and drugs, and hovers between a hunger for the world and a suspicion of it. In her twenties, however, determined to make up for lost time, Bauer undertakes a belated and often comic coming-of-age in New York City--ultimately falling in love and losing her religion, and left wondering just what it means to be good.
Sharply written, hilarious, and touching, Not That Kind of Girl is the story of one young woman's efforts to define worldliness, ambition, and love on her own terms.
“The tension between the sacred and the secular permeates every page of this heartfelt memoir. . . . Poignantly describe[s] the grace and beauty of ordinary moments.”