Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me: A Memoir... of Sorts by Ian Morgan Cron is - just as the title suggests - a memoir, mostly. The author tells the story of his upbringing, and his struggle with his faith, his self identity and his self worth as he grows up with an alcoholic and often absent father, and a mother who was just doing the best she could. Both funny and extremely poignant, he weaves the story back and forth through time, ultimately completely the circle by recounting his observations and relationship as a father to his own children.
It took me some time to actually get through the beginning of this book. To be fair, it was the first time I had read an e-book on my computer, and it could have simply had something to do with the format. Once I got into the second chapter however, Cron had me utterly hooked, and I very nearly finished the entire rest of the book in one sitting. It was in turns a fascinating, heartbreaking, and hilarious journey inside one man's head, heart, and past. It had all the elements of a blockbuster movie... Intrigue, tragedy and addiction? Check. Childhood buddy shenanigans? Check. Crazy but true stories of ER visits, jumps from moving vehicles, and the guilt of stealing from church? Check, check, check. When it wasn't making me laugh or shake my head in disbelief, it was pulling at my heart and making me root for him: this man who was simply trying to find his place in the world.
Ian Morgan Cron is an excellent writer, one who draws you in with his warm, conversational style and narrative. It is a compelling story, and a quick read. What makes this book so great though is Cron's raw honesty, and his ability to recount an experience in such a way that you feel you could have been there yourself. This book makes you feel for him, through both the good moments and the bad. Nearly everyone can relate to his story, especially those with less than ideal childhoods, and those who have ever struggled with finding their way back to God.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”