Monday, December 16, 2013

Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me A Memoir... of sorts by Ian Morgan Cron

About the book: When he was sixteen years old, Ian Morgan Cron was told about his father’s clandestine work with the CIA. This astonishing revelation, coupled with his father’s dark struggles with chronic alcoholism and depression, upended the world of a boy struggling to become a man. Decades later, as he faces his own personal demons, Ian realizes the only way to find peace is to voyage back through a painful childhood marked by extremes—privilege and poverty, violence and tenderness, truth and deceit—that he’s spent years trying to escape.

Review: If you are wanting to know more about the CIA and thrilling adventure stories, you will be disappointed. This is a memoir which recounts Cron's childhood and adolescence with an abusive alcoholic father. He has a delightful prose and dialog which is very easy to read. I enjoy his style, but I don't think this book is suitable for younger children and teenagers for several reasons. First, there are some painful periods in his life which are recounted in detail. Once during his childhood, some older boys bully him in a demeaning, physical way. Cron talks about his emotional withdrawals, desire for love and acceptance, and his dependence on alcohol himself.

Second, I do not agree with his doctrine. Cron grew up in a Catholic family; his mother was very religious, and Cron became an altar boy. The eucharist was his guiding light through all his turmoil. Through this fascination, he went to seminary, youth ministry, and sobriety (in that order). His "salvation" was during the mass when he hears a voice saying, "Forgive me, Ian. I'm sorry, Ian, please forgive me. Will you pardon me, Ian. Now we are both forgiven." "I stood and edged into the aisle to join the line of all the other knotted hearts limping toward the bread of new and unending life." This is not salvation of repentance.

The theme of this book is forgiveness which is woven through the eucharist, and the book ends on a happy note. Cron becomes an Episcopal priest, marries, and rears his children in a loving and forgiving relationship. He desires them to grow beyond their fears and gain confidence to face the future bravely. Cron's dialog of his experiences is very touching and sincere, but I do not recommend the book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the®  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.”

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