A River Could Be A Tree

Author: Angela Himsel

November 7, 2018

San Francisco Book Review

In delightfully flowing prose, Angela Himsel recounts her beginnings as one of eleven children lovingly raised within an impoverished family in rural Indiana that was ruled by the fundamentalist Worldwide Church of God.  Indoctrinated from infancy in the bible stories and the teachings of Jesus, the author was molded by its instructions..  Not until she entered the university, away from home, did she start to seriously question her upbringing.  By chance, the opportunity to study at the Hebrew University in Israel, opened a new world to her.  While she hoped to trace the biblical stories and its patriarchs within the mideast, this educational window allowed her to meet  strangers and examine divergent views.  Still bonded by her past teachings, she painfully tries to dissect out the religious leader’s transgressions from her basic religious indoctrination.  This is her story, fluently written and tinged with wit of how she found redemption in the teachings of the Bible within the Jewish community.   It is an absorbing account of a young woman discovering a different world from the one implanted in youth, going out and testing her beliefs, and finally finding stability in another religion whose rituals apparently fulfill her needs.