Book Review: Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzer
I forget where I first read about this newish memoir, but I remember how totally freaking excited I was to put it on hold so that I could be one of the first to get it from the library. And so a few months later, the book finally came in, I read it, and I want more.
Aaron Hartzler grew up in a very, very, born again Christian family (like, they weren’t allowed to listed to Amy Grant, the Christian pop singer, because she allegedly drank alcohol sometimes, and they believed that The Rapture was imminent). Hartzler was a totally angelic child and helped his mom lead the bible club, played piano, was in Christian plays with the church, etc. On the outside, he was the perfect Born Again son. But there would be no memoir if the story was that simple.
Rapture Practice is the story of Hartzler’s growing consciousness as he got older that something didn’t quite fit for him with the religion. He wanted to listed to mainstream music. He realized that he didn’t want the Rapture to happen because he liked his life. He started partying in secret. He had very strong interests in and close friendships with other guys. He found that he had stopped believing a lot of what he learned at church.
critiques: I felt like the book ended abruptly: I want to read about what happened next. Something felt jarringly incomplete at the very end. The story didn’t end up going exactly the way that I wanted it to. I wish that his story included him doing things differently that the way he did them in real life. waaah, cry, whine.
Praise: A ton of information is packed into the mere 390 pages. As a writer, Hartzler knows what you want to read and what you care about– no space is wasted on the uninteresting. For a heathen like myself, it was really exciting to read about his family’s religion- it’s new ground for me. The path the book takes you on is interesting, the narrator is likable, the 1990’s references are fun to look back on, and I want to tell people all about it. Find a copy at your library here.