By Emily T. Wierenga

Published by: Baker Books
288 Pages

ABOUT AUTHOR: Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, columnist, artist, author, and blogger at  Her work has appeared in many publications, including Prodigal Magazine, A Deeper Story, Christianity Today, Dayspring's (in)courage, and Focus on the Family. She speaks regularly about her journey with anorexia. She lives in Alberta, Canada, with her husband, Trenton, and their two sons.

BACK COVER: Disillusioned and yearning for freedom, Emily Wierenga left home at age eighteen with no intention of ever returning. Broken down by organized religion, a childhood battle with anorexia, and her parents' rigidity, she set out to find God somewhere else--anywhere else. Her travels took her across Canada, Central America, the United States, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. She had no idea that her faith was waiting for her the whole time--in the place she least expected it.

Poignant and passionate, Atlas Girl is a very personal story of a universal yearning for home and the assurance that we are known, forgiven, and beloved. Readers will find in this memoir a true description of living faith as a two-way pursuit in a world fraught with distraction. Anyone who wrestles with the brokenness we find in the world will love this emotional journey into the arms of the God who heals all wounds.

REVIEW: I’m thankful for a review copy of a book that touched me to the depths of my soul and introduced me to a brave, sensitive and courageous woman, mom and author.  This author’s voice is a breath of fresh air. This woman has experienced much in a short time. Emily describes falling into life’s unexpected trenches, what she did when she got there and discovered something when she was there she hadn’t anticipated finding.

“And sometimes it takes disappointments to remember that this world is not our home. I know God is here in the nature and the people, but more than that, He is within me. The kingdom of heaven is where I belong. It is where all of my journeys have been taking me. And no place on earth can match the welcome that is found in God’s arms.”

This is a personal, transparent memoir written with a unique style that grabbed my attention and my heart from the start. I was encouraged at how vulnerable and honest she was about her struggles. I was inspired at how Emily learns to love and receive the love others so desperately wanted to give her. This book is written in first personal. I felt as if Emily and I were sitting down on the couch as she shared her personal journey. I was captivated by how this author gave me a peek into some life disappointments, heartache and triumphs.

I’ve learned that everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has a hurt that needs to be healed, none of us escape the pain in this world. Emily’s story and how she allowed God in to heal her hurts, help her see herself beyond what the mirror reflected and embrace what He had in store for her life. It was raw, real and breathe taking at times. She discovered how to live in the moment, learned that forgiveness is not a feeling – but is important in setting us free and allowing us to walk in peace.

Emily talks about her childhood, “Years later, when I was starving myself, my brother Keith would draw a picture of me as a wrecking ball, destroying the walls of our family… I had replaced the need to protect him with the need to protect myself. And it was wrecking us all. “…I had no choice at home about anything…we moved ten times before I turned seven. So I stopped eating.”

“The picture of God in my head became a man who was always serious and studying unless he was at church where he smiled and laughed with people for hours. He still read us stories, but I don’t remember ever playing with my dad….. What I needed was love, to wrap me up in its arms to tell me how beautiful I was and to make me laugh. I needed a love that smiled….And I needed to know God wasn’t my dad or my mum, but when I was little, he was. He is the face of your loved ones. But your loved ones make mistakes. And God doesn’t……When you’re young, you see the gaps more than you do the glimpses. You see the whole more than the donut.”

“And then at thirteen, when I was dying on the hospital bed, and the nurses said I was a miracle. I finally saw him. I saw God for who he was – a Savior who wasn’t a minister with a wrinkled forehead stuck in his office, who wasn’t in a mother, who had never been affirmed growing up, who wasn’t the church with all of its rules. He was grace. And I began to believe with more than my mind, because I wanted to live.”

This is a peek at the authors’ heart and her style of writing that captivated me and kept me up late reading this heart-felt, transparent memoir.  It was a refreshing, and honest. It’s a read I highly recommend. It’s a book that will touch your heart and change how you view life and God! I look forward to reading more books by this author. Thank you Emily for sharing your journey in a real and honest way. I appreciate you having the courage to share what you did. I know this will be an encouragement and life changer for many!

Want to learn more about this author. Emily did a heart-felt interview for Book Fun Magazine this month. Book Fun Magazine 

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network blog
Book Fun Magazine 


  1. Sounds like a memoir I need to read. Fantastic review!

    1. It was a Heart-felt read you won't soon forget. Thanks for stopping Grin!

  2. Totally agree, Nora. I absolutely LOVED Emily's memoir! xoxo

    1. I loved her transparency. She is a precious lady! I'm glad she shared her journey! thanks for stopping by Julie and letting me know what you thought! Grin! It is a book I won't soon forget!