Written by Lindsay Frazier
Dexterity (January 30, 2023)
Paperback, 240 pages
Reviewed by Amy Rivers
Oh Love, Come Close is a deeply personal reflection on one woman’s journey to confront her chronic depression and its underlying causes.
According to the publisher, Oh Love, Come Close explores the emotional wounds that fragmented a woman’s identity and retraces the steps needed to pick up the pieces left behind―her sexuality, spirituality, fidelity, and a complicated past. Frazier unearths her buried wounds and finds that to fully live, to fully love and be loved, she has to reclaim all the pieces of herself, no matter how painful that might be.
Reading and reviewing a memoir is like navigating a minefield. Frazier’s raw and unapologetic retelling of her struggles with marriage, sexual identity, past spiritual trauma, and mental illness are both profoundly moving and disturbing. Her experiences as a woman and as a mother resonated with me, but I also found her outbursts and ambivalence exasperating. And maybe that is the point–to take this walk beside her, experiencing the highs and lows that characterized her life.
The interactions Frazier had with her therapist include incredible and heart wrenching revelations about a variety of traumatic experiences that speak to not only personal emotional hurt but also the ripple effect of violence in families, communities, and society as a whole.
And while the memoir presents some important questions about topics ranging from faith to mental and emotional well-being, Frazier’s struggle to understand her situation sometimes opens Pandora’s box without closing the lid. For example, and I think this point is particularly noteworthy, Frazier is honest about her conflicts with her own sexuality, speaking openly about her attraction to and previous relationships with other women, but this aspect of her struggle is glossed over in terms of resolution. Marriage becomes a tool through which Frazier attempts to change or erase those feelings, and the result is a disaster for both herself and her husband.
Though I commend Frazier for all the hard work she did to process her trauma and to find a way to cope with her depression, her book raises a question about a conservative Christian view of sexuality and the LGBTQ community, especially pertaining to her own feelings on the topic, that is left startlingly unresolved. Based on her upbringing, she grapples with the idea that “homosexuality” is wrong, but does so only in passing, leaving the issue unsettled in her own mind. For this reason, I would remind any reader struggling with their own sexuality, especially within the structure of Christian faith, that this story is a reflection of the author’s journey and experience only, not a moral primer for all.
© 2023 by Christian Feminism Today.
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