Night Driving
How do you know God is real? In the emotionally-charged, fire-filled faith in which Addie Zierman grew up, the answer to this question was simple: Because you’ve FELT him.Now, at age 30, she feels nothing. Just the darkness pressing in. Just the winter cold. Just a buzzing silence where God’s voice used to be. So she loads her two small children into the minivan one February afternoon and heads south in one last-ditch effort to find the Light.In her second memoir, Night Driving, Addie Zierman powerfully explores the gap between our sunny, faith fictions and a God who often seems hidden and silent. Against the backdrop of rushing Interstates, strangers’ hospitality, gas station coffee, and screaming children, Addie stumbles toward a faith that makes room for doubt, disappointment, and darkness…and learns that sometimes you have to run away to find your way home.

Night Driving Details

TitleNight Driving
Author
ReleaseMar 15th, 2016
PublisherConvergent Books
ISBN-139781601425485
Rating
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Christian, Religion, Faith, Nonfiction, Christianity, Spirituality

Night Driving Review

  • Leigh Kramer
    January 1, 1970
    I devoured my friend Addie Zierman's second memoir. The level of honesty and vulnerability is rare for the spiritual memoir genre. Had Addie waited several years before writing it, we would get a very different book. But I'm glad for the immediacy and that we can learn from someone who is still figuring it all out. Someone who can be honest about the ups and downs and the fears and the doubts. Addie's writing is permeated with grace and wisdom and she's an amazing writer. I'm so proud of her. Pl I devoured my friend Addie Zierman's second memoir. The level of honesty and vulnerability is rare for the spiritual memoir genre. Had Addie waited several years before writing it, we would get a very different book. But I'm glad for the immediacy and that we can learn from someone who is still figuring it all out. Someone who can be honest about the ups and downs and the fears and the doubts. Addie's writing is permeated with grace and wisdom and she's an amazing writer. I'm so proud of her. Plus, I make an appearance, which is a first, as I hosted her for one night during her Epic Road Trip.
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  • Carmen Liffengren
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 StarsAddie Zierman does it again! I still think about her first memoir, When We Were on Fire which is heartbreaking, honest, and poignant. She recounts the unraveling of her faith and the shattering and brokenness that led to rebuidling it on a more firm foundation.In Night Driving, Zierman is still struggling to put those pieces back into a more coherent and mature faith. In the Winter of 2014, she packs up her two young sons into the minivan for an epic road trip to escape the bleak Minnes 4.5 StarsAddie Zierman does it again! I still think about her first memoir, When We Were on Fire which is heartbreaking, honest, and poignant. She recounts the unraveling of her faith and the shattering and brokenness that led to rebuidling it on a more firm foundation.In Night Driving, Zierman is still struggling to put those pieces back into a more coherent and mature faith. In the Winter of 2014, she packs up her two young sons into the minivan for an epic road trip to escape the bleak Minnesota winter. Her plan is to get to Florida. She is so desperate for warmth that she is willing to drive thousands of miles to get it. Along the way, her imagined idyllic and magical road trip collides with the reality of traveling with small children. Maybe the warmth of Florida isn't exactly what she expects or wants it to be. Maybe there's a lesson she didn't quite expect. Zierman's insight on darkness is worth the price of admission. I found so many of her thoughts resonating deeply within me. I will read anything Addie writes and I hope she will continue to write her story.
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  • Clare Bender
    January 1, 1970
    Book #5 of 2019 Challenge: Read a Type of Book You Rarely or Never ReadZierman has such a way with words! Beautiful imagery and descriptions! This is an insightful and encouraging read for those who are "in the dark" with their faith and don't "feel" that God is there.
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  • Gillian Marchenko
    January 1, 1970
    Devoured this book. Addie Zierman is a gifted writer who delivers beautiful, staggering, relatable, and at times, shocking prose. As an avid reader and floundering writer of memoir, I grow tired of authors who omit the hard parts of their stories. In my mind, if it isn't the whole story, it isn't one worth reading. Night Driving plunges into the darkness of faith that many of us relate to but don't want to admit. But here is a truth I've experienced personally: A book about darkness dragged into Devoured this book. Addie Zierman is a gifted writer who delivers beautiful, staggering, relatable, and at times, shocking prose. As an avid reader and floundering writer of memoir, I grow tired of authors who omit the hard parts of their stories. In my mind, if it isn't the whole story, it isn't one worth reading. Night Driving plunges into the darkness of faith that many of us relate to but don't want to admit. But here is a truth I've experienced personally: A book about darkness dragged into the light, even through (at times) a disastrous road trip with two toddlers, is worth reading. True light CAN bring transformation, a light that many of us with wavering faith often miss whether in the darkness of a night of driving or at home in our comfortable lives. Read this book.Gillian Marchenko,Author of Still Life, A Memoir of Living with Depression and Still Life, A Memoir
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  • Cara
    January 1, 1970
    This is a masterful book. I read and loved Addie's first book, but this one has become my new favorite of hers. She dexterously handles both past and present, managing to weave a seamless, artfully constructed narrative that sucks me in with carefully chosen details and tight writing. The book is written in the present tense, but I barely noticed (meaning that's it's done extremely well and doesn't jar). Her characters are real people. She is a real person. I will be returning to this book for y This is a masterful book. I read and loved Addie's first book, but this one has become my new favorite of hers. She dexterously handles both past and present, managing to weave a seamless, artfully constructed narrative that sucks me in with carefully chosen details and tight writing. The book is written in the present tense, but I barely noticed (meaning that's it's done extremely well and doesn't jar). Her characters are real people. She is a real person. I will be returning to this book for years to come.
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  • Andi
    January 1, 1970
    I long ago grew weary of self-help books, particularly those about faith. . . but Zierman's book is not self-help - it's story, story powerfully-told and honest. A simple story - a road trip - but rich in it's meaning both as an experience and as a metaphor. If you've felt the darkness of you faith, I cannot recommend this book enough.
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  • Tony Snyder
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book, not least because it forced me to look at darkness in life in a new way: not necessarily something to run from but as something that might actually change your life for the better in the long run. All the way through, I felt like she was a friend I would want when going through dark stages. Excellent!
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  • Cara Meredith
    January 1, 1970
    Addie does it again, this time delving into a raw honesty not found in very many spiritual memoirs. Can God be found in the dark, just as much as the light? I love how she begins to uncover an answer to that question.
  • Victor
    January 1, 1970
    You think what you want is a fresh start, to fly south in the winter like a free bird, to fly where it's warm and sunny and you can be brave, wild and free like the ocean. And you probably do want that, but guess who's down south? Guess who you're trying to run away from but can't?You.Yeah. You'll be in Florida when you get there. Surprise! There you are! With every problem you had up north, except for the snow. And as Addie learns, the trees that don't close up for the winter freeze end up burn You think what you want is a fresh start, to fly south in the winter like a free bird, to fly where it's warm and sunny and you can be brave, wild and free like the ocean. And you probably do want that, but guess who's down south? Guess who you're trying to run away from but can't?You.Yeah. You'll be in Florida when you get there. Surprise! There you are! With every problem you had up north, except for the snow. And as Addie learns, the trees that don't close up for the winter freeze end up burning out much sooner, they enjoyed perpetual summers and endless light and it turns out they aren't made for that, and it turns out you're not made for that, either. Here's Addie: "I wonder what would happen if I learned to accept these silent rhythms as a normal part of faith: light and dark, high tide and low tide, summer and winter. What if I stopped fighting, stopped going crazy trying to fill in the gap, stopped running? What would it look like to give in to these rhythms? What if I learned to love my heavy heart? To stop scrambling to be in the light. What if instead I let God pull me lower and lower, like the moon pulls the sea? Would I drown? Would I rise?"Would I drown? Would I rise? <---- this is huge. The reason this is huge is because until you come to the point where you actually don't know if your faith/relationship will survive, you may be living by principles, but not by faith. You may be following somebody's path, but not walking your own.I was talking to a new co-worker named Steve the other day. He said a few years ago he went to Germany just for the fun of it, to travel, to have an experience, to drink German beer. He even went on a date with an exotic woman. And he was talking like he regretted going, because the biggest thing he learned from his European adventure is that...you don't need to travel to far-off places to have a good life. I pushed back a little and asked him if he recognized the irony in that -- that he wasn't able to see that he doesn't need travel in his life until he actually left home and traveled. Addie came to a similar realization when she was down south: “Maybe I’m a snowbird--or maybe I’m not. Maybe all this ever was was a case of mistaken identity. I thought I needed to fly away to survive. I’d forgotten about the simple ways we are saved exactly where we are.”When you're young--in life or in faith--you want passion, you want to be on fire, and you equate that with the depth of truth. When you stop feeling then you think God left you, or the relationship must be over, but “Maybe faith is the long story of a happy marriage--an average life made fuller, not smaller, by the pockets of silence and darkness that break into it.”Here's what I think: I think a book needs structure, and even in a book about authentic faith, about embracing the darkness, the narrative needs to ebb and flow and rise and fall like the tide, and it needs resolution of some sort, and it needs little lessons along the way. It needs it because that's how you sell books, because somebody somewhere decided that's how it works.But life isn't a book, life doesn't resolve, life is water escaping in every direction, flowing down, down, until the sky sucks it up, and moves it across the plains and doesn't let go until the cloud scrapes mountain tips and drops you in a new place. The only way to escape nature's process is to stay inside all day, to keep your faith and your life tidy in the box of your home where it is safe, where it is contained and where even the Cloud God cannot reach you and take you to new places. And love is freedom, and God is love, so in your house you'll remain--safe, untouched--loved from afar and through thick walls on which you hear your own voice echo, and you experience the light and the sky through windows instead of directly on your skin and in your hair. How comfy! How safe! How gloriously coffin-like!Do you stay or do you go? Do you drown? Do you rise? How will you know?
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  • Katherine Jones
    January 1, 1970
    I’m going to have a hard time paring my thoughts down to just a few for this post. This is what Addie Zierman’s writing does to me, whether it’s by blog or book. She open my eyes to what I haven’t seen before and makes me think thoughts never considered. And once exposed, these sights and ideas take some processing to absorb, which I’m tempted to do here. For your sake, I’ll do my best to rein it in.Addie claims, sometimes, that she’s cynical. Maybe. I’d rather call it questioning. Either way, i I’m going to have a hard time paring my thoughts down to just a few for this post. This is what Addie Zierman’s writing does to me, whether it’s by blog or book. She open my eyes to what I haven’t seen before and makes me think thoughts never considered. And once exposed, these sights and ideas take some processing to absorb, which I’m tempted to do here. For your sake, I’ll do my best to rein it in.Addie claims, sometimes, that she’s cynical. Maybe. I’d rather call it questioning. Either way, it amplifies her writing instead of diminishing it. I will also say that while I don’t share Addie’s cynicism (if we’re going to call it that), I think I can understand it. In my own brush with depression a few years ago, I never grappled with the kind of angst she describes. But it allows me to relate to this book in a way I wouldn’t have otherwise.I also have to say: can we please acknowledge how dangerous it is to insist that faith is felt? If that is so…what makes it faith? If this is what is being taught, no wonder so many struggle to know their faith is real when doubt, or depression, or crap happens. Honestly.Faith is not feeling, and it is toward this truth that Addie valiantly writes in her gritty, honest, deeply vulnerable memoir. So vulnerable that at times I felt like something of a voyeur, peeking into places where I didn’t belong. And yet by the same token, her courage invites me to journey alongside her as she strives to understand.I like that.I claim a pulsing admiration that borders on envy for Addie’s knack of observing the world and then putting what she sees into words. Her use of metaphor is stunning. She has a way of lifting the drab disguise of the ordinary to expose the gleaming scarlet thread of Story woven beneath. She holds a wisdom that reaches far beyond her years — a wisdom, I daresay, that has been painfully hard-won.Something of a side note: She describes an evangelicalism I haven’t experienced, and it’s hard to say whether that’s because I’ve not been exposed to it up-close-and-personal, or if it’s because I haven’t had the perspective to recognize it. Reading this book, I felt I’ve seen what she describes, but mostly in books or movies. I’ve lived and attended churches the entirety of my life on one coast or the other, where mores tend to be less conservative. Is this the difference? Or have I just been fortunate to land at the right churches? It does strike me that American, Christian subculture is just that — a subculture. It is not Christianity as much as the world experiences it — one has only to travel a bit to see this — and I do think it’s important for American Christians to recognize that.So. As you can see, already this is devolving far from anything resembling a review. Toward that end, I’ll declare that I found this memoir gripping, enriching, masterfully executed. It is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. Though I finished it weeks ago, while we were dragging through the last days of winter, I’m still pondering its implications. Again, this is what Addie’s work does to me. I read her stuff and I think…and process…for days. But isn’t that what the best writing does? It opens us up to new ideas, and expands our minds and souls. In this way, Night Driving continues to occupy a welcome space in my soul.Finally, because I so resonate with this truth, I’ll leave you not with my words, but with Addie’s. She writes:“I wish someone had told me then that eventually the fire would go out and that it would be okay. That it didn’t mean my faith was dying. I wish someone had told me that the fire doesn’t make me whole; that I am whole because of Jesus, whether I feel him or not.” (p. 150)Thanks to the author and Convergent Books for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
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  • S.E. White
    January 1, 1970
    Another wonderfully honest memoir about real Christian life, that it is not as simple as many evangelicals make it out to be. I loved her conclusion, Faith spans years, generations, millenia. God's silence marks the pages of the biblical narrative more than I ever knew.His silence stretches over years, over countries over generations. but its not an abandonment, it's an invitation.It asks for our trust, for our hope, for us to stay as the night darkens around us and we can't hear a thing. A seq Another wonderfully honest memoir about real Christian life, that it is not as simple as many evangelicals make it out to be. I loved her conclusion, Faith spans years, generations, millenia. God's silence marks the pages of the biblical narrative more than I ever knew.His silence stretches over years, over countries over generations. but its not an abandonment, it's an invitation.It asks for our trust, for our hope, for us to stay as the night darkens around us and we can't hear a thing. A sequel to her When We Were on Fire: A Memoir of Consuming Faith, Tangled Love, and Starting Over.
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  • Garrett
    January 1, 1970
    Like many Millennial Christians, I crave stories that let me know I’m not alone. I need to read stories of darkness and faith and questions and emptiness. Ours is a transitional generation, connected to a past that fades with our pre-pubescent memories and embracing a future that changes faster than the shudder of a camera. In the middle of all of this, where do we belong? Where does faith belong?Addie Zierman and I are in dramatically different places in life, but we’re only separated by five y Like many Millennial Christians, I crave stories that let me know I’m not alone. I need to read stories of darkness and faith and questions and emptiness. Ours is a transitional generation, connected to a past that fades with our pre-pubescent memories and embracing a future that changes faster than the shudder of a camera. In the middle of all of this, where do we belong? Where does faith belong?Addie Zierman and I are in dramatically different places in life, but we’re only separated by five years. In a lot of ways, her age shows she’s in the bracket first exploring this new world, while those five years younger than me – those who barely remember 9/11 – are probably the very last grasp of this questioning sect.Night Driving: A story of Faith in the Dark is a story of fleeing, of escaping, of searching. It’s a story I know so well because it is also my own in so many ways.As far as memoirs go, this one is beautifully crafted. Addie tells her story with a strong narrative voice, one often on the verge of fracture. We know exactly what she’s feeling from the subtext, not because she’s telling us. Her prose is creative and lively. Some of her sentences were beautiful for the sake of beauty, and my inner writer burst with envy. Her conceits, metaphors, and similes were connected and well strung throughout the entire book.And her message? Her discovery in the escape? It was refreshing to find an answer that doesn’t look like what I’ve been raised to “know.” It made me feel a tad less isolated, a tad less alone, to know that there are others in faith, my faith, that are spending more time in the darkness then the light.
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  • Christina
    January 1, 1970
    I loved Addie's storytelling and honesty. She writes beautifully, turning what might otherwise be an insignificant scene (sitting in the front seat of a car along an interstate) into intriguing imagery.
  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't care for this book. I think it is because it didn't talk much God and faith like I thought it would.
  • Kimberly Patton
    January 1, 1970
    Really good stuff. I enjoyed reading all of it, but the last half was great, and the last 40ish pages were amazing. But you have to go through the first half to enjoy and really feel the good stuff... that's what life is like too. I really like Addie. We need her honestly. We need her vulnerability and we need her precious truths. It does feel very "real life" as many memoirs do, but she does do a good job of inserting beautiful little bits of poetry and snippets of valuable words that really sp Really good stuff. I enjoyed reading all of it, but the last half was great, and the last 40ish pages were amazing. But you have to go through the first half to enjoy and really feel the good stuff... that's what life is like too. I really like Addie. We need her honestly. We need her vulnerability and we need her precious truths. It does feel very "real life" as many memoirs do, but she does do a good job of inserting beautiful little bits of poetry and snippets of valuable words that really speak to the soul. They are few and definitely hidden but total treasures.
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  • Trevor Limberg
    January 1, 1970
    Again Zierman comes through with her powerful testimony of the discovery that faith is non-linear amidst her early 30's. I love her fierce courage, powerful analogies, vulnerable inner-personal dialogue, and raw expression of the human experience. Without a doubt one of my favorite books that I read this year. Thanks again so much to Addie Zierman for her powerful and important ministry to myself and many whom I'm close to through her literature.
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  • Shannan
    January 1, 1970
    Quiet and slow. But extremely relevant. She wrote a book about a road trip framed in the context of faith crisis.
  • Angela
    January 1, 1970
    Honest and compelling. I had never read a book on the topic of felt emotion in religious experiences, and it was timely for me.
  • Shiyel
    January 1, 1970
    I read Zierman's first memoir, "When We Were On Fire", in 2013, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This memoir still holds up well, but it tells a different story. What if things were not alright? What if we don't find light at the end of the tunnel? How do we find the light in seemingly endless darkness? It's raw. It's honest. It's moving. I admire her tenacity in telling this difficult journey. If you haven't read her first memoir, I would suggest reading that one before diving into Night Driving.
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  • Ioana
    January 1, 1970
    This is a finding-the-God-I-used-to-know kind of book. You keep reading the author's woe over and over: I used to feel God, but now I don't anymore. Coming with the baggage (or blessing) of an American adolescence in the 90s, filled with Christian activities that encouraged teenagers to just love God, and to be on fire for Him, the adult author is left to deal with the presence (or absence) of God when she no longer feels God, and when the specific cliches and lingo no longer cut it. The author This is a finding-the-God-I-used-to-know kind of book. You keep reading the author's woe over and over: I used to feel God, but now I don't anymore. Coming with the baggage (or blessing) of an American adolescence in the 90s, filled with Christian activities that encouraged teenagers to just love God, and to be on fire for Him, the adult author is left to deal with the presence (or absence) of God when she no longer feels God, and when the specific cliches and lingo no longer cut it. The author gives glimpses into her past just enough to let the reader get the full idea of why she decided to go on a road trip just to maybe rekindle the fire she once had within her heart. Repeatedly she underlines how she was close to God, how she longed for Him, and how it was all good. Sounds like a broken record, but aren't so all those who keep looking for that which they can't fully express into words? To know you had it all in Him, and then you are on the exact opposite of that feeling.The book is divided into four main parts. The first two tell of her journey from her home in Minnesota to Florida, and the last two parts of the journey from Florida back home. I'm a sucker for the idea of a road-trip, add to that an honest memoir about chasing God, and I'm your reader. Besides being a Christian just like herself, I have zero things in common with the author (of whom I knew nothing before reading this book), and still I was struck by the familiarity and the close to home hit of some passages. At times it reminded me of Searching for Sunday (maybe because it's the only book on this theme I've read in the last year?), but Night Driving is more mature. Although it has little Bible passages, it doesn't come up with biblical ideas, it's not set to offer advice on how the Church should be reorganized to fit into the 21st century, this is a book that I enjoyed reading tremendously; it's just a person's quest for what she once had, without any other pretense.At times I was reading this like a good coming of age story, except it was a coming to grounded faith again story. I was worried she had set off on her road trip, kids in tow, and she was turning back home without the answer she was looking for. Can you tell I was invested in this? I loved what the "conclusion" of the book was: no high voltage spiritual enlightment, but what she knew all along, but suddenly it made more sense. Funny how that happens! Love doesn’t always look like romance and faith doesn’t look like fire and light doesn’t always look like the sun—and that this matters. (...) God is as close as the air around us, as true as the North Star leading me home. In the dark Kentucky plain, my eyes adjust, and there is so much that I can’t see—and also so much that I can. Mostly that the darkness was never really dark. And that it was never my job to turn on the lights. (...) I know that God is real. And it’s not because I feel him. It’s because the night is dark and bright all at once, because the stars are an infinite repeating liturgy lighting the way back home. I know because I know. It’s as simple and mysterious as that. I loved how subtly, over the length of the book, she keeps returning to the audio book she's been listening to while driving. The similarities she finds between Mamah Borthwick of Loving Frank by Nancy Horan and herself are as well noted as the stages of the February moon she keeps refering to. Two small elements I didn't pay attention to in the beginning, but as I kept reading they were ever-present until the very end.Would I recommend it? Yes, absolutely! No one is more surprised by this than me. You leave this book with the feeling of being understood, that you're not alone during those apparent patches of darkness and loneliness. It's poetic and nicely written, it's honest and open.I received a copy of the ebook version of this from Crown Publishing via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts expressed here are my own.
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  • Melody Cook
    January 1, 1970
    Another beautifully written memoir from AZ. Her prose melts you--seriously. I will say that I enjoyed her first book, When We Were on Fire immensely more than this one. However, I can sincerely say that it is only because I empathized with her struggles more so in the first book. You see more of AZ the mother in this book. Still highly recommended for anyone who enjoyed AZ's first book or any fan of Christian memoirs.
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  • Plainswriter
    January 1, 1970
    In the fall of 2013, I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Addie Zierman’s first book, When We Were on Fire. It was a book I read in less than a week–I was captivated not only by her story but also by her depictions of ’90s American Evangelicalism.Then last summer I taught When We Were on Fire in a Religion & Literature course. My students, even those who didn’t grow up in this type of culture, were captivated by her story. When she graciously agreed to Skype with my class on the last In the fall of 2013, I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Addie Zierman’s first book, When We Were on Fire. It was a book I read in less than a week–I was captivated not only by her story but also by her depictions of ’90s American Evangelicalism.Then last summer I taught When We Were on Fire in a Religion & Literature course. My students, even those who didn’t grow up in this type of culture, were captivated by her story. When she graciously agreed to Skype with my class on the last day we were discussing the book, my students were starstruck.Both times reading that book, I found myself deeply moved. It stirred much in me. So of course when I learned of the upcoming release of her second book, I was excited to read an advanced copy.Night Driving focuses on a much narrow time frame, more specifically February of 2014. The book recounts a trip she took with her two boys, driving to Florida and back, and as in some travel narratives, the book is organized around chapters dedicated to a specific day or days. The dates and the accompanying photographs are the (pardon the pun) framing devices to each chapter. (In her first book, if you’re not aware, each chapter began with a Christian cliché, followed by a short definition.)In Night Driving, Zierman showcases a voice that is more mature, more confident. Not that the first book was rough, but Night Driving possesses a polish and heightened level of technique. At the sentence level, the prose is more compelling, more finely crafted. There is even more imagery and detail to savor, especially in her depictions of the family minivan, the chariot that whisks her to the warmth and drags her to the cold.Noticeably absent in Night Driving are the extended passages of second-person point-of-view. While they worked effectively in When We Were on Fire, their rare occurrence in Night Driving adds power to the recurring “I.” There’s less of an attempt to “put the reader in the scene” via the “you” except for important moments. Such a decision allows for more substantial development and presence of her voice.The episodic nature of the book, focused as it is on the travel to and from Florida, also triggers reminiscences as Zierman connects and reconnects with individuals along the way, and in this journey there is again a wrestling with questions of faith and Christianity. In depicting these struggles, Zierman (again) provides an honest portrayal of herself and the situations, avoiding the temptation to sugarcoat or oversimplify complexity and paradox. Yet even in her challenges there are unexpected moments of grace, such as at the beach on their final morning in Florida.With its reminiscences and flashbacks, Night Driving is truly a sequel to When We Were on Fire–there’s a continuity between the two books. I can only wonder (and wait) for what she will write next. Regardless of when it is released, I’m sure I will (again) read it in less than a week.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    In the middle of a bitter cold winter in Minnesota, a mom and her two young sons flee in search of the light and warmth of Florida. It is a desperate act, a search for inner light as much as sunshine, and it brings surprising results.Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark is Addie Zierman's account of this road trip and the things she discovers--about herself, her faith, and God--along the way. (Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my review.)Som In the middle of a bitter cold winter in Minnesota, a mom and her two young sons flee in search of the light and warmth of Florida. It is a desperate act, a search for inner light as much as sunshine, and it brings surprising results.Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark is Addie Zierman's account of this road trip and the things she discovers--about herself, her faith, and God--along the way. (Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my review.)Some people called her brave to embark on such a trip, but it's a badge Zierman is reluctant to wear.My heart is not, in the end, cut from an adventurous, seafaring cloth. I am, generally speaking, a homebody, content with very little adventure in my life. I chose this trip not because I am brave but because I was desperate. (p. 5)Zierman writes about how she could no longer feel God's presence like she could when her faith was "on fire" in her youth and how she tried--and still tries--to fill the void with wine and flirting and anything that makes her feel something. Her trip with her boys, 4 and 2, was as much a search for sunshine as an attempt to escape from her own self. But as she journeys, she realizes that she can't outrun the darkness, even in the Florida sunshine.What I love about Zierman's writing is that it doesn't sugarcoat or paint a pretty picture. It's gut-level honest. This dream of a road trip has its nightmares--as one might expect traveling thousands of miles in a van with two toddlers. There are numerous McDonald's stops and bathroom breaks and a Diet Coke incident that made me want to give Zierman a hug. There's rain at the beach and sleepless nights and doubts about whether this trip was a good idea in the first place.But there are also precious conversations with friends, one glorious day at the beach, and subtle changes. Reminders that darkness and silence and solitude are part of the rhythms of faith, not evidence of the absence of faith.Maybe I'm a snowbird--or maybe I'm not. Maybe all this ever was was a case of mistaken identity. I thought I needed to fly away to survive. I'd forgotten about the simple ways we are saved exactly where we are. (p. 178)Through her own journey, Zierman grants us permission to wrestle with our faith when the light seems to have gone out, and to realize that we can see in the dark; our eyes just might need time to adjust.If you've ever wanted to escape when the darkness closes in, to flee toward warmth when the temperatures start to dip, find encouragement in this book.
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  • Danielle Wright
    January 1, 1970
    It took me longer than I'd like to admit to finish this book. I'll admit that this is one of the first nonfiction/memoir-type novels that I've read in quite awhile. My typical choice of book is a thriller of sorts.Night Driving is not a thriller, but rather it's a book that pulls you from page to page with its raw emotion.Read more...Zierman is going through something I think a lot of Christians feel. The sudden darkness in their faith after feeling it so fierce for so long. Wondering if God is It took me longer than I'd like to admit to finish this book. I'll admit that this is one of the first nonfiction/memoir-type novels that I've read in quite awhile. My typical choice of book is a thriller of sorts.Night Driving is not a thriller, but rather it's a book that pulls you from page to page with its raw emotion.Read more...Zierman is going through something I think a lot of Christians feel. The sudden darkness in their faith after feeling it so fierce for so long. Wondering if God is even in the room anymore.She decides to combat this feeling by taking a road trip from Wisconsin to Florida in the winter. To escape the harsh cold and find solace on the warm beach. The novel is full of wonderful moments that she shares with her young sons, many frustrating moments (I mentioned she has two SONS ha!), and more than anything, the raw emotion that she feels trying to find God again. She reminisces on her past, especially while she stays with old friends, where her fire for God was as strong as it had ever been. She longs for that to come back.The book is on the face a physical journey. But ingrained in that is her spiritual journey that she has invited us to take with her in this novel.If you're feeling in the dark with your faith, I highly recommend this book.5/5I received a ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Hallie Szott
    January 1, 1970
    This review is also posted on Book by Book.In the pages of her second faith-focused memoir, Addie Zierman’s desire for light and warmth compels her away from the Minnesota winter and into a cross-country road trip with her two young sons. She heads for Florida, stopping for visits with friends and family along the way, and collects a number of humorous anecdotes, expected frustrations, and insightful reflections. As she mirrors her road-trip experience with her progression through doubts and dis This review is also posted on Book by Book.In the pages of her second faith-focused memoir, Addie Zierman’s desire for light and warmth compels her away from the Minnesota winter and into a cross-country road trip with her two young sons. She heads for Florida, stopping for visits with friends and family along the way, and collects a number of humorous anecdotes, expected frustrations, and insightful reflections. As she mirrors her road-trip experience with her progression through doubts and disappoints toward an understanding of a faith that feels different than the expectations of her youth, Zierman’s writing of Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark is beautiful, and it resonates with vulnerability and honesty. Anyone who has struggled to feel the presence of God will surely find this memoir relevant and relatable - I appreciated it and highly recommend it.Thanks to Blogging for Books, I received a copy of Night Driving and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.
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  • Sarah Wells
    January 1, 1970
    Addie Zierman's road trip to escape the winter darkness of Minnesota with her two boys under the age of four of course seems like a daring adventure we moms like to romanticize. But what really happens on the road when you are seeking out some deep spiritual enlightenment never seems to play out exactly the way you envisioned. "Enlighten" and "envision" in darkness is hard. But not impossible.Riding along with Addie is like riding along with a close friend, a friend you've been able to show your Addie Zierman's road trip to escape the winter darkness of Minnesota with her two boys under the age of four of course seems like a daring adventure we moms like to romanticize. But what really happens on the road when you are seeking out some deep spiritual enlightenment never seems to play out exactly the way you envisioned. "Enlighten" and "envision" in darkness is hard. But not impossible.Riding along with Addie is like riding along with a close friend, a friend you've been able to show your vulnerable side to and know she understands. Any stumbling millennial whose concept of God was shaped by the emotional experience of Him in darkened gymnasiums with flashy lights and microphoned speakers... any praise-song singing, flag-pole praying, mission trip traveling evangelical who has found themselves holding suffering, brokenness, silence, and darkness in the palms of their hands, uncertain what their faith built on feeling it is able to do for them now will find light and hope in these pages and in this story.Even the darkness is not dark to you, and the night is as bright as the day.Grateful for Addie's bravery and for trusting the journey.
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  • Lizzie
    January 1, 1970
    How do you know God is real?Because you’ve felt him.Until you don’t anymore.Addie Zierman’s second book, "Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark," officially came into the world one week ago Tuesday. It arrived on my doorstep that night, and as I absorbed myself into it, I found myself within its pages. Like her first book, "When We Were On Fire," it took me to familiar places, hard places, true places.Like Addie’s debut, "Night Driving" is a memoir. This one chronicles a spontaneous road t How do you know God is real?Because you’ve felt him.Until you don’t anymore.Addie Zierman’s second book, "Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark," officially came into the world one week ago Tuesday. It arrived on my doorstep that night, and as I absorbed myself into it, I found myself within its pages. Like her first book, "When We Were On Fire," it took me to familiar places, hard places, true places.Like Addie’s debut, "Night Driving" is a memoir. This one chronicles a spontaneous road trip she took two winters ago with her two young boys, to escape the darkness of her even-colder-than-usual Minnesota home for Florida light … to escape the darkness and emptiness inside her to maybe, just maybe, find a Light she could take back with her.The book flits between past and present, and I was carried along on interstates and into strangers’ homes. I was carried to beaches of yesteryear where fire lit the sky, lit the heart, and to beaches where the rain thundered down, where nothing was as simple as it used to be. "Night Driving" is achingly beautiful; "Night Driving" is achingly real.
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  • James Morovich
    January 1, 1970
    Addie Zierman has over the course of now just two memoirs become one of my favorite writers. She is the voice of the millennial generation that came of age in a weird era of church history, the late 90's-early 2000's. An era where so much was focused on seeker sensitivity and Faith being about feeling and less about rooting oneself in God's word. Zierman graduated high school in 2001 and spent the next decade figuring out what she truly did believe. That is all chronicled in her first book "When Addie Zierman has over the course of now just two memoirs become one of my favorite writers. She is the voice of the millennial generation that came of age in a weird era of church history, the late 90's-early 2000's. An era where so much was focused on seeker sensitivity and Faith being about feeling and less about rooting oneself in God's word. Zierman graduated high school in 2001 and spent the next decade figuring out what she truly did believe. That is all chronicled in her first book "When We Were On Fire." In this second memoir "Night Driving" she chronicles a two week road trip she took at age 30 with her two young sons in February of 2014, a trip intended for her to seek out Jesus and find his Light amidst the darkness in the world. On the trip she finds and learns so much about God's presence amidst and alongside the darkness, about how deeply she loves her husband, and how much the young innocence of her sons brings her renewed joy everyday. If you can relate to her story, as I can, you will not want to put this one down!
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  • Michelle Kidwell
    January 1, 1970
    Night DrivingA Story of Faith in the Darkby Addie ZiermanCrown PublishingConvergent BooksChristianPub Date Mar 15, 2016In February of 2014 the author decided to take a cross country trip from her home in Minnesota to Florida despite the fact that Minnesota was experiencing the coldest temperatures in a generation. For two weeks her and her two sons then two and four leave the comfort of their homes to make this road trip. In this book Addie Zierman talks about the highlights of her trip but more Night DrivingA Story of Faith in the Darkby Addie ZiermanCrown PublishingConvergent BooksChristianPub Date Mar 15, 2016In February of 2014 the author decided to take a cross country trip from her home in Minnesota to Florida despite the fact that Minnesota was experiencing the coldest temperatures in a generation. For two weeks her and her two sons then two and four leave the comfort of their homes to make this road trip. In this book Addie Zierman talks about the highlights of her trip but more than that it underlies the moments of Faith in the dark,when she is not sure what is going to happen but somehow with the power of prayers that involve things like dead phones and a Mothers exhaustion she makes it through.This book highlights a physical journey,but deeper than that it speaks of a spiritual journey. The road trip became a faith growing process and allowed Addie to appreciate the things she had at home even more.I give Night Driving Five out of five stars...Happy Reading Friends
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  • Tanya Marlow
    January 1, 1970
    When We Were On Fire, Addie Zierman’s first book, was possibly the best Christian memoir I’ve ever read, so I had high hopes for her second book, and I wasn’t disappointed. How can you believe in God when you can’t feel God anymore, when your faith has gone dark? This is the question Addie wrestles with, as she takes a 3,000-mile road-trip down to Florida to escape the Minnesotan winter. (With two children in the car under the age of five). Addie is the master of spiritual memoir, and she not on When We Were On Fire, Addie Zierman’s first book, was possibly the best Christian memoir I’ve ever read, so I had high hopes for her second book, and I wasn’t disappointed. How can you believe in God when you can’t feel God anymore, when your faith has gone dark? This is the question Addie wrestles with, as she takes a 3,000-mile road-trip down to Florida to escape the Minnesotan winter. (With two children in the car under the age of five). Addie is the master of spiritual memoir, and she not only captures the relentlessness of winter and mothering two small children, but the loss of childhood faith, and the search for more. This is a must-read for anyone struggling with a dark night of the soul, or anyone feeling the weariness of parenthood. Funny, poignant, beautiful – I highly recommend it.
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