Patricia Raybon on the HOPE of Reconciliation and Love
Patricia Raybon is no stranger to confessional writing, such as the case of her first book, My First White Friend (1997, Penguin). With transparency and honesty, she opens the book with, “God help me. I stopped hating white people on purpose about a year ago.” In I Told the Mountain to Move: Learning to Pray So Things Change (2006, SaltRiver), she ponders the state of her marriage and other very personal matters. Raybon creates conversations based on the controversial, race and now religion (more specifically interfaith relationships and family). Her latest book, Undivided: A Muslim Daughter, Her Christian Mother, Their Path to Peace (2015, Thomas Nelson) continues in that vein.
Raybon co-authored Undivided with daughter Alana Raybon, a Muslim convert raised in the Christian faith. Each delicately tells her side to a painful yet victorious story of disappointment, communication and a love that reconciles.
Patricia writes, “Maybe she can tell me something different. About her faith. Her choice. Her life. That place, that spot, that landscape in her soul that receives her God. And maybe, this time, I will listen. Listen with love? Yes, I can try.”
Patricia Raybon testifies with poignancy and tenderness from the deepest part within—the mother’s part that yearns to be reconciled with her daughter.
Undivided is a shared memoir of a difficult time for both mother and daughter. The ending is pretty obvious, but the journey to healing is reason to read the book.
The hope of Undivided is that it can offer valuable insight into healing familial division of almost any type: race, religion and even sexual orientation. If for no other reason, Undivided is important to having the difficult conversations required to reconcile.