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Can we find our way by losing ourselves? Prepare to fall in love with your life again, too.
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White Knuckle Love

A Memoir of Holding

Hi <<First Name>>,

April Stace, a happily-married thirty-five year-old mother, harpist, ordained pastor and aspiring tenure-track professor, thought she had finally “made it” when she accepted a dream job in New York City. Less than a year later, she found herself jobless, divorced, broke, and certain that she had failed in every way that mattered.

In a last-ditch effort to support herself and her son, she began training as a chaplain at an urban hospital. As she encountered death day after day, she began to wonder: what would it mean to fall in love with being alive again?

In White Knuckle Love, we encounter a spirit who learned to let go of the person she thought she should be in order to embrace life in unexpected places — hospital rooms, long subway commutes, a lesbian dance club, mundane moments of parenthood, and even in her own checkered past.

Can we find our way by losing ourselves?

Prepare to fall in love with your life again, too.

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Praise for White Knuckle Love

“White Knuckle Love is the book that countless spiritually traumatized people have been waiting for. April Stace shares an authentic narrative about finding God's presence in unlikely places—from a New York City subway to the dance floor of a lesbian bar—in order to remind readers to trust their holy intuitions and stay awake to the Divine. This book is part field guide, part operator's manual, and wholly needed in this moment.”
Jonathan Merritt, contributing writer to The Atlantic and author of Learning to Speak God from Scratch

“This story is full of all the things that ring true in great stories: struggle, joy, longing, honesty, faith, doubt, connection. This is the kind of faith writing we need more of.”
Shauna Niequist, New York Times best-selling author of Present Over Perfect

“April's writing does the impossible—she is able to write in a way that feels intensely personal and yet transcendent at the same time. She is an absolute truth teller, but where other authors tend to wield truth as a gateway to pain, April uses the truth to reveal the beauty of this world and God.”
Hillary Raining, author of Joy in Confession and Faith With a Twist

“You read some books to solve a problem or answer a question. You read some books to make you laugh or stave off boredom. But there are a very few remarkable books that help you feel more alive, that help you feel the bottomless depth of your heart, that make you feel like crying and you can't tell if it's for sadness or joy. This is one of those books. Don't miss it.”
Brian D. McLaren, author of Faith After Doubt

“Stace's story and the life-altering stories of everyone she meets gently remind that life is never without the company of being held and holding on, that suffering, heartache, solidarity, self-love, uncertainty, exposure, risk, and wonder are companions burrowing into one another, living in the same place, in the same bodies—feeling as hopeful or as harrowing as a grip.”
Oluwatomisin Oredein, Assistant Professor, Brite Divinity School

“Using language that cuts to the bone, White Knuckle Love takes us into the hospital room, the church board room, the streets of New York City, and into Stace's own vivid experience of a God who cannot be fully known, named, or tamed. There have always been religious leaders who are givers of answers—Stace shows how to be a keeper of beautiful, dangerous questions.”
Ken Evers-Hood, author of The Irrational David

About the Author

April Stace is on the faculty at The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church. She is the author of Secular Music, Sacred Space. She is a professor, pastor, musician, writer, and parent. She holds a Ph.D. in Religion and Culture from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. She’s worked as a hospital chaplain, as a pastor in large and small churches, and as a professor in undergraduate and graduate level institutions. She also spent years working as a professional harpist.

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