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Publisher's Summary

Written with humor and personality, this debut memoir recounts a woman's spiritual quest of experiencing thirty religions before her thirtieth birthday. Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome is for questioners, doubters, misfits, and seekers of all faiths, and tackles the universal struggle to heal what life has broken.

On her twenty-ninth birthday, while guests were arriving downstairs, Reba Riley was supposedly upstairs getting dressed. In actuality, she was slumped on the floor sobbing about everything from the meaning of life to the pile of dirty laundry on the floor.

Life without God was crashing in on her. And she was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. She uttered a desperate prayer, and then the idea came to her—thirty by thirty. And thus she embarked on a year-long quest to experience thirty religions by her thirtieth birthday. During her spiritual sojourn, Riley:

  • Was interrogated about her sex life by Amish grandmothers
  • Disco danced in a Buddhist temple
  • Fasted for thirty days without food—or wine
  • Washed her lady parts in a mosque bathroom
  • Was audited by Scientologists
  • Learned to meditate with an urban monk
  • Snuck into a Yom Kippur service with a fake grandpa in tow
  • And finally discovered she didn't have to choose a religion to choose God

In a debut memoir that is funny and earnest, Riley invites questioners, doubters, misfits, and curious believers to participate in the universal search to heal what life has broken. Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome takes you by the hand and reminds you that sometimes you first have to be lost in order to be found.

©2015 Reba Riley. All rights reserved. (P)2015 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Couldn't get past the first chapter.

Most authors shouldn't narrate their own books and this is a perfect example. Reba Riley tries too hard. Material that might have been funny if performed by a professional comes across as cloying and self-conscious. Five minutes in I gave up and switched to the radio.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Life. Changing.

Oh Reba ...

My adolescence was the complete opposite of yours. My amazing father, who is also my best friend, is an Aethiest. The rest of my family is Christian, but nobody has a strong pull to any particular style. I had been to church MAYBE five times by the time I was 18.

Yet, I felt you wrote your book for me. I have been struggling recently. I tried Christian churches on and off through my twenties, became Catholic at 30 to marry my husband, and found myself crying at the alter of mega churches amidst my “almost” divorce in 2012.

I’ve always been looking for something and I could never figure out what it was. I like church, a lot; however I always felt like I was betraying my true self by going to a church knowing that I believed very, very little of the Bible. It made me feel like a fraud.

Your book made me laugh and cry and realize that I can embrace a life with God without selling my soul to a religion I cannot embrace. I am not there yet, but you made me see that it is indeed possible.

Thank you for this. Thank you thank you thank you. I will be going on my own quest thanks to you, so lookout religious institutions of Metro Detroit! I’m coming to hear what you have to say. ❤️

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Love Love Love this Book!

one of the few books that was enhanced by the reading of the author. As a Christian, I needed to hear this book and will think of it often. It is amazing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Made me laugh - and cry - and laugh again

For those of us that struggle with our raisin', this book is a literal godsend. The author's fascinating journey was as touching as it was sweetly hilarious. It was wonderfully narrated and so very heartfelt. I couldn't stop listening until I finished it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Worth the read/listen. Two thumbs up!

The young woman who wrote (and recorded this) took on a lot of hard work, which I personally appreciate as it has opened some doors of hope for me.

The journey she writes about is interesting to follow along with, and she relays it with enough humor to keep it enjoyable, believable and worthy of investing your time.

I wish I had the courage and commitment to do a 30 by 30- of course, I'm almost 20 years late on the 'by 30' part.

Great job Reba!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Pondering

although i appreciate the stuggle Reba went through I stuggled with some of her ideas.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful story and well read

This is a beautiful true story about someone's spiritual and physical journey. It is beautifully written and beautifully told. It is well worth the credit. It provides powerful insight about spiritual injury and spiritual healing. And in the in it is a blessing of hope.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Compelling, authentic, hopeful

I didn't think I would ever meet someone who shared such a similar experience as me! (I felt like I met Reba). I can't express how affirmed and comforted yet challenged this book made me feel. Trusting my own spiritual process, which doesn't fit into the tidy theology that I grew up in, has been difficult. I have taken risks and expanded my experience of God outside of what many I have grown up with have done. This book helps me to know that it is worth the risk in order for my faith to be restored and authentically mine.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Meh...

I found this hard to listen to. I understand some of the author's glibness was intentional but it came across less funny and more shallow. Also, the narrator's enunciation and pitch needs work. I may have enjoyed it more with a more professional narrator.

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Wonderful

Reba, I loved your book! Hoping to have my own awakening as well. Thank you for sharing.