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Extended Audio Sample Amen, Amen, Amen: Memoir of a Girl Who Couldnt Stop Praying (Among Other Things), by Abby Sher Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (349 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Abby Sher Narrator: Abby Sher Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Until the age of ten, comedian and writer Abby Sher was a happy child in a fun-loving, musical family. When her father and favorite aunt pass away, Abby fills the void of her loss with rituals: kissing her father’s picture over and over each night, washing her hands and counting her steps, and collecting sharp objects that she thinks could harm innocent pedestrians. Then she begins to pray. At first she repeats the few phrases she remembers from synagogue, but by the time she is in high school, Abby is spending hours locked in her closet, urgently reciting a series of incantations and pleas. The prescribed patterns from which she cannot deviate become her shelter and her obsession.

In college, Abby is diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, and while it helps explain the counting and kissing and collecting, she resists rationalizing her deepest obsession, certain that her prayers are not an illness but the cure. Unable to confront the fears that drive her, she descends into darker compulsions, cutting and starving herself, measuring every calorie and each incision. But even in the darkest moments of her illness, there are glimmers of laughter and hope, for she carries the irrepressible spirit and passion that are so much a part of her family. Ultimately, it is another loss—the death of her mother—that compels Abby to redefine the terms of her illness and her faith, freeing her to live and love more fully.

Full of heartbreak, buoyant with humor, and marked by exceptionally vivid storytelling, Amen, Amen, Amen is a brilliant account of soul-searching, self-discovery, and the bounds and boundlessness of obsession and devotion.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Elvia | 2/15/2014

    " This book is a memoir about a woman suffering through OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Often we joke about real psychological illnesses. We'll comment and say, "That's my OCD talking." This young woman copes with the deaths of members in her family through discovering that repetition of prayers will soothe her. The question becomes then, "Does she pray because she has OCD or does she pray out of faith?" It is a question in which she doesn't share with the world (until the book was written) this faith that seems to overpower her. She doesn't want it open for criticism. I admire the way she manages to be so open and honest in her writing. So far it has been an interesting read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Heidi | 2/1/2014

    " I got impatient with this book, and I'm glad I'm finally done. It started out as an interesting memoir of a girl who developed OCD as a child after her father died. As she grew older, it devolved into self-indulgent navel-gazing from a woman who has clearly had too much therapy. OCD took a back seat to her boyfriend issues and career longings. (Yes, I did kind of wish that Abby was a little more mentally ill and a little less normal, just so I could be more entertained. Is that bad?) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Annie | 1/13/2014

    " Loved this book....could not put it down "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Maegan Blackwell | 11/30/2013

    " Abby Sher tells her story of how she lives with OCD. Recommended by Sno-Isle Libraries. "

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About the Author
Author Abby Sher

Abby Sher is the author of the young adult novel Kissing Snowflakes. Her writing also appears in the anthologies Modern Love and Behind the Bedroom Door, as well as in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Self, Jane, Elle, and Redbook. She has written and performed for the Second City in Chicago, the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, and the Magnet Theater in New York, and she has appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. She performs improvisation regularly and does voice-over work for television and radio. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.