A River Could Be a Tree
Told with warmth, humor, and a multitude of religious and philosophical insights, A River Could Be A Tree traces a seemingly impossible journey of faith, family and friendship.
How does a woman who grew up in rural Indiana as a fundamentalist Christian end up a practicing Jew in New York? Angela Himsel is the seventh of eleven children from a family that belonged to an evangelical branch of Christianity — the Worldwide Church of God. Strict adherence to the church’s tenets, which forbade make-up, medicine, and other demonic influences, was the only way for her to receive the Holy Spirit and live forever in God’s Kingdom.
In search of salvation, Angela decided at nineteen to study at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. But instead of strengthening her faith, she was introduced to a thrilling new world. And she began to think that maybe everything she had been taught was wrong. Both exciting and agonizing, those three words – maybe I'm wrong – set her on a completely different path. Ultimately, the connection to God she relentlessly pursued was found in the most unexpected place: a mikvah on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. This devout Christian girl found her own form of salvation—as a practicing Jewish woman.
“HER WRITING, WITH ITS BLEND OF REVERENCE AND IRREVERENCE AND DEEP BELIEF, IS REMINISCENT OF THE SPIRITUAL MEMOIRIST ANNE LAMOTT.”
THE JEWISH WEEK
"angela Himsel’s memoir of her conversion to Judaism is a beautiful read”
"AN INTRIGUING TALE OF ONE WOMAN’S SEARCH FOR IDENTITY AND COMMUNITY.”
"Candid and insightful. . ."
“…thoughtful and controlled…sympathetic and often moving.”
21 Best New Memoir Books to Read in 2019
“Fascinating, informative and well written…”
- THE JEWISH STANDARD
I highly recommend reading how Angela falls in love with being Jewish, being Orthodox, and finds the courage to act on her convictions.
“fluently written and tinged with wit”
"Told with warmth, humor, and a multitude of religious and philosophical insights, A River Could Be A Tree traces a seemingly impossible journey of faith, family and friendship."
- Gabrielle Selz, Author of Unstill Life
"Inspiring and brave, A River Could Be a Tree defines what we all need in some way—the freedom to discover our own unique path in life and the courage to choose it. Throughout Angela's journey of self-discovery and spiritual awakening, we recognize beauty in the uncertainty of life. Her ability to illuminate this is a true gift to her readers, and her story serves as a powerful reminder that we don’t have to settle for what is expected of us. We can all find pieces of ourselves reflected in this delightful memoir."
- Ruth Wariner, author of The New York Times bestseller, The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir