Having grown up in a Mississippi Southern Baptist church, it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I saw the secret double lives of some of us. Rebelling against the submit-to-authority messages on Saturday night, but sitting pious and submissive come Sunday morning services was de rigueur. Deesha Philyaw’s book The Secret Lives of Church Ladies gives voice to secret lives that I know for sure are lived and true. The need for acceptance, for absolution, for grace is ever-present in familiar relationships as well as those in the church. These short stories are divine.
The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw (List Price: $18.99, West Virginia University Press, 9781949199734, 9/1/2020)
Reviewed by Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia