". . . TO BE IGNORANT OF CHRISTIANITY was to be ignorant of the underpinnings of our own worldview."
Maybe it’s because Klavan credits Wilkie Collins’ and The Woman in White (one of my personal favorites) for spurring him to jump wholeheartedly into the suspense genre or that Hitchcock was his Homer. Maybe it’s because Klavan deems his wife Ellen the first great good thing that happened to him. Simply put, this is no moralizing pulpit-pounder. I’m not sure there is a typical autobiography, but Klavan’s life is no cliche of rags to riches or a Damascus road vision, just the claim of a driven writer of decades.
Klavan begins with the thought of being American, not a Jewish American, Jew-ish. His family’s religion was full of expectations but not faith, “a godless Judaism.” His Long Island school years could have been ideal, but they weren’t. He escaped through his imagination, “to be what I pretended to be,” and suffered the reality of being the middle child, the one his father picked on.
By escapism, reading, the discovery of innate morality, reasoning, the true love of his wife, even the “prison of my own conceit,” Klavan comes to degrees of belief. He acknowledges that religion did matter: “I thought of it as a living myth.” Years pass as he slowly realizes that Jesus came to him through stories, through the stories of his Christian housekeeper, the gospel of Luke, even Crime and Punishment. This element is one of several that bring about his need for Christ. He most winningly describes how “a story records and transmits the experience of being human. It teaches us what it’s like to be who we are.” And that perhaps is what Klavan captures best—the reality of being human and being capable of choosing Jesus.
The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ by Andrew Klavan