I approached Lisa De Pasquale’s new book Finding Mr. Righteous with some trepidation. Ann Coulter referred to it as “a true Christian story disguised as racy chick lit.” The reader reviews on Amazon contained phrases like “gets to the inner workings of the mind of an insecure young woman” and “as [if] she was writing about my loving and sexual past.” Our own David Swindle called it “a time bomb waiting to explode.” I thought, ohhhhhh boy. But when David personally recommended it to me, I figured it must be a good read.
Lisa didn’t disappoint. It seems a little weird to refer to her by her first name, since doing so goes against everything you learn about how you’re supposed to write, but after reading Finding Mr. Righteous and talking to her a little about it on Twitter, I feel like I’ve known her for a long time.
Finding Mr. Righteous jumps in to Lisa’s romantic and sexual life with gusto. She never pulls any punches when it comes to her experiences. Situations get steamy from time to time, but I never felt like I was on the verge of being offended. This is no creepy confessional or salacious tell-all — it’s a memoir of a mature woman telling it like it is, warts and all. More often than not, I’d finish a chapter thinking, so that’s what women think about men.
Lisa is a keen judge of human nature as well. She provides astute glimpses behind the facades of the men she’s dated. She offers plenty of fascinating observations like:
Chris was a cat person. But having one view wasn’t enough for him. He had to denigrate the opposing view. Chris’s cat versus dog views were like his views on religion. It wasn’t enough to just accept that some people are religious and some people are not. You had to be an atheist or true believer. And if you were a true believer, you were ignorant.
More than anything else, Lisa displays remarkable honesty and self-awareness. I’d think twice (or a thousand times) before revealing my own insecurities like she does here. Many times I found myself wanting to reach out to her and relieve those struggles in some way. I wanted to say, “Lisa, I’m here. I’m single, and I’ll treat you right.” She writes in a way that generates empathy like few other authors I’ve read.
The most encouraging part of Finding Mr. Righteous is Lisa’s journey of faith. She runs the gamut from nominal Christian to atheist to eager believer in the course of the narrative. She acknowledges how her growing connection with God helps her keep all her other relationships in perspective:
I also thanked God for His forgiveness and patience with me. Even in my darkest moments of defiance, He didn’t leave me. He showed me who I should be and that my focus should be on Him. When I put God in the forefront so many of my insecurities and anxieties about men seemed to fall away.
One of my favorite scripture verses is the first half of Proverbs 28:1, which reads, “The righteous are bold as a lion…” By the end of Finding Mr. Righteous, I discovered just how well that verse applies to Lisa. I put the book — well, my iPad — down satisfied and encouraged. Lisa De Pasquale has a lot to say and possesses a strong talent. I can’t wait to see what else she has up her sleeve.