In the End

A Memoir about Faith and a Novel about Doubt

Karie Luidens and Left Field Publishers

4/30/20241 min read

Part memoir, part novel, In the End offers a kaleidoscopic portrait of God as seen through the eyes of a child.

Christianity was the author's birthright: she is the daughter of a pastor, granddaughter of missionaries, and so on for generations. In her earliest memories, God feels like a member of the family, bearing a promise of eternal life in heaven.

But as she ventures beyond the parsonage, the world complicates those simple beliefs. The God of her understanding evolves from father figure to invisible friend to painfully unrequited love-and when she attempts to fortify her faith through study, doubts only multiply.

The greatest doubt of all eventually consumes her young mind: one day we will die, and what then?

In an ambitious quest to understand both her own childhood and the nature of all existence, Karie Luidens employs a mind-bending blend of genres, with evocative prose slipping from fact to fiction in pursuit of truth. Her story wends from village life to the streets of Paris, reviving long-dead philosophers for urgent conversations along the way. Themes of gender, sexuality, embodiment, and naive white saviorism ripple beneath the surface throughout.

In the End combines the intellectual rigor of the philosophical novel Sophie's World with the poignancy of the fictionalized memoir Blankets. Ultimately, by interrogating her Christian heritage and confronting the specter of mortality, Luidens realizes a vision that is entirely her own.