He Loves Me, He Loves Me NOT, a memoir of finding faith, hope, and happily ever after by Trish Ryan (review / ruminations)

TrishWhen I first read the book jacket on He Loves Me, He Loves Me NOT (HLMHLMN), I thought I was in for some light-hearted chick lit or a God on a Harley type ride. Trish Ryan’s desperate hubby hunt turned faith quest ended up far more meaningful than finding Prince Charming.

Spirituality/Religion can be a heavy topic and can put many a reader on the defense, but Trish reveals her journey with such candor and humor, I, for one, walked away appreciating her process. 

In her twenties, Trish threw around the common disclaimer that she was “spiritual, but not religious.” She embraced everything from A Course in Miracles, astrology, tarot cards, feng shui, crystals, chakras, Native American spirituality–you name it, she tried it. If she hadn’t already made her choice, you better bet, Trish would be first in line to buy Oprah’s Book Club pick, Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose.  With painful self-dissection and heartache, all that changed…

Even if you’re not exploring enlightenment, you can glean clarity from Trish’s memoir. I appreciate her willingness to allow us a glimpse into her spiritual and psychological trenches–she admits her insecurities and speaks openly about the dreaded “D-word,” depression. Don’t be detered–HLMHLMN is by no means a downer. Think Sex in The City meets Women of Faith  ~ Trish’s relentless self-effacing humor inspires quick page turning.

I doubt we’ll find many people, especially women, who won’t find themselves relating to Trish, at least on some level. She reminds me of our tendency to project our ideals onto our latest man crush–the biggest trap we can set for ourselves. Instead of seeing others–specifically, prospective mates–for what they truly are, we throw our notions of perfection at them in hopes they’ll stick, so we’ll finally find our elusive soul mate glazed in shiny flawlessness. Then, “Life Happens,” and inevitably things heat up and that glaze begins to melt, slowly dripping off to reveal the faulty individual underneath…and we’re left with our disappointment wondering “What happened? Why did THEY change? I appreciate Trish’s comitment to digging deep in HLMHLMN to determine that the hole she thought she could fill with a man truly could not be satiated by someone of this world.

I must admit, I was left wanting her to explore just a bit more:

  1. WHY she had such a deep sense of insecurity in the first place ~ From her account, she comes from a strong Catholic in-tact loving family–anything BUT dysfunctional compared to today’s standards–so where does this deep internal abyss originate? Without God, does that unfillable hole reside in us all? 
  2. Like Trish, in my twenties, I fell into the trap of thinking my boyfriend could complete me . On page 26 of HLMHLMN she admits: Dating Josh marked an evolution for me: it was my first experience with lying about who I was and what I wanted, of guessing what a guy wanted and then pretending to be eactly that.” That was me. I didn’t know myself or what I wanted and I thought finding a guy would fill that void–in was unconscious, unintentional. After reading HLMHLMN, I found myself wanting Trish to explore her own individual passions and purpose apart from her quest for landing a man. Hmmm, maybe visiting her website will provide those answers. You can also visit Trish’s Forty Days of Faith website.

Just a sidenote:  As a young twenty-something “yankee,” living very much like Trish–very defensive to condescending “Christianese.” I had a number of Born Agains hit me with well-intended phrases like “Don’t you want to be washed in the blood of the lamb?” and “My heart is burdened for your salvation” ~ Huh? That, quite frankly, felt far from loving–only sanctimonious–and turned me OFF from Christianity. It’s no wonder Christianity gets a bad rap these days. Conversely, I think Trish does a superb job of articulating the Christian tenets in a nonthreatening conversational tone–very much like a discussion you may have with a nonjudgmental loving girlfriend. Admittedly, I’ve lived in the southern Bible Belt for nearly fifteen years now and embrace the Christian perspective, so maybe I’m immune at this point, but I’d be interested to hear how you receive Trish’s message.

What are your impressions? Let’s start a conversation…

Bottom line: HLMHLMN obviously evokes much introspection. I recommend it and would love to hear your thoughts on the book and the points I’ve raised in this post.

Call (206) 309-7318 or leave a comment below to share! I have one copy of HLMHLMN that I’ll throw in the giveaway hat…Let me know if you want to be entered to win or click the link below and buy NOW.

There Are 17 Responses So Far. »

  1. Enjoyed the comments and the book sounds so good

  2. Hi, I really enjoyed reading your take on Trish’s book! I went and visited both of her sites! It has long been my belief that until we like ourselves, we will never be happy or be able to truly love another human being. I didn’t get married until I was 30. My husband is 7 years younger than me. We just celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary. I can see how searching for a mate could lead to a stronger faith. I had two friends who when they turned 30 panicked because they weren’t married, yet. It is my belief that they “settled!” I had kissed a few frogs in my life and was quite happy being single until I met someone that complimented my being. All of this is quite interesting. I would enjoy reading her book. Thanks, Cindi

  3. I just found this website and read everything I could. I love how everyone who gave their response was so different and yet so alike.
    This maybe a good book to give as an anniversary gift. 🙂

  4. I have found my man; now I am working on my spirituality. This book could provide some insight for whomever it finds a home with, hopefully me! Thank you for the chance to win!

  5. As a Christian, I loved her writing! She speaks from the heart and seems to have found something very real. I’d love to read the book!

  6. looks like something after 25 yrs of marriage I would still love to read

  7. I would love to read this story. It sounds like a book written from her heart.

  8. I just found your website, and it is so interesting! I would really like to win the book. I am still looking for my “Mr. Right!”

  9. Please enter me to win. Thanks!

  10. lol to all

  11. Wooo Hooo Make me a winner!

  12. Include me, please.


  14. I read the book and it was very well written. I loved her honesty and humour. I would recommend it to anyone.

  15. Sounds like a good book. I love a combination of a little romance, a little spirituality. Please enter me in the giveaway and thanks for offering it.

  16. this sounds great

  17. I think it sounds like a wonderful book. One I would love to read. Please enter me and thanks.

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