Jennifer Finney Boylan, Author of
GOOD BOY and SHE’S NOT THERE
Gail Hovey’s memoir is harrowing and haunting. Searingly honest, full of terrible truths, She Said God Blessed Us shows us, in agonizing truth, the effects of sexual abuse in her church. Hovey’s story shines a light on a history some would prefer to remain untold—but in so doing, helps us all continue our search for justice, and for grace.
Elliot Long, Emmett Till Interpretive Center
In She Said God Blessed Us, Gail Hovey introduces us to a firebrand who confronts her world with a fierceness and determination to fight for change. As she participates in several of the pivotal social justice movements of our times, from the fight against American racism in the 1960s to the campaign to end South African apartheid in the decades that followed, Hovey grows to recognize how abuse of power also shaped her young life—abuse at the hands of her religious mentor. Wrenching and celebratory, Hovey’s memoir depicts a long struggle to move through guilt and pain toward a peace she can claim as her own.
Christine Burnett, Military Sexual Trauma Prevention and Response Program Manager, San Antonio, Texas
Gail Hovey’s memoir, She Said God Blessed Us: A Life Marked by Childhood Sexual Abuse in the Church is an inspiring and transformative story, brilliantly told. She takes the reader along deeply personal churns and turns, to reach powerful insights into life marked by childhood events. Gail’s imagery of the facets of violation, power, damage, as well as clarity, comfort and completion, echo familiar sentiments in the stories of military sexual trauma survivors I’ve heard, who seek a fit for events that don’t, in their heroic lives.
Serene Jones, President, Union Theological Seminary, New York City
Gail Hovey’s brave and honest book, She Said God Blessed Us: A Life Marked by Childhood Sexual Abuse in the Church, shows us that clergy who abuse can also be women. This beautiful and yet haunting book is a must read for anyone concerned with stopping cycles of violence in our churches and institutions.