Wishful Thinking

How I Lost My Faith and Why I Want to Find It


By Donna Freitas

Formats and Prices




$35.00 CAD

Donna Freitas wants to believe.

Raised Catholic, she sang songs about Jesus as a child and lived in a house where nuns and priests were regular guests, yet she found herself questioning the faith of her family, examining the reasons none of it added up, and distancing herself from the God of Christianity.

Despite her questions—or perhaps because of them—she made a career out of trying to understand God, pursuing a PhD in religion. But even as she taught college students about mystics, theologians, and others who wrestled with God, she was never able to embrace a faith of her own.

In this searingly honest and deeply personal book, Freitas retraces her roundabout path up and out of the wilderness toward hope, and her dogged—and ongoing—search for faith. She talks about her experience with the Catholic abuse scandal, about being embraced as a speaker at evangelical colleges, about how the death of her mother and the loss of her marriage made her question everything she thought she knew about love, how she cannot reconcile the ways the concept of God makes absolutely no sense, and how she cannot stop trying to believe, despite it all.

Real, raw, and beautifully written, Wishful Thinking is a powerful story about the author’s search for belief in God and about finding God in the most unexpected places.

  • “Donna writes about all the difficult things in life — accidents, illness, break-ups, abuse — in her signature incisive style using words to slash scenes into being, carving feelings out of vowels, and connecting us through what she calls ’the magic of writing…' Soulful and sparse, her prose cuts right to the core. I truly appreciate Donna’s candor, bravery, and openness in her latest fabulous read.”
    Zibby Owens, author of Blank and Bookends; host of the podcast Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books; CEO of Zibby Media
  • "A beautiful exploration of what it really means to find ourselves—and faith—when it seems like all hope is lost."
    Amy B. Scher, author of This is How I Save My Life
  • "Anyone who ever struggled with the longing for a faith they left behind will be grateful for this radiantly wise memoir by Donna Freitas, who brings a piercing clarity and hard-won joy to her radically honest appraisal of the gifts and the burdens of belief.”
    Carlene Bauer, author of Girls They Write Songs About
  • "Donna Freitas writes with a lucid, searching honesty. Wishful Thinking is a colorful memoir of a Catholic childhood, and what came after…This is a book for anyone who wonders how--even long after one has left the religious tradition of one's origins--it continues to leave its imprint in surprising ways."
    Rene Steinke, author of Friendswood

On Sale
Mar 26, 2024
Page Count
256 pages
Worthy Books

Donna Freitas

About the Author

Donna Freitas has written more than twenty books, both fiction and nonfiction, for adults, children, and young adults. Among them are Consent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention (Little, Brown), Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance & Religion on College Campuses (Oxford University Press), and The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano (Viking/Penguin), which has been translated into 20 languages. She has written for The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, and appeared on radio and television from NPR’s All Things Considered to CNN and The Today Show. Donna loves cooking, spending time with her friends, and eating. She and her husband split their time between Barcelona and Brooklyn.

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