It was with some interest that I read Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: A Memoir of Sorts, as titles go this was very intriguing. In this book Ian Cron writes about his experience of growing up with an alcoholic father who worked for the CIA, and how that affected his spiritual journey.
Ian’s father was at times a Hollywood big shot, a businessman, an undercover CIA agent. But most significantly for this book, he was an alcoholic. And it was that which blighted Cron’s childhood from a very early stage. As one of his chapter heading quotes puts it:
“Alcoholism isn’t a spectator sport. Eventually the whole family gets to play. (Joyce Rebeta-Burditt)”
Whilst not everyone’s dad works for the CIA, sadly many children grew up with alcoholic parents. Cron describes his entirely dysfunctional and unconventional family and childhood without getting sentimental or melodramatic. Throughout this journey we see the interlinking with his faith, from his first communion as a schoolboy, to his rejection of faith as he grew up, through to his unlikely regaining of it in college and his own struggle with alcoholism during his college years and beyond.
The book is quite moving, reading the deep emotional struggles of someone trying to gain the love and affection of their father. But in the midst of this we see a loving God involved in various circumstances rescuing him from his past.
It is a deeply profound book that I’d particularly encourage young men to take the time to read.
(I received this book as part of the Thomas Nelson BookSneeze blogger programme.)