Grace Period

Grace Period: My Ordination to the Ordinary by [Popham, Melinda Worth]THE BOOK: Grace Period: My Ordination to the Ordinary

PUBLISHED IN: 2017 new edition; 2015 original edition

THE AUTHOR: Melinda Worth Popham

PUBLISHER: iUniverse

SUMMARY: Grace Period recounts the spiritual journey launched by the break-up of the author’s marriage and her teenage daughter’s descent into an intractable depression that led her to an Ivy League seminary and to the discovery that pain is the Miracle Gro of spiritual growth.

THE BACK STORY: Writing is how I process my life. Grace Period is how I processed the barrage of painful life events that brought me to my knees and that led me, at age fifty-six, to Yale Divinity School, not in pursuit of ordination to ministry but quite simply to “my plain old ordinary sacred self.”

Melinda Worth PophamWHY THIS TITLE?: Several titles came and went over the thirteen (!) years I spent writing and rewriting it. The final title, Grace Period, came from an epiphany I had in a parking lot in New Haven when faced with a belligerent sign saying: “NO GRACE PERIOD! DON’T ASK!”

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: This is a book that makes spirituality accessible, user-friendly, and transformative. This is the book I urgently needed but never found when my fifteen-year-old daughter disappeared into the sinkhole of an intractable depression. A parent living through the anguish and anxiety of an adolescent child’s suicidal depression will glom onto Grace Period for solace and insight.


“Anyone who has suffered, or lives with a modicum of spiritual curiosity, will want to press this book into the hands of a friend.” —BlueInk Review (starred review)

“In this impeccably written memoir, Popham … proves herself a highbrow, refined spiritual sister to Anne Lamott.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A stunning spiritual autobiography and a work of profound discernment.” —Foreward Clarion Review (5-star review)

2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist

Featured in Publisher’s Weekly’s “Meet the Indie Stars of 2016”

AUTHOR PROFILE: Melinda Worth Popham earned a BA from the University of Chicago and MAs from Yale Divinity School and Stanford. Her previous book, Skywater, was named an American Library Association Notable Book and featured in Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers. She has two adult children and lives in Los Angeles where she is a spiritual director and retreat leader. This is Popham’s third book. She is currently at work on her next.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: Transformed people transform people. I hope my memoir speaks to or, better still, sparks the reader’s own metanoia—inner change.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: See the Amazon page.

WHERE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iUniverse.


Published by


Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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