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God Spare the Girls: A Novel (Paperback)

God Spare the Girls: A Novel Cover Image
Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now


"Read it for twists on twists, meditations on faith, and a deeply thoughtful treatment of an evangelical community."  — Glamour, Beach Reads That Are Like Summer in a Book

“A thoughtful and candid meditation on faith, family, and forgiveness . . . fabulous.” —Claire LombardoNew York Times bestselling author of The Most Fun We Ever Had 

Recommended by Good HousekeepingElle, Parade, Real Simple, Glamour, Refinery29, Bustle, Oprah DailyThe Millions, Shondaland, Yahoo!, Literary Hub, and more!

A mesmerizing debut novel set in northern Texas about two sisters who discover an unsettling secret about their father, the head pastor of an evangelical megachurch, that upends their lives and community—a story of family, identity, and the delicate line between faith and deception.

Luke Nolan has led the Hope congregation for more than a decade, while his wife and daughters have patiently upheld what it means to live righteously. Made famous by a viral sermon on purity co-written with his eldest daughter, Abigail, Luke is the prototype of a modern preacher: tall, handsome, a spellbinding speaker. But his younger daughter Caroline has begun to notice the cracks in their comfortable life. She is certain that her perfect, pristine sister is about to marry the wrong man—and Caroline has slid into sin with a boy she’s known her entire life, wondering why God would care so much about her virginity anyway.

When it comes to light, five weeks before Abigail’s wedding, that Luke has been lying to his family, the entire Nolan clan falls into a tailspin. Caroline seizes the opportunity to be alone with her sister. The two girls flee to the ranch they inherited from their maternal grandmother, far removed from the embarrassing drama of their parents and the prying eyes of the community. But with the date of Abigail’s wedding fast approaching, the sisters will have to make a hard decision about which familial bonds are worth protecting.

An intimate coming-of-age story and a modern woman’s read, God Spare the Girls lays bare the rabid love of sisterhood and asks what we owe our communities, our families, and ourselves.

“A deeply felt book about love — love for family and community, for people who sustain you and people who disappoint you. And love for God, too, which Kelsey McKinney writes about with humane and incisive frankness.”—Linda Holmes, New York Times bestselling author of Evvie Drake Starts Over

“The accomplishment of this canny novel is in positing coming of age itself as a loss of faith—not only in the church, but in our parents, our family, and the world as we thought we understood it.” — Rumaan Alam, New York Times bestselling author of Leave the World Behind and Rich and Pretty

About the Author

KELSEY McKINNEY is a freelance features writer and cofounder of Defector Media. She previously worked as a staff writer at Vox, Fusion, and Deadspin. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, GQ, Cosmopolitan, and New York magazine, among other publications. Raised Evangelical in north Texas, she now lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and dog. God Spare the Girls is her first novel.

Praise For…

“[A] tender, aching debut . . . where faith and betrayal are intertwined.”
Elle, The 55 Most Anticipated Books Of 2021

"Kelsey McKinney’s debut is a timely exploration of the moral contradictions of contemporary Evangelical Christianity. But the accomplishment of this canny novel is in positing coming of age itself as a loss of faith—not only in the church, but in our parents, our family, and the world as we thought we understood it."
Rumaan Alam, New York Times bestselling author of Leave the World Behind and Rich and Pretty

"Every family has its secrets. . . . God Spare the Girls is an exploration of individuality, family, religion, community, and how when one family secret is revealed, many more follow."
Oprah Daily, 33 of the Best Beach Reads to Help You Escape

"God Spare the Girls by Kelsey McKinney is a fascinating look at the moment in a young woman’s life when she starts to forge an identity separate from her family’s."
Real Simple, The Best New Books to Read in 2021

“McKinney is a strong and compelling storyteller and has crafted a captivating small town world full of gossip and intrigue. God Spare the Girls beautifully explores the challenges of young womanhood in the context of a religion that has its own very strict ideas about what it means to be a good daughter, sister, and wife. Above all else, God Spare the Girls is a touching and powerful story of a bond between two sisters navigating a world and life they never chose. It is a beautifully rendered spin on classic coming-of-age tales, with the characters navigating intricate layers of relationships with themselves, with each other and with their faith.”
Associated Press

"God Spare the Girls is an incandescent novel. The book is a clear-eyed breathtaking exploration of sisterhood, faith and love and loss. McKinney broke my heart a million times with her beautiful and unflinching exploration of two sisters caught in a repressive world of religion and even more repressive love. I couldn't put it down. I found myself lost in the world of Texas heat and the fires of faith. McKinney's world is both familiar and engrossing, compelling and poignant. God Spare the Girls is a dazzling debut."
Lyz Lenz, author of Belabored and God Land

"This coming-of-age debut about sisterhood, faith, community, and Evangelical Christianity is sure to delight."
The Millions, Most Anticipated of June

"Compelling . . . Both a coming-of-age book and an examination of belief, identity, and family, God Spare the Girls is unflinching and entrancing, and a reminder of the dangers of blind faith, but also the power of love."
Refinery29, 38 Books You’ll Want To Read This Summer

"The writing is evocative, and McKinney masterfully captures the nuanced dynamics of sisterhood. I wish it had been 10 times longer."
The Atlantic Daily

"Kelsey McKinney’s debut novel asks a difficult question: Why does God’s love often feel more conditional when it comes to women? . . . With a story about family, womanhood, and the question of goodness, readers will not be able to put God Spare the Girls down."
Shondaland, The 5 Best Books for June 2021
Product Details
ISBN: 9780063020269
ISBN-10: 0063020262
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: May 10th, 2022
Pages: 320
Language: English

by Dr. Radut