Alison Strobel: Story with a Side of Theology
As an author, it’s always been Alison Strobel’s aim to explore what faith looks like in the real world.
With her latest novel, The Heart of Memory, she explores the uncomfortable tension between reason and human emotion on the journey of faith. “My biggest desire was to make readers contemplate the tension between the heart and the mind/emotion and logic when it comes to faith,” the author shares. “The Postmodern church has, in my opinion, overemphasized the role of emotion, and I worry that there are a lot of Christians out there who think their emotions are a good judge of truth. The problem is, the Bible is full of truths that simply don’t sit well with us, because of our sinful nature. If we start judging them based on how they make us feel, we’re in a lot of trouble.”
In The Heart of Memory, the protagonist is a beloved Christian writer and speaker named Savannah Trover, who is only days away from undergoing a heart transplant. Coming to terms with how her personal faith drastically differs from what she’s always shared from the stage, Savannah vows to her change her ways. So after renewing her relationship with Christ before going under the knife, it’s a surprise to her when after surgery, she discovers her faith has left her altogether.
“In terms of what happens to Savannah after her transplant, the memoir of [another writer] Claire Sylvia—whose experience with cellular memories after a heart and lung transplant inspired me to write The Heart of Memory in the first place—played a big role in how I shaped Savannah’s journey,” Strobel says. “But it was also fun to give Savannah some of my own approaches to writing. She used the mind mapping program I sometimes use and her love of coffee shops as a writing environment is definitely drawn from my own preferences.”