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Featured Book: Jia Apple’s Oft Made to Wonder


Jia Apple’s Oft Made to Wonder is not for the faint-of-heart reader. Dozens of memoirs have been written which transpose into the key of “nice,” that end up declaring, “and they all lived happily ever after.” I avoid those memoirs. I prefer the “Oh my God!!!” memoir. As I read, I thought Jia Apple was holding up a mirror and saying, “Look at your own family narrative” especially for those who grew up among the holiness. I, too, have been “oft made to wonder” who I would be had I not grown up in a “holiness” tradition. Reading about Jia’s parents, family and church stirred raw memories along the corridors of my soul. Jia Apple is a survivor extraordinaire! Others—too many others—have not survived such a childhood and adolescence.

Oft Made to Wonder is not a one-read memoir. Rereading it, in order to write this endorsement, although knowing what was coming on the next page, in the next chapter, still ambushed me. Am I glad I read Oft Made to Wonder? I am. Jia’s writing is a witness, much needed, asserting that one can survive the unimaginable, the indefensible. God—the real God—devises ways to bring the wounded home to his heart. Jia’s honesty and diligence in confronting memories and wrestling words and memories onto pages, is what someone—many someones—need to read today. Jia’s courageous hope captured on these pages will touch lives beyond her knowledge.

Harold Ivan Smith, DMIN, FT 21 November 2017
Olathe, Kansas

About the Author


Jia Apple is a lifelong fine artist, muralist and new author. She is a native of Indiana and currently resides in Colorado with her wife. She attended Olivet Nazarene University and has a permanent exhibit at the University. Although drawing and painting have been her primary focus she has found a new passion sculpting words. To date she has completed a collection of poetry, various short stories and a memoir covering the early years of her life as the eighth born child of ten children. In this memoir she speaks about the challenges of being the daughter of a schizophrenic mother and an abusive father set in an extreme Midwest religious environment. She is currently working on a novel.

You can find her on her website and Twitter.


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