Tattooed by Jesus by Bonnie Kae Lentz
with Patti Lacy and Angie Reedy
Amazon | Goodreads
Looking back at her life, Bonnie recognizes a hunger for spiritual things. Throughout the course of her mixed up life, she searches for something deeper in relationships with men, experimentation with drugs, and the darker spirit world of the occult. She and her husband Tom journey across the US looking for stability, peace, and hope. Ultimately it is an encounter with Jesus that changes Bonnie’s life forever.
The dark parts of Bonnie’s journey get pretty dark. She’s witnessed some brutal things and though the narrative is gentle, reading the memories evokes deep feeling. Yet it’s a story that so many who lived through the same decades will recognize. Their children will hear echoes of parents’ stories within it.
While many memoirs relay a valuable story, Lentz’s tale also tells it well. Not only are the events relayed in a meaningful way, but the people around Bonnie come to life in each scene. Strong narrative pulls one girl’s recollections together and stitches them into a more meaningful, focused whole. True peace, Lentz reveals, can only come through faith in and relationship with a loving God.
Heavy profanity used infrequently.
Bonnie very briefly tells of being molested as a girl. She’s specific about what happened but not graphic. It’s brief but intense and may be difficult for some readers. Later, she discusses her own sexual journey – no details, but mention of encounters with boyfriends, lovers and her husband. See violence section for more info.
Bonnie feels a pull toward spiritual things throughout the course of her life. At one point, she experiments with some witchcraft with two female roommates. Those experiences become really negative. Eventually she becomes a Christian and is moved to make several big life changes as well as finding her internal self irreversibly changed.
Bonnie grows up with an alcoholic father who becomes pretty monstrous when he’s drunk. She listens to him brutalize her mother and rape her. (We realize what he’s doing through his ignoring her refusal and some references to sounds that indicate sex, things like that.)
Bonnie’s father is an alcoholic. She begins experimenting with drugs herself, and particularly develops a fondness for marijuana, which she smokes often over a number of years.