What Readers Say

“unflinchingly honest, heart-filled memoir”

Absolutism is a rhetoric of political convenience, a flashcard deck of judgments with Old Testament swiftness and certainty.

Blue collar, white collar, and the billionaire class. Urban and rural. Red state versus blue state. Fact and fable. Each term generates its own litany of forgivable and unforgivable sins. These absolutes efface our desire to understand—a yearning necessary for true intellectual growth and narrative, as Malcolm Heath notes in the introduction to his translation of Aristotle’s Poetics.   Read Full Review

~Amazon 5-Star Review

“Perfect Imperfection”

“Kelly Beard takes us by the hand and gently leads us into a dark and mysterious world. Troubling stories are handled with a deft touch – drawing us in but not forcing us to stare at the ugliness for too long. Her prose is bare in the best way, providing details that bring you into the room with an economy of language that keeps the story fresh. I could not put it down and eagerly await her next work.”

~Amazon 5-Star Review

“Powerful”

“Beard’s moving prose conveys the emotional and physical scarcity of her youth. Against the landscape of the Pacific Northwest, we follow her family’s wanderings and Kelly’s search for meaning in the midst of it all. We root for her.”

~Amazon 5-Star Review

“Very easy flowing read”

“Loved this. Well written and honest. I wanted it to continue to see where she went next!”

~Amazon 5-Star Review

“not your usual memoir—that’s a good thing.”

“Full disclosure: I got this book at the Decatur Book Festival (2018) because a dear friend wrote it. Even when dear friends write books, I rarely review them because of likely bias. This time, I don’t care. Kelly Beard has written an amazing memoir about growing up poor (not for lack of skill or hard work) and fundamentalist (to the point of “knowing” that beloved family members must be going to Hell) in the Far West, tracking from California to Montana.” 

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~Amazon 5-Star Review

“A beautifully written memoir of surviving an ugly childhood and becoming an amazing adult “

“Kelly eloquently expresses the horrors that often come with a fundamental denomination based on fear and filled with brutality and narrow-mindedness. Her tale of surviving poverty, violence and a cult-like religion to explore the world and her own terms is raw and real. And it is hopeful. Showing how she overcame shows that children are often resilient and while we can’t change the circumstances we were born into, we can make our future on our own terms. It also reminded me that when we see well-educated, well-traveled professional people we don’t always know their story! #MustRead”

~Amazon 5-Star Review 

Artistic, Complex, Yet Deceptively Easy to Read. An Important Book from a Courageous Writer.

“Often books can be classified into two general categories—mass market and art. Very rarely can a writer achieve both with one work, but that is exactly what Kelly Beard has done with her memoir An Imperfect Rapture. “My mother saw demons,” the author begins, describing herself as a little girl sitting at her mother’s feet during Bible Study. Then, pages later, Ms. Beard reveals that that same little girl “doesn’t know yet how the demons lurking beyond the table’s circumference will be nothing like she imagines.”  Read More

~Amazon 5-Star Review

“This is one of the absolute best books I have read in years – it is timely, it is timeless, and it is full of indirect directions of how to offer grace. “By indirections find directions out” – Shakespeare advised us through Polonius’ advice to Laertes – and in this time of political divisiveness, when hate hate hate seems to overwhelm kindness and moral turpitude, Beard demonstrates how to “to take arms against a sea of troubles” with a redemptive grace this world so, so desperately needs to learn.  Read More

~Amazon 5-Star Review

This book illustrates the importance of independent/small/university presses. You won’t find truth and beauty like this from the major publishing houses.”

~Amazon 5-Star Review

“Kelly is such a talented author and this captivating memoir is a riveting tale of her experience growing up in a Christian fundamentalist household compounded by American poverty. It’s hard to believe that this is happening all around us and she really brings the story to light in such an important way in this piece.”

~Amazon 5-Star Review 

“So many scenes from An Imperfect Rapture still play in my mind–more than a year after having completed this book! I think about the Palm Dessert heat. The narrator’s mother holding a bible study group in the shaded dining room. The young narrator hiding behind her mother’s skirts. Collecting coins to pay for groceries. Fried chicken cooking in the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon. The unspoken rage of poverty. The way that religious fundamentalism distorts this feeling of rage, pushing one to accept that which is unacceptable.”  Read More

~Amazon 5-Star Review

The beauty of a well-written memoir is that it tells more than just a story—it offers a snapshot of another’s life while simultaneously giving us a glimpse into ourselves; An Imperfect Rapture gives us that glimpse through the lives of a few kids growing up in a fundamentalist Christian home placed primarily in the desert towns of Southeastern California. Kelly J. Beard, the author and narrator, tells her memoir as the youngest of three kids attending the Desert Chapel with her family.  Read More

~Amazon 5-Star Review