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Erin Achane
The Believer
The Believer is a heart-wrenching and awe-inspiring story of Erin Yokum-Achane's personal evolution. Through these pages, you see her life's transformation from trial to tribulation: the murder of her first child, unexpectedly learning that she's carrying twins while in jail, a visitation from Jesus that reconnects her to her deep faith, and using her intelligence and grit to start three successful business from scratch. Unflinchingly she tells us her stories and what she's learned from each, helping us understand that we can overcome our challenges, especially when we have a firm foundation in faith. But what makes this memoir shine and stand above others is never once did Erin portray herself as a victim. At every turn, she found strength, with God's grace, along with endless tenacity, to improve her circumstances. The Believer will inspire you to stand up and cheer, not only for Erin but in your own life. Use the lessons she shares to help you deepen and transform your faith and have the courage to step into your own uplifting life.
“I needed something bigger than me,” Yokum-Achane writes early in this wrenching yet hopeful memoir. “Something that could make this right. I needed a Savior.” Opening with a raw account of the most devastating loss a parent can suffer, The Believer shares Yokum-Achane’s story not just of persevering in the face of grief, depression, indifferent bad boys, domestic violence, and jail, but also of discovering and holding fast to—and ultimately dedicating herself to—stirring that kind of faith in others, too. At her lowest moment—“A cement box. That’s jail in a nutshell”— and after fervent prayer Yokum-Achane felt herself in the presence of something holy. She writes: “‘Erin,’ it sang my name like a beautiful note. ’Why do you not believe my Word?’”

The story that follows finds her embracing what she calls a second chance, humbled and devoted, dedicated to Bible study , the work of “building a relationship with Christ Jesus,” and the understanding that “Jesus sees us as valuable. He did not die for trash; he did not die so we would be stressed out, depressed, and broke.” Such impassioned but conversational testimony powers the book, as Yokum-Achane recounts, in inviting prose, the work it took to put her life on track, including starting and building a medical billing business. She makes clear throughout that faith is no quick fix, and that it, like everything else in life, demands dedication.

In prison, her life is jolted by another revelation, too, when a prison nurse announces that Yokum-Achane’s pregnant with twin girls. Her love pulses through the book, and she writes movingly of parenting but also is quick to offer real talk (“having twins is the definition of exhaustion”). Her depiction of faith as an ongoing relationship where one must ask for forgiveness is powerful, and throughout the book she links her life stories (of loss, of complicated romantic relationships) to scripture and Biblical insights. This straight-talking memoir will appeal to Christian readers who relish stories of faith despite hardship.

Takeaway: Touching testimony of faith and perseverance in the face of the worst.

Comparable Titles: Debbye Turner Bell’s Courageous Faith, Jo Saxton’s The Dream of You.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A