Book Review: Metanoia: A memoir of a body, born again

Simon Hill
December 23, 2020

Anna McGahan

Book review by Simon Hill

What is the book about?

This book tells Anna’s story, an aspiring actor who is successful at many things but at the same time unsuccessful at others, and rather insecure—all the way to meeting God in Jesus.

The story is told in sections, which aptly give us the flow of Anna’s understanding of her own body and the human body more generally.

A few of the headings (there are seven in total), which stand out include:

  • The body as a Market Place
  • The body as a Sanctuary
  • The body as a Bride

What was enjoyable about reading this book?

It is a powerful, honest, and raw story which shows us Jesus and the goodness of his community in beautiful ways. If we are honest with ourselves, don’t we all want some type of success that secures us? Towards others and within ourselves? And our physical bodies are so much part of how we market ourselves in and to the world. So, this book was enjoyable as it wrestled with these ideas, in our

modern context of the body, beauty and sexuality.

A favourite quote in the context of a redeemed body, McGahan writes:

“God had made himself at home and called that home ‘good’.”

Brickbats and bouquets

Bouquet: This book was nominated for both the 2020 ECPA Christian Book Award (a global award) and the 2020 Australian Christian Book of the Year.

Who would like to read the book?

Anyone interested in genuine self reflection, but probably not for younger teenagers.

Simon Hill - Simon enjoys thinking and writing about theology, particular seeing it become practical. His academic and professional experience has been in engineering, theology and ministry. 

Additional Summer Reading Guide Book Reviews

Stay Salt: The World Has Changed, our Message must not, Rebecca Manley Pippert. Review by Bec Giuliani

Eleanor Oliphant is completely Fine, Gail Honeyman. Review by Susan Harris

The Zookeeper's Wife, Diane Ackerman. Review by Craig Broman

Ministry of a Messy House, Amanda Robbie. Review by Susan Harris

Recent Posts

November 23, 2022
Churches Urged to Fill the Mental health Gap

Anne Lim reports on the presentation of senior clinical psychologist Gavin Brown, at a recent online mental health summit. "Brown was one of a panel of church leaders, mental health practitioners, lived-experience advisers, and theologians who led over 100 participants from across the country in a conversation about how churches can respond to Australia’s mental […]

Read More
November 23, 2022
How Do I Pray the Bible?

In this podcast and short audio transcript, John Piper explains the importance and value of praying from Scripture. He gives a clear explanation of ways to do this using biblical examples. This provides a helpful guide to the practice of praying the Bible. "If we don’t form the habit of praying the Scriptures, our prayers […]

Read More
November 21, 2022
Making the Christian Life More Complicated than it Needs to Be

This short article provides a wise reflection for living each day as a Christian. Tim Challies reminds us that in every situation, whether good or bad, God has purpose for us all. "There is no circumstance in which God has nothing for us to do, no situation in which we cannot be faithful to his […]

Read More