A Leaf In a Stream: Surviving Childhood, Catholicism, Conscription, Career and Cancer (2018)
Nonfiction, 228 pages, $14.95
By Richard Sonnichsen
Author Dick Sonnichsen has had and interesting journey. He grew up in a small town in Idaho and traveled the world. Like the leaf he alludes to in the title, he has suffered rapids, whirlpools and boring backwaters and also enjoyed exciting, idyllic and scenic floats through rewarding and pleasant stretches of life. In addition to his childhood and conscription into the army, he’s survived (so far), parenthood, a variety of careers (including being an FBI special agent) and Catholicism.
Of them all, Catholicism might have been the biggest challenge. It was certainly the longest, as he was a practicing Catholic for all of his childhood and most of his adulthood. It wasn’t until late that he came to the conclusion that the Catholic Church is not all it appears to be in some ways, and much more in others.
This is an autobiography with a central theme of questioning traditional religious belief in general and Catholic doctrine in particular. He challenges the unapologetic and unyielding response of the Church to the pedophilia scandal, the treatment of women, and outdated dogma that has children confession “sins” at an age where they are not really cognizant of what it means.
A Leaf In A Stream joins Dick’s previous book All Fish Have Bones as a well-researched and intelligently presented argument for the value of discarding dogmatic thinkgin and taking responsibility for your own happiness and wellbeing.