1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $31.93

Buy for $31.93

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

"Read it for twists on twists, meditations on faith, and a deeply thoughtful treatment of an evangelical community."  (Glamour, Beach Reads That Are Like Summer in a Book)

“A thoughtful and candid meditation on faith, family, and forgiveness... fabulous.” (Claire LombardoNew York Times best-selling author of The Most Fun We Ever Had)

Recommended by Good HousekeepingElle, Parade, Real Simple, Glamour, Refinery29, Bustle, Oprah DailyThe Millions, Shondaland, Yahoo!, Literary Hub, and more!

A mesmerizing debut novel set in northern Texas about two sisters who discover an unsettling secret about their father, the head pastor of an evangelical megachurch, that upends their lives and community - a story of family, identity, and the delicate line between faith and deception.

Luke Nolan has led the Hope congregation for more than a decade, while his wife and daughters have patiently upheld what it means to live righteously. Made famous by a viral sermon on purity co-written with his eldest daughter, Abigail, Luke is the prototype of a modern preacher: tall, handsome, a spellbinding speaker. But his younger daughter Caroline has begun to notice the cracks in their comfortable life. She is certain that her perfect, pristine sister is about to marry the wrong man - and Caroline has slid into sin with a boy she’s known her entire life, wondering why God would care so much about her virginity anyway.

When it comes to light, five weeks before Abigail’s wedding, that Luke has been lying to his family, the entire Nolan clan falls into a tailspin. Caroline seizes the opportunity to be alone with her sister. The two girls flee to the ranch they inherited from their maternal grandmother, far removed from the embarrassing drama of their parents and the prying eyes of the community. But with the date of Abigail’s wedding fast approaching, the sisters will have to make a hard decision about which familial bonds are worth protecting.

An intimate coming-of-age story and a modern woman’s read, God Spare the Girls lays bare the rabid love of sisterhood and asks what we owe our communities, our families, and ourselves.

“A deeply felt book about love - love for family and community, for people who sustain you and people who disappoint you. And love for God, too, which Kelsey McKinney writes about with humane and incisive frankness.” (Linda Holmes, New York Times best-selling author of Evvie Drake Starts Over)

“The accomplishment of this canny novel is in positing coming of age itself as a loss of faith - not only in the church, but in our parents, our family, and the world as we thought we understood it.” (Rumaan Alam, New York Times best-selling author of Leave the World Behind and Rich and Pretty)

©2021 Kelsey McKinney (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about God Spare the Girls

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    55
  • 4 Stars
    44
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    5
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    62
  • 4 Stars
    28
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    43
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

God Spare the Girls

I purchased this title with no knowledge of the story or author based solely on the fact that an online friend I admire and trust is friends with the author and was gushing over her. To me that was a good enough recommendation since I know she has taste.

The book itself is not one I would have likely bought otherwise; but I did end up liking it.

It’s a story about two young women in the south who have grown up in the shadow of their preacher father along with the expectations they feel they must adhere to. Of course they feel tied down and want to run away but they both know it’s impossible.

One fantastic aspect of this book: it’s about two women who are strong in spirit and stand up for themselves who DIDN’T survive sexual trauma. The dialogue was great and the pace was…not slow, but also not brisk. It’s not a story with twists and turns; instead it’s a character study about sisters who have to grow up one summer and accept their fate.

Throughout the book, I kept picturing this not as a movie, but as a play. It seems to be perfect for the stage.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

True to life story of being raised Christian

I enjoyed listening to this story and could relate to the main character and her struggle with the eye rolling hypocrisy of religion. Quick and easy listen! Thanks!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good telling of a good story

This is a good book that touches in an approachable way subjects that are very real. The author doesn't tell us how to feel, instead lets the reader decide.

The narrator was excellent, great tone and pace throughout.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Agonizing

Too many words! Took forever to develop a weak plot. Agonizing and annoying details of teenage angst.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

Slow to start. Then a story that didn't go anywhere. The ending was anticlimactic. Felt like I had wasted my time listening to this.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Raised in the church? You may recognize someone.

Arrogant baptist preacher who refuses to own his mistakes. His 2 daughters having to deal with the aftermath while growing in their love for one another and growing into independent women. Really loved this book and could relate to its characters.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A good story!

This is called a novel but I bet it could be an autobiography to many girls and women. A story told through the eyes of a 18 year old and the upcoming wedding of her older sister. This story kind of reminds me of the Hillsong Church story. Anyway it’s a good story but I wish the ending was different!!!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Relatable for Sisters and Church dynamics.

I think you would have to have been part of a congregation to really get the nuances of being part of a church family. Really accurate portrayal of interpersonal dynsmics. While I thought the author was too descriptive of scenery and physical characteristics at times, she really nailed the complex relationship between sisters. It especially felt authentic in relationship of the congregation so earnestlybring driven b to protect their pastoral heroes. I really enjoyed it, while wishing the end left me wishing for more-- not in a bad way, just incomplete.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Predictable

Overwrought, poorly written ("the gleam of power returning to her eyes," "eyes turning black with guilt," "saw the color fade from her eyes), all meaningless phrases that say nothing. Story itself is not particularly interesting. The protagonist would do better to mind her own business and leave her family be. A most irritating character, I hope never to read about her again. It's also discouraged me from ever visiting Texas.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The End of the Innocence

Uncomfortable but unputdownable read for someone who grew up in the Bible Belt and literally experienced this exact scenario - an evangelical preacher who falls from Grace when he is found cheating on his wife and all the ways this destroys the relationships with his daughters. Kelsey McKinney did a phenomenal job with character development both with the slithery snake of a pastor, Luke Nolan, as well as the sisters Caroline and Abigail who retreat together to their family cabin on the lake to lick their wounds and grapple with how their world has been turned upside down. And, I think the real story is much more intricately woven in that relationship between the sisters and this is where the writer really shines. My heart literally ached for the youngest sister, Caroline, who just wanted to be special to someone and who clung so desperately to the older sister, Abigail, for as long as she possibly could. Your empathy with Abigail will be heartfelt as well as she tries to come to terms with the sins of her father and how this betrayal threatens her own trust in all that she believes. 4 stars. I really thought it was a great book, although without any spoilers - there were parts of it that did not go the way I wanted them to. I guess that is what distinguishes this as literary fiction- more reality than I want right now, but so - so good.