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Summary

Vicky Beeching, called 'arguably the most influential Christian of her generation' in The Guardian, began writing songs for the church in her teens. By the time she reached her early 30s, Vicky was a household name in churches on both sides of the pond.

Recording multiple albums and singing in America's largest megachurches, her music was used weekly around the globe and translated into numerous languages.

But this poster girl for evangelical Christianity lived with a debilitating inner battle: she was gay. The tens of thousands of traditional Christians she sang in front of were unanimous in their view - they staunchly opposed same-sex relationships and saw homosexuality as a grievous sin. Vicky knew if she ever spoke up about her identity it would cost her everything.

Faced with a major health crisis, at the age of 35 she decided to tell the world that she was gay. As a result, all hell broke loose. She lost her music career and livelihood, faced threats and vitriol from traditionalists, developed further health issues from the immense stress and had to rebuild her life almost from scratch. 

But despite losing so much she gained far more: she was finally able to live from a place of wholeness, vulnerability, and authenticity. She finally found peace. What's more, Vicky became a champion for others, fighting for LGBT equality in the church and in the corporate sector. Her courageous work is creating change in the US and the UK, as she urges people to celebrate diversity, live authentically and become 'undivided'. 

©2018 Vicky Beeching (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"Whether you have faith or not, are gay, straight or neither, in a relationship or not, this is a must-read book. Brave, fresh and honest it will help humankind become more humane." (Clare Balding, Broadcaster and Author)

"Stories like Vicky's change the world. This is a wonderful book: it's compelling, moving and profoundly important. It is a beautiful story of personal triumph over toxic homophobia." (Nicky Campbell, Broadcaster and Author)

"This is a life-changing book. Vicky's blisteringly honest account of her painful journey through a world of prejudice challenges us all to look again at 21st century society." (Dr. Brian May, Lead Guitarist from the band Queen)

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What listeners say about Undivided: Coming Out, Becoming Whole, and Living Free from Shame

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Every Christian should read this book

This is Vicky's powerful memoir of her life as a gay person 'in the closet' as a poster girl in the Evangelical Church, then her very personal account of a very public coming out. It is intensely powerful, well written and very moving.

Tracing Vicky's rather unusual life from childhood to her coming out and beyond, this book is hard to stop listening to. As worship leader and 'poster girl' to the Evangelical Church, Vicky held a deep and difficult secret. Because she loved God and the Church so much, she struggled for years under anti-gay Church teaching, even being part of the system. Eventually unable to cope any more her mental and physical health gave way and the process of her healing and coming out began.

The Church has twisted itself in knots over this issue for years, this book shows the other side of abusive teaching and through her brutal honesty and vulnerability Vicky gracefully invites new thinking. Intwined within the story is an excellent, easily understood distillation of the theology. If you are a Christian I strongly recommend this book, whichever side of the debate you take. If you are a Church leader and haven't read it, you probably need to start thinking of excuses why!

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Authentic, honest and insightful

A very clear and honest account of Vicky's journey. A clarion call to love to yourself and others. To seek connection with your true self and faith.

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A worthy read from an amazing woman

I felt her pain with her, as well as her joy in finding herself and the humour of some funny moments. Her story emerges like a beautiful flower, the reader is left basking in the joy and beauty of her finding herself and being undivided with who she is. The narration was top notch and a great choice - clear, great diction. 10/10

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Heartbreakingly courageous

Raw honest and inspiring. Written from the heart
with conviction and humility.
An amazing woman who dared to be her true self in an environment of opposition.
It's hard to believe that such a beautiful person inside and out was treated so badly by those who profess faith and love.
Deeply moving and shocking. We have so much to learn and still so much to address.
This book will help many who have found themselves in the same turmoil and equally educate those within the Christian world to bring about healing and change within.
This is long overdue.

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A beautiful book

Narrator was perfect . Good to listen about the experience of different churches. This lady describes herself as privileged because she is white and educated however sounds like she worked extremely hard and deserved the recognition, nothing to do with privilege. So sad she had this struggle and prejudice from Christians who were told by their own God not to judge others . Fascinating well written

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Faith and homosexuality hand in hand

I loved this book. Super helpful, inspiring and encouraging. God is love and his home has many many rooms. His banquet is full of the most unlikely guests. You and I are welcome in with God.

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Evangelical damage to individuals

Conflict of interest: I am a Reader (lay preacher) in the CoE and retired psychiatrist. I am not an evangelical but would describe myself as liberal catholic. In simple terms that means that I am a Christian with some theological training but see the Bible as being a source of revelation alongside reason, science, history and experience.

This book is well worth listening to, easily appreciated in 2 days and gives a very clear and at times moving account of her somewhat unusual life. I read it after reading Jayne Ozanne’s similar account of her struggle between her sexuality and evangelical teaching.

I strongly recommend that evangelicals, particularly those in leadership positions and those working with children and young adults, should read it and reflect carefully on their understanding of sexuality and the way that they communicate that to people in their care/influence. It may seem harsh but certainly Vicky’s experience in the ‘Bible belt’ in Southern USA seems to border on cult behaviours.

I found it intriguing that someone with a very high level of theological education, she studied Theology at Oxford, and good experiences of spiritually teaching from her lecturers there seemed to be so uncritical in her understanding of the role of Scripture in the faith journey. This was also the case in Ozanne’s book. As a non-evangelical both of these accounts give me grave cause for concern.

Returning to the book it is very listenable to, clear and she adroitly combines her understanding of her life journey with theology and possible explanations of her illnesses. As a memoir/autobiography there is an excellent balance of the personal and what is happening around her. She gives a very good account of a religious world of ‘mega churches’ with thousands in the congregation/audience/crowd which is very different from my experience of preaching to perhaps 20 people mostly over seventy!

I started with a CoI and I don’t want my prejudices/beliefs want to detract from a well written good book about what is essentially quite a tragic life which clearly is of interest not only to churchgoers of whatever theological persuasion and others. It gave me real insight into a different world and more importantly sympathy for the author.

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I needed every single word of this book

I'm so grateful for this book. an incredible human. I found it well layed out, I cried with familiarity, I also laughed and truly felt seen and heard in a way like never before. this was written incredibly thoughtfully, and I think it would benefit everyone to read and listen.

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Undivided

Painful, moving, thought provoking and inspiring. Thank you Vicky for your courage and sacrifice.

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Fresh a look

A painful yet powerful journey into a world I have been taught was so wrong, yet now I see is so right. Praise God for the walk with you Vicky and enabling you to bring clarity to us all 💜

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-07-18

A Memoir that gives hope

I loved this book and liked all about it. I was hooping Vicky to narrate it though.
I give the book five stars because of the exciting real life story together with a deep understanding in booth theology and psychology make it an excellent narrative for every lgbtq+ christian to reflect on.
I recommend the book to every church leader, pastor and youth leader and to lgbtq+ parents.