Holy Ghost Girl - Donna Johnson (Review & Giveaway)

4.5 Stars!!!!
Donna Johnson's remarkable story of being raised under the biggest gospel tent in the world, by David Terrell, one of the most famous evangelical ministers of the 1960s and 70s. Holy Ghost Girl is a compassionate, humorous exploration of faith, betrayal, and coming of age on the sawdust trail.

She was just three years old when her mother signed on as the organist of tent revivalist David Terrell, and before long, Donna Johnson was part of the hugely popular evangelical preacher's inner circle. At seventeen, she left the ministry for good, with a trove of stranger- than-fiction memories. A homecoming like no other, Holy Ghost Girl brings to life miracles, exorcisms, and face-offs with the Ku Klux Klan. And that's just what went on under the tent.
As Terrell became known worldwide during the 1960s and '70s, the caravan of broken-down cars and trucks that made up his ministry evolved into fleets of Mercedes and airplanes. The glories of the Word mixed with betrayals of the flesh and Donna's mother bore Terrell's children in one of the several secret households he maintained. Thousands of followers, dubbed "Terrellites" by the press, left their homes to await the end of the world in cult-like communities. Jesus didn't show, but the IRS did, and the prophet/healer went to prison.
Recounted with deadpan observations and surreal detail, Holy Ghost Girl bypasses easy judgment to articulate a rich world in which the mystery of faith and human frailty share a surprising and humorous coexistence.
Winner of the 2011 Books for a Better Life Award for Spiritual

Donna M. Johnson has written about religion for The Dallas Morning News and other publications. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, the poet and author Kirk Wilson.  
Visit Donna's website - HERE

I have to be honest - By the time I received this book from "Librarything Early Reviewers" I had changed my mind and wasn't really interested in reading it anymore. I started and stopped several times, putting it on the back burner. When I decided to do an all Bio and Memoir month I thought I would finally drag this book out and get it read - I am so glad I did! Boy was I missing out. This was a fantastic book. Even though it was a memoir it read very much like a novel. It just flowed, and I did not want to put it down!
This book was so interesting. It had just enough history - the big tent revivals of the 60's, the Ku Klux Klan, the deep south of the 60's, but also just enough story to keep it fun. Much of this book was kinda unbelievable. The book is suppose to be true and who am I to say? Maybe it is all the truth. She does say at one point that this is from her memory as a child, so maybe is was skewed. If it was all the truth - it is a pretty remarkable story!  But the point is - I just didn't care! It was so good, I really didn't care if it was truth or fiction.
I loved Donna's style of writing, she tried to keep it humorous with witty lines - "Brother Terrell could scat on scripture like a Jazz singer hopped up on speed"

Get a behind the scenes look at what goes on with one family's life in the "Big Tent Revival" of the 60's in the south.  If you are a Christian - believing in miracles, Or someone who just loves a little bit of southern history you will defiantly enjoy this book. I did not feel that this book makes fun of religion or Christianity at all. It is just one family's story. I am a Christian and I do believe in miracles so I know stuff like faith healing does happen!

Thank you "Librarything early reviewers" for sending me this book to review.

I am giving away my Hard cover copy of this book.
* To win a copy of this book, please fill out the form below.
* Please US & Canada only.
And please only enter once!
* Winner will be chosen on 3/31/12
* Winner will have 48 hrs. to respond.


  1. They still have tent revivals in the south.
    Great review, Now I want to read this book.
    I remember David Terrell growing up and hearing about him on the news.

  2. "Brother Terrell could scat on scripture like a Jazz singer hopped up on speed" – That paints quit a picture! Love it! Sounds like this books gives a great behind the scenes peak. Great review. Thanks for giveaway too.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts