Review: Feministing.com - January 29, 2009
"Ruttenberg does a masterful job of weaving in quotations from religion's greatest thinkers while taking us on her contemporary pilgrmage of sorts. It's entirely relatable, which in my experience, is unusual for a religious text. It's young. It's hip. And it's still profoundly serious."
Review: Jspot.org - September 17, 2008
“The book is beautifully written, funny, and honest, but what's most extraordinary is its refusal to offer easy answers. This quality is especially welcome as we find ourselves, yet again, in the midst of an election cycle in which many assume that religion offers easy answers to complicated issues.”
Review: Religion Writer - September 10, 2008
“[Surprised by God] is really fantastic: well-written, engaging, skating that line between the personal and the universal with surprising grace.”
Review by: Jessica Jernigan, bitch - September 1, 2008
"Compelling . . . illuminating . . . a thought-provoking memoir."
Review: Jewish Book World - September 1, 2008
"[T]his book is a revealing and thought provoking glimpse inside the mind of a young seeker. It is well-written and accessible to people who are curious about the life of one feminist Jew as she struggles to find community and meaning amidst life's joys and challenges."
Review by: Laura Stokes, BUST - September 1, 2008
"...thoughtful and articulate memoir . . . While many of the experiences are similar to others’ in her generation—love, loss, and identity struggle—her style of combining personal experience with a wide range of philosophic responses gives her narrative greater texture. Ruttenberg is as likely to quote Sufi mystics and Catholic saints as she is to refer to Jewish writers; she is seeking a truth that transcends doctrine. This postmodern story of faith is perhaps also indicative of a new generation of spiritual seeks, who have found a way to connect across religions as they seek a connection with God."
Review by: Claire Sufrin, Lilith - July 1, 2008
"Ruttenberg no doubt began her book with a moment of teenage rebellion in order to make her gradual commitment to a life of Jewish practice seem all the more striking. But the true beauty of her story is found not in this large transformation (teenage atheists are a dime a dozen) but in the moments of small transformations."
Review: Booklist - July 1, 2008
"A tremendously satisfying memoir of spiritual awakening . . ."
Review: Tikkun - July 1, 2008
"Ms. Ruttenberg is sharp in her insights about the world and about herself . . . [she] gives us reason to be hopeful about the future of American Judaism."
Review: Publisher's Weekly - April 28, 2008
"The book's breezy style, mixing personal anecdotes with reflection, is balanced by thoughtful narrative about what religion is and what it demands of its adherents...her description of her growing awareness of the power of ritual, the support of community, and religion as relationship will resonate with all sorts of spiritual seekers."