Book Notification

Kelsey McKinney Books In Order

Book links take you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

God Spare the Girls (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Kelsey McKinney
Kelsey McKinney is a writer and a reporter living in Washington DC. She is a features writer and co-owner at

In Kelsey’s freelance work, she writes about everything from Christian megachurches to Tom DeLonge’s alien obsession and bull riding.

During college, she wrote some short stories, however once she graduated and began doing journalism, she didn’t focus on fiction at all. She began working on “God Spare the Girls” at a time when she was realizing that her work was getting incredibly dry, and felt like she was prioritizing the facts over the story’s flow. And so she began attempting to work on something a bit different.

Her therapist at the time asked her why she didn’t just write something for herself. Just write something that she’d enjoy, rather than do something that would only stress her out.

There were scenes in the novel that just weren’t working, and she would get to them and think the characters were relating too well. Kelsey would talk with her editor and she would say to move the scene, or combine two characters. Her journalism background made it tough for her know how to do any of that. It took her such a long time to realize that she had made all of it up. None of these “facts” actually existed.

Journalism helped her when it came to researching the novel. She did a bunch of research for the novel, like interviewing women that have been the “other woman” in situations similar to the “other woman” in her novel, and watching sermons.

Kelsey was nervous for her entire family to read the novel, particularly since her dad is a great person and incredibly kind while the dad in the novel sucks. She didn’t want him to think that she had this major problem with him or anything. However the book is so very different from the life that she grew up with. The one thing that is real is when Abigail negs Caroline for needing a lime to do her tequila shot. It’s something Kelsey stole from herself and her sister. The rest is fake.

She was nervous that her parents would not like the novel and would read it all as a critique of the situation that she grew up in. and they never did. They acknowledged that there are some real problems in the church. It all went better than she thought it would.

Just like with Caroline, many of the coping mechanisms that Kelsey developed in evangelicalism weren’t applicable anymore once she became unsure about even believing in them. The ability to look to the Bible for answers and pray weren’t there anymore. This gap is where “God Spare the Girls” fits, right in that space where someone hasn’t figured out how to fill those things back in.

And when she was in this phase, she felt an immense sense of loss because all the people she wanted to ask for advice were all believers. She was confused about where she could go. However one thing that she did truly learn in the church when she was an incredibly serious evangelical is you never know everything.

When she lost the main core of Christianity, she thought about what she even believed and what she would do at that point. And eventually the thing she came down to was that same truth of how you’re just not always going to know. Sometimes you can’t know the mysteries of the universe and you just have to sit in all of that discomfort.

Kelsey’s debut novel, called “God Spare the Girls”, was released in the year 2021, which is from the literary fiction genre.

“God Spare the Girls” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2021. A mesmerizing debut set in northern Texas about two sisters that find a dark secret about their dad, the head pastor of the evangelical megachurch, which upends their lives and their community. It is a coming of age story about identity, family, and the delicate line between deception and faith.

Luke Nolan has been leading The Hope congregation for over ten years, as his daughters and wife patiently uphold what it means to live righteously. Made famous by one viral sermon about purity that was co-written with Abigail, his oldest daughter, he is the prototype of the modern preacher: handsome, tall, and a spellbinding speaker. However Caroline, his youngest daughter, has begun noticing the cracks in their cushy life. She’s sure that her pristine and perfect sister will soon marry the wrong guy, and Caroline has slid into sin with a boy that she’s known her whole life, wondering why god would even care so much about her virginity anyway.

When it comes to light, just six weeks before Abigail’s going to get married, that Luke’s been having an affair with some other woman, the whole Nolan family falls into a tailspin. Caroline seizes this opportunity to get her sister alone. The two girls flee to the ranch that they inherited from their maternal grandmother, far removed from the embarrassing drama of their parents and the community’s prying eyes. However with the date of Abigail’s wedding approaching fast, these sisters are going to need to make a tough choice about which familial bonds are even worth protecting.

Laying bare the rabid love of sisterhood and asks what we owe to our families, to our communities, and to ourselves.

This is a deeply felt novel about love: love for community and family, for the people that sustain you and the ones that disappoint you. And love for God, as well, which Kelsey writes about with incisive and humane frankness. The accomplishment of this canny novel is in its positing coming of age itself as a loss of faith, not just in the church, but also in our family, our parents, and the world as we believed we understood it.

This is a candid and thoughtful meditation on family, faith, and forgiveness; and quite simply it is a fabulous read. Not to mention a deeply thoughtful treatment of an evangelical community.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Kelsey McKinney

Leave a Reply