Shannon Harris, Stronger, Bolder than ‘The Woman They Wanted’

A look at Shannon Harris’s new book and thoughts on our interview

Sarah Stankorb

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Before we start this week, I just want to thank all of you who have read Disobedient Women and are posting about it online. If I could ask one more favor: please leave a review on Goodreads, Amazon or wherever you buy or review books. Oh, and a second favor, please ask your library to order a copy for others to read!

My very marked-up and dog-eared copy of The Woman They Wanted.

I’ve wanted to talk to Shannon Harris for years. I was aware of her ex-husband Joshua Harris first, due to his book I Kissed Dating Goodbye, a classic tome of Millennial purity culture. But when I read his sequel, Boy Meets Girl, I couldn’t help but wonder about Shannon, the young woman who seemed to have abided by Josh’s guidance on courtship as prelude to their marriage. When I read, through his voice, how the sight of her in shorts threatened his barely controlled sex drive, and how she quickly “obeyed” when he asked her to change into pants, I wondered what spurred such compliance. I wondered how she would remember the same scene.

Josh also described mentally wrestling with God while lying in a hammock with her because of the lust he felt, arguing with a God whose rules on chastity he felt he must obey. And I pictured her, lying there, an object of this debate. I…

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Sarah Stankorb

Sarah Stankorb has published with The Washington Post, Marie Claire, Glamour, O, and The Atlantic (among others). @sarahstankorb www.sarahstankorb.com