WHO WAS MARY BAKER EDDY, anyway? I knew she was a very insightful and influential woman—she was even mentioned in one of the classes I took in college called "History of American Women"—and the ideas in Science and Health, her primary work, have healed many people. But under all of the big words and lengthy descriptions in her writings, and beyond differing portrayals of her life, who was she...really?

As soon as my friend Megan suggested that we start a summer book club together to read Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy by Irving Tomlinson, I said yes. I thought maybe some of these questions I'd always had percolating in my thoughts might finally get answered. I'd never read a biography of Mary Baker Eddy before, and I was excited to get started. Later on that day, I stopped by the local Christian Science Reading Room to grab a copy.

Now, don't get me wrong. While I was excited to find out more about Mary Baker Eddy, I still had some doubts about whether this would actually be an interesting read. She lived over a hundred years ago, so how could her life possibly relate to mine? Sure, I really admired what I'd heard about her and her discovery of Christian Science, but it seemed like some people kind of idolize her, almost like she wasn't a real person, and I didn't want to do that. In any case, I was determined to find out what Mary Baker Eddy was about for myself, so I started reading.

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December 14, 2009

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