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Following the Red Bird:
First Steps Into a Life of Faith

2018 Eric Hoffer Book Award Shortlist Finalist

2018 Eric Hoffer Book Award Shortlist Finalist

Until her conversion to Christianity in her mid-thirties, Kate Rademacher maintained a pick-and-choose approach to spirituality. The image from the book’s title, Following the Red Bird, becomes a metaphor for the ways Kate unexpectedly began to experience God in her life and how she slowly learned to follow the breadcrumbs that God seemed to be leaving out for her.


Part memoir and part meditation on Christian teachings, Following the Red Bird explores not only the why of Christianity but the how. How do we learn to listen for God’s voice? How do we develop and sustain a relationship with Jesus? How do we hear and heed God’s call? How do we apply Christian teachings to everyday life? Kate describes her journey of discovering answers to these questions one step at a time as she stumbled into a new life in the church. Kate's experience and insight will be relevant both to the searcher and the long-time believer. 

Rademacher’s memoir is an honest portrayal of the confusion of discernment and the comfort of abiding and trusting in God.
— Publishers Weekly
Hopefully this book will be read by believer and unbeliever alike because it is an honest narrative of a person of faith.
— Dr. Stanley Hauerwas, author of Hannah's Child: A Theologian's Memoir. Named America's Best Theologian by Time Magazine in 2001.
This modern, succinct meditation on grace amply demonstrates that following God is an ongoing journey. Personal failings, distance, and constant efforts to return mark a faith that is flawed and genuine and all the more convincing for its humanness.
— Foreword Reviews, 5-heart review

Coming summer 2020:

Their Faces Shone:
Lessons on Loving & Letting Go

After her daughter was born, Kate Rademacher desperately wanted another child, but her husband did not. Following years of negotiation, the couple decided to become foster parents. What began as an uneasy compromise blossomed into an authentic calling and a deep love for their two-year-old foster daughter. When the girl transitioned back to her biological family, Kate thought she had learned the lesson in loving and letting go. But when an unexpected crisis occurred, Kate realized the lessons in how to love, accept, surrender, and forgive were only just beginning. In this poignant, honest story, the author explores the question of where family begins and ends, and how things change when we invite strangers—with complicated stories and baggage—into our lives. 

Kate Rademacher conveys a complex, heartbreaking love story with humanity and relatability. This recounting of her family’s journey is an essential read for anyone contemplating becoming a foster parent. Beyond that, it is a fascinating, multifaceted exploration of marriage. This book challenged and expanded my understanding of love, and the story it tells has lodged itself in my heart.
— Elizabeth Futrell, co-author of Roar: True Tales of Women Warriors
By sharing her family’s heart-opening, heart-wrenching experience with fostering (and losing) a daughter, Rademacher shines light on the twisted and broken paths we all encounter in our lives...giving us a model for how to step forward in faith.
— Christy Wilkens, Faithful, Not Successful blog

In Following the Red Bird, Kate draws from her readings of some of the great faith and spirituality giants such as C.S. Lewis, Thomas Merton, Thomas A. Kempis, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. She also finds inspiration in the work of modern authors like Kathleen Norris, Barbara Brown Taylor, and Parker J. Palmer.

Download the Readers' Discussion Guide! available here