The leap from teenage alcoholism, drug addiction, and burglary to receiving divine grace might seem extreme, but Haley assures readers that God helped him make it. His depiction of his misspent youth in Shreveport, La., alternates vivid scenes of fights, thefts, and drunken joyrides with biblical analysis. While the pattern of unregenerate sinner transformed into devout believer by God's grace is not uncommon, Haley spares little detail in recreating his misdeeds, suggesting that the author, despite denials, takes some pride in his strayings. Haley's accounts of his faults and relapse even after being saved, on January 15, 1997, adds meat to his declaration that sin is inevitable. His admission that he remains a little wild may lead some to wonder if his reformation reflects divine grace or the workings of an addictive personality.