A woman wrestles with religion and belief in god. Corrine Walker is a young woman who has been skeptical of religion since birth. After the dissolve of her parent's marriage, she meets Ethan - a local musician - and they marry after Corrine becomes pregnant. The family sets off, traveling with Ethan's band as he goes from gig to gig.
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One day the tour bus crashes into a river and Abby nearly dies. As Ethan pulls her from the sinking bus, Corrine pleads with god to save her. Abby lives and, afterwards, Ethan and Corrine become more interested in religion and Ethan asserts god wanted them all to survive the crash.
They join a small community of Evangelical Christians, have another child, Lily, and sequester themselves from most of society. Corrine spends most of her time with other members of her church - studying the bible and preparing for the end of the world.
Corrine is desperate to feel the Holy Spirit, but finds herself stigmatized from the community. She cannot speak in tongues like they do, and she doesn't feel god speaks to her like he does the others - no matter how hard she tries. She also begins to wonder whether the group's strict patriarchal system is actually supported by the bible.
She discusses this with her friend Annika, who thinks belief of god comes naturally and has never struggled like Corrine.
Soon Corrine's younger sister Wendy comes to stay after her relationship ends, and the family invites her to stay. She is a black sheep and doesn't share Corrine's religious convictions, making her stick out from the community.
Wendy spends time with Lily and Abby, teaching them things that Corrine and Ethan don't necessarily agree with. Soon, Corrine becomes pregnant once more.
One day, as her objections mount, Corrine speaks out in church and is chastised by the pastor's wife for coming "very close to preaching," which they believe is a man's place.
Later, Corrine finds Lily playing with cocaine that was discovered in Wendy's suitcase. She and Ethan catch it in time, flushing it down the toilet and ejecting Wendy from the house.
Soon after, Corrine gives birth to a son named Gabe. The baby puts even more strain on her relationship with Ethan. They stick together, but tragedy strikes when Corrine is told Annika has an inoperable rain tumor. The community prays for her.
Annika undergoes a treatment that saves her life, but leaves her confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak. The church members maintain that this was god's plan, and a miracle, but Corrine isn't so sure.
Ultimately, she decides she has to leave the church, and continue searching for answers on her own terms.
Best part of story, including ending:
Higher Ground is a portrayal of the fall from faith so many people experience.
Best scene in story:
There is a sequence where Corrine, frustrated, is speaking to god alone in her car and receiving no answer. She pleads for a sign, but receives nothing back.
Opinion about the main character:
What I like most about Corrine is that she's constantly thirsting for knowledge, even if it may contradict what she wishes to be true.