“In Party of One, Joy Beth Smith chooses to go where many of us fear (or simply don’t want) to tread on the topic of singleness. With raw vulnerability, and unflinching honesty, Joy Beth pushes past easy questions and answers about singleness and relationships. Instead she invites us into her own story and journey, and the conversations many women are having every day. Party of One is tender, passionate, and sometimes uncomfortable all at the same time. It’s not a book for the fainthearted, or for well-worn platitudes. But I’d also say it’s important reading as we listen to, support, invest in and empower the single members of our community.”
—Jo Saxton, speaker, author, chair of 3Dmovements, and cohost of Lead Stories podcast
“Anyone who has signed a True Love Waits pledge (me), written letters to her future husband (also me), or politely nodded along while friends and family gave unsolicited dating advice (again, me) will be nodding and laughing along to Joy Beth’s honest account of the confusing experience that so often is Christian singleness. What Joy Beth offers readers is the permission and freedom to make the most of singleness, defining it not by what it lacks but by what promise it holds. This book is a gift to the church and to readers from all walks of life.”
—Katelyn Beaty, author of A Woman’s Place and Christianity Today editor at large
“Joy Beth Smith’s voice—honest, fearless, funny, and wise—is exactly what we need in the conversation about Christian singleness. Her book will bring healing to a church culture that desperately needs it, and offers a healthy, positive vision of what singleness can look like for faithful Christians. An essential read.”
—Gina Dalfonzo, author of One by One
“I’m a married Puerto Rican pastor who absolutely loved this book. I was challenged and inspired by Joy Beth’s journey. Her wit and faith are a winning combination. You will read, cry, laugh, cringe, and be challenged to truly know yourself (while being inspired to love whatever wild ride God has you on). And as a married Puerto Rican pastor who used to preach a lot of the things Joy Beth calls out in her book, I can only say: I’m so sorry! While it may be written to singles, this is a book every pastor, parent, church leader, and married friend needs to read.”
—Carlos Rodríguez, Founder of Happy Sonship and author of Drop the Stones
“I experienced Party of One as one long exhale. Finally comes a book that speaks the language of both soul and sexuality without any squeamishness. Finally comes a book that is both devout and devoid of the weird stodginess religious people have about their bodies under the guise of ‘reverence.’ If the gospel teaches us anything, it’s that we don’t have to choose between humanity and divinity. In that same Christian spirit, Party of One demonstrates we don’t have to choose between funny and fierce, boldness and tenderness, or laughter and tears. Somewhere at the intersection of Hildegard of Bingen and Tina Fey, God gave us Joy Beth Smith.”
—Jonathan Martin, author of How to Survive a Shipwreck and Prototype
“Joy Beth Smith writes a timeless anthem for the ones often feeling singled out by singleness. Her prose is refreshing and kind, like an old friend sitting down with you for a cup of tea. A truth-teller who isn’t afraid to talk about the stuff we so often shove into the corner, Joy Beth gives the greatest gift a writer can give their reader: a series of honest ‘me too’ moments that empower and push us all—single, dating, married—to be better.”
—Hannah Brencher, author of Come Matter Here
“'Singleness isn’t a season of preparation for something better.’ Amen. Today is the gift, and Jesus is the prize. The church is in dire need of a more robust theology and practice when it comes to singleness and Joy Beth leads the way with humor and wisdom that cut through the fluff. This isn’t one of those ‘what to do while you’re waiting for a husband’ kind of books, so pick it up and be encouraged.”
—Hayley Morgan, coauthor of the bestselling book Wild and Free
ABOUT THE BOOK
“This book is bold and strong and unapologetic. Unflinching, even. Joy Beth doesn’t back down from those hard conversations that need to be happening, not just in our churches but in our small groups, our social circles, our relationships.” —Mandy Hale, creator of The Single Woman and New York Times bestselling author
Did you enter adulthood thinking marriage would naturally find you, only to end up at a second-cousin’s wedding, dodging yet another bouquet the night before you turned thirty? Maybe you’ve started wondering, is this the best the single life has to offer? Joy Beth Smith says it’s not.
The single life doesn’t have to be the runner-up version of God’s best. It doesn’t have to leave you constantly waiting for “real life” to begin. Party of One offers a trade: let go of the tired lies weighing you down and turn toward truth. Understand that:
- You don’t have to be married to be wise. You don’t have to be a mother to have supernatural love. You don’t have to own a home to be hospitable.
- Singleness is not meant to be pitied, shamed, fixed, or even ignored. It is to be celebrated.
- God doesn’t promise you a husband, but he does promise comfort, intimacy, and satisfaction.
With humor, self-awareness, and been-there perspective, Party of One delves into the insecurities and struggles of singleness and encourages you to find the good, the true, and the beautiful, to dive headfirst into community, and to stop pressing pause on a life you never expected.
is a managing editor with Christianity Today and winner of the Evangelical Press Association's Higher Goals in Christian Journalism Award. She’s been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Salt Lake Tribune, Virginian Pilot, and Christ and Pop Culture. After earning her MA degree in English Lit, Joy Beth had a brief stint as a teacher, but now she happily resides in the Chicagoland area, where she no longer has to give anyone permission to go to the bathroom.