The Girl In The Orange Dress: Searching for a Father Who Does Not Fail

You and I are much too sophisticated to believe that the One Jesus calls Father is necessarily anything like ours. Of course God isn’t like the father who left us, or the one who suffered with mental illness, or the one who drank too much, or died too early. Who would even think that? We’re certainly too savvy to believe that something about us caused our fathers to leave us. That’s like voodoo rain-god crazy.

Then, when we least expect it—kapow! We discover that that’s exactly what we’ve believed, in our bones, all along. In our deepest places we have suspected both that God could not be trusted and that we have been unworthy of love, human or divine. Though our heads and hearts have tried to seal up the rupture, it’s too late. It’s already out there.

​The Girl in the Orange Dress describes the journey of one woman who held it together through a rocky childhood and, after finding her birthparents as a young adult, began to come unglued. Graciously, as she is gently loved back together through human agents, she comes to know a Father who does not fail.


"With this book, Margot Starbuck unleashes her new, very welcome, voice. She narrates the Christian spiritual life with winsome humor and (occasionally scary) honesty. Pretty much every woman I know will be getting The Girl in the Orange Dress for her birthday.”
Lauren Winner, author of Girl Meets God
"Margot Starbuck takes us on a lovely and challenging journey, searching for herself, her family, and her faith along the way." 

Shauna Niequist, author of Cold Tangerines
"Simply put, this is a brilliant book. Beautifully written, it’s a must-read for all of us who realize our deepest longing is for a true experience of our real Father. Don’t miss this book!"
Paula Rinehart, author of Strong Women, Soft Hearts
"Will this book be made into a movie? A TV series? A graphic novel? Well, it oughta. Margot Starbuck's story has legs, and it'll captivate anyone who has a chance to hear it, in whatever way they can. Her easygoing style spins this unique yarn into an every(wo)man tale that can speak to us all."
Patton Dodd, author of My Faith So Far 

"I haven't felt this much emotion from a memoir since reading Angela's Ashes. Outrage, grief, joy and humor mingle together in Margot Starbuck's book, drawing the reader into her experiences in a way that leaves one feeling neither like judge nor voyeur, just a friend on the journey. Humbly honest, graciously hilarious, evocative, The Girl in the Orange Dress is for anyone who needs to know, really needs to know, how much God loves His children."
Lisa Samson, award-winning author of Quaker Summer, Justice in the Burbs, and The Church Ladies

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Named AWSA 2011 Best Nonfiction Book of the Year

The Golden Scroll winners were announced at the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA) annual banquet held on Sunday, July 10, at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta.

The AWSA, which consists of more than 300 top female communicators who both publish and speak nationally, called the book "a cleverly written, poignant memoir regarding the author's search for a true 'father who does not fail.'"

InterVarsity Press joins the AWSA in celebrating Starbuck's unique voice and the important message she shares through her work. "Margot is a wonderful storyteller and narrates with a delightful self-effacing comic voice," Cindy Bunch, associate editorial director and the book's editor, said. "But what makes this memoir stand out among others is her pastoral heart for readers who are also searching for a father who will not fail. For these readers she points the way to the very heart of God."