Top positive review
A book for TerKeurst's fans
August 26, 2018
I know this author is a Bible teacher for a women's ministry, so I shouldn't have been surprised that this book is heavy on the teaching and light on story. I knew the broad outline of what was happening in the author's life -- ill health, divorce -- and was interested in hearing how she was doing. But, honestly, I believe memoir would have been a better way to tell her story.
In this book, the author is so intent on teaching the reader that her own story takes a back seat. I would rather have heard more about her own personal struggle to come to terms with the circumstances of her life -- what she is learning, not what we should learn. It was difficult for me to empathize with her because the moment she shares something personal, she is off and running with the lesson. That, or she bounces off the painful revelations into silly stories about her medical exams and therapy sessions. When I closed the book, those were the passages I remembered, because they were vivid and specific. I had hoped the entire book would have this vividness. Without it, and without the emotional depth her story should have, the book doesn't have the impact it could have. I want to weep with those who weep, mourn with those who mourn, but the format of this book works against that desire.
In this genre, called "Christian Living," authors often attempt to teach by writing in vague ways they hope will allow any reader to apply the lesson to their lives. So, for example, in Chapter 8, the author builds her lesson around a comment by a friend that upsets her. But the author doesn't reveal what was said to her. How can I understand her overreaction without knowing what set it off? "In the particular is contained the universal," James Joyce said. I wish more writers would take that to heart.
All in all, this book will satisfy fans of Lysa TerKeurst, as it's written in her tried-and-true study format. But if you're looking for an indepth story of one woman's pain and how she is working her way through it, this is not that book.