The Wisdom of Friends

3 Feb

The passage of time is a strange thing. You’re only slightly aware of changes to yourself taking place, but in other people it is more obvious, especially children or people you don’t see that often. So my squidgy little lump of a baby niece is now a leggy, bespectacled eight-year-old who occasionally comes out with profound insights on life (shared on the family WhatsApp, of course). And the naïf American ingénue with the amazing name whom I knew at University is now a mother of three who is not only cultured but also wise, to judge by her latest book.

Dayspring Jubilee MacLeod (told you!) had a copy sent to me in the hope that I would like it and write a review. That’s a transaction that is fraught with danger for both sides, but fortunately I did like it a lot, and have posted the desired review on Amazon and GoodReads (which is also Amazon). I know that Amazon is the big baddie, but it’s a sad fact that if a book has no reviews on Amazon, it might as well not exist. But perhaps you don’t want to soil your mouse with that pit of commercialism, so I have helpfully posted it for you below.

10 Women Who Overcame Their Past by Dayspring Macleod

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The cover of this book makes it look a lot drier than it is. I enjoyed it more than I expected and found it valuable, too. There was lot of thought-provoking material, and action-provoking material, too, which is always a good sign in a Christian book.

I didn’t read this in order but went to the chapters that seemed most relevant first. I did read all of the chapters in the end, though, and found something valuable in each one. In fact, the chapter on forgiveness changed my mind about the fate of the Ten Boom sisters, something I had always found hard to come to terms with.

I knew something about four of the women covered (Susannah Wesley, the Ten Booms, Joy Davidman). Some of the others were wives of well-known Christians but I knew little or nothing about them in their own right (Elizabeth Elliot, Susannah Sprugeon, Sarah Edwards). Others I hadn’t heard of at all, and I think I enjoyed those chapters best (Rosaria Butterfield, Doreen Virtue, Christie Dondero Bettwy).

A lot of the book is their own words about themselves and their situation, and then Dayspring adds Biblical context and application. It would be a good book for a Christian study group, but (being an introvert) I preferred reading it alone and mulling over the questions myself.

I’m not convinced by the reluctance to apply the description ‘mystic’ to Sarah Edwards – Dayspring seems to think it’s a pejorative term and I disagree – but that’s a small thing. She’s also over-fond of the word ‘winsome’, which is not nearly as commonplace in UK English as it seems to be in the US. But these are tiny niggles in what is overall a very interesting and valuable book.

View all my reviews


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