All the Pretty Things by Edie Wadsworth
I haven't posted a book review in over two weeks, I must be lazing off!!! Actually, I had two books going at once and also read a non-review book in between. Not that I think anyone missed me or anything. But just to be clear, I am back and have about six books to review in the next few weeks.
Okay, "All the Pretty Things". When I started this book, I loved it. I thought it was an amazing story and it is. Edie was born to an alcoholic father. She rarely saw him sober, but she loved him and enabled him until his dying day. She missed that father figure in her life and attempted to salve that wound by working hard at everything she put her hand to except her marriage. She was raised in rather extreme poverty. Her parents divorced and both remarried, but divorced again. She was abused as a child, though it became a repressed memory that came out through recurring nightmares. She was introduced to Jesus and would often respond to altar calls to make sure she was saved. She went on to become a family practice physician.
She married young, had two children, got caught up in an affair and successfully ruined two families through the affair and the ensuring divorce. She remarried and had two more children. She regrets her bad decisions and went through a very dark time of depression and learning to deal with the loss of her dad and seemed to grab hold of faith in God once again.
Now, I don't know if you've caught on to my hesitancy yet or not, but there are certain parts of this book I struggled with. Overall, seeing the story as that, a story of someone having the courage and the strength to rise above their circumstances and make something of themselves, it is excellent. It's a well-written story. I enjoyed reading it. It's just her view of God and death bother me a bit. She mentions her dad finally being at peace when he died and one time she mentions him looking down from heaven, but yet there is no mention made that he ever accepted Jesus or even recognized the sin he was living in. Also, the whole divorce and remarriage issue is a big thing for me. I am not going to judge Edie and her husband and say they are not Christians. That is not my job and I am glad it isn't, but I don't believe remarriage is sanctioned by God and so to me that ruins a good piece of the story.
So in conclusion, it was a well-written story and very interesting. And to read it as just that, a true story, I would recommend it. However, I would caution against believing everything as being Biblically-based and would challenge the reader to search out these things for themselves, which really should be done with every book you read. No author is doing it perfectly and everything should be taken out and lined up with the Bible.
I would like to give one thought that she gave at the end of the book that struck me. "Whether we work or don't, whether we homeschool or not, whether we've had nurturing marriages or not, we walk in humility--knowing that we are dependent on God to use mostly our failures to teach us something of what it means to be a parent, to be a human being.
"We fumble around in the dark, begging for wisdom, praying that our children know how much they're loved, trying to be willing to admit when we're wrong--because we so often are. Parenting and living require more faith than knowledge, more grace than rules, more trust than answers."
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House and I am writing a review based on my own opinions of the book.