Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Book Review...

So, I've nearly finished reading the book, "Captivating" by John and Stasi Eldredge. I had mentioned in my Recommendation section that I was reading it and would post my thoughts. I decided to just do it in a post, rather than actually adding it to my personal list of recommendations.
Let me start by saying that I know that there are probably many women (even some of my fellow bloggers) who like this book very much, and feel it helped them in some way. I do not mean to denegrate that at all. My sentiments are strictly my own personal feelings and reflections.
This book was difficult for me to get through. In fact, it has taken me an unusually lengthy period of time to finish it. I wanted to enjoy it so much, and every time I would take a break from it, I would approach it again with fresh gusto thinking I would finally "click" with the book. As much of a sentimental sap that I am, and I AM one, there was just too much waist-high wading in mush and gush for me in this book! I kept trying to find some semblance of a woman I could relate to, and I never really found her. Oh, there were certain blanket observations about women, and our core desires, that I could appreciate. But most of the illustrations were geared toward women particularly with a "father wound". I want to emphasize here that I am not mocking that term. I am well aware that it is a real thing, and a truly tragic thing. It's just that I can't personally relate to it. My relationship with my dad has always been wonderful, and having God described to me as a Father figure early in my childhood was not a fearful thing. Indeed, it only made the idea of a Heavenly Father seem that much more desirable. So that was my first issue with the book, strictly from my personal viewpoint. After that, there was constant and continual movie referencing to drive home a point. I have no problem with some of that, but I found it to be excessive. I think they may have done that partly because it supported one of their foundational concepts that all women want to feel that they're part of a great adventure. Movies are the epitome of losing yourself to an adventure. But again, I just found the references to be excessive, and wished that there would have been some additional methods of emphasizing their points.
Overall, I would recommend this book very sparingly to particular audiences, and not just an "every woman should read this" kind of book. Expectations are a major part of how we come to view EVERYTHING in life (I'm learning this more as I grow older); we all approach things from our own unique standpoint, and therefore can take away different things from one main source. My expectation in buying "Captivating" was that perhaps I would learn some really cool stuff that would help me understand myself in ways that I hadn't previously done. I think that expectation formed after my husband was able to really "click" with some of John Eldredge's writings for men. In full disclosure, I must also point out that Derek had some of the same issues with mush and gush like I did in the mens' material; he was just also able to find some very helpful insight that helped him understand not only himself, but also really strike a chord in his dealings with the young men that he works with in his youth ministry. Having seen him have that reaction, I was a little disappointed that "Captivating" didn't do that for me!
In summary, the authors endeavor to reveal the mystery of a woman's soul, by exploring the following three concepts: 1. Every woman longs to be swept up into a romance 2. She longs to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and 3. She longs to be the Beauty of the story.
I cannot say that I disagree with ANY of those suppositions that were laid out in the book...I can see myself there from girlhood to womanhood. It was only the exploration of these that fell short of drawing me in.
I look forward to hearing comments from any of you who have read it and maybe have a different perspective from mine. I welcome it.....
Thanks for reading!


Kimberly said...

Just letting you know I have posted again as well!:)

Haven't read that book, but personally feel a little offended that anyone would try to sum up all women w/those silly suppositions!!!!! Love Ya...and you go for finishing that book even if not lovin it:)

(PS...I plan to listen to the sermon.)

Juwah said...


I have a rule that I can't have a real opinion of a book until I read, so I fear I cannot comment. However, I appreciate your review. My reading time is so precious, it's nice to get opinions that will help me choose the books that will help me most.