Faith, Failure, and Finding Solid Groud
By Laura Whitfield
She Writes Press, 2022
Note: We received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is how Her Momness felt while reading most of this book:
“I had to force myself to finish this story” says She Who Must Be Obeyed (sometimes). Uh-oh says I, Kimber the Magnificent. That’s not a good sign.
Continues Mom, “I really wanted to like this story. And it has its moments. “They’re just too few and far between.”
I’m gonna clear the room and let Mom continue. You might want to grab the nearest flak jacket. Cuz methinks Mom’s on a roll:
Sweet Southern girl loses her beloved older brother to a tragic climbing accident. Desperate to fill the heart-hole left by Lawrence’s untimely death, Laura winds up looking for love in all the wrong places. She drops out of college. Twice. Tries numbing the “fermented pain” of bereavement with drugs and booze and playing musical beds.
Hoping to become a super model, Laura arrives in New York with “a suitcase of fragile dreams.” Twelve months and scores of “trailer trash” flings later, the ”promiscuous, back slidden Christian” returns home to North Carolina empty-handed and defeated. Then she rushes into marriage. Two years later she leaves her husband but not without having an adulterous affair with the usual consequences.
Rudderless, she careens from one dumpster fire to the next. At one point the author asks:
“What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I get anything right?”
A Three-Toed Sloth
Readers may be wondering the same thing about this memoir that moves with the alacrity of a three-toed sloth. Without the toes.
This is another tome that everybody and their cat is gushing over. One reader deemed it a “page turner.” Right. And I’m the Easter Bunny.
Anyway, after encountering several “God winks” during her Clueless in Chaos years, Laura finally realizes “this ain’t workin’.” She then re-connects with her faith, finding mercy and forgiveness at long last.
The narrative has potential. But it’s as predictable as the neighbor’s cat. Like, the author makes one poor decision after another and can’t seem to figure out why her life falls apart. (That “Moonstruck” moment.) Worse, she never seems to learn anything and keeps repeating the same mistakes over and over and over. On auto play.
Yes, there’s lots of emotion packed into this story. The dialogue is transparent and honest. To the point of Too. Much. Information. As in, Same Song, 186,197th verse. A Whole Lot Louder and a Whole Lot Worse. And kindly pass the No Doze.
There’s a certain audience this thing-a-mah-jig will appeal to. It just ain’t us. We’re just funny that way.
Yes again, the story picks up steam toward the end when the author re-discovers her faith and dives into the ocean of God’s mercy and grace. It just takes forever to get there. With enough tortuous side roads and detours to qualify as a lunar rover expedition.
I couldn’t wait for this clunker to be over. And snap out of it!
Our Rating: 2.0
(Cuz one of us was feelin’ generous.)
A much better book in the same vein? Eyes Up: How to Trust God’s Heart by Tracing His Hand.
March 20, 2022 at 7:28 pm
Nice, honest review! And thanks for that clip of Moonstruck! Such a classic scene!
March 21, 2022 at 8:53 am
It just seemed to fit. 😉