Book Review: The Beauty of Grace edited by Dawn Camp
Disclaimer: I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway in the expectation that I would read and review it.
God’s love is a wonderful thing. It is not dependent on our earning it, it comes to us free of charge and all we have to do is accept it. But sometimes it can be hard to feel that love, trapped in our own circumstances and beset with difficulties–or sometimes too much luxury distracts us from what’s important.
This book is a collection of short essays and personal stories about grace, and the writers’ relationships with God. They are divided by general themes: purpose, trust, hope and encouragement, etc. It’s firmly in the Christian inspirational genre, so will be most useful to those who already believe. Most of the writers are women, with one token man, most are mothers and many are bloggers.
There is of course some sameness of topics, and you may have to look at the author’s name to see if it is a different person from a previous essay or not. Thankfully, there is little glurge, and most of the essays are at least readable.
My personal favorite of the essays is “When God Says ‘Stop,’ He Doesn’t Always Mean ‘Quit'” by Rachel Anne Ridge. It’s about a traffic sign that seems misplaced and useless where it is, but go on a bit further and the meaning becomes more obvious. A parallel is drawn to roadblocks in our lives; they may not be meant to be permanent obstacles to our goals, but a way of telling us about hazards ahead.
“And So We Are Carried Along” by Amanda Williams is a powerful piece about her family’s time on food stamps. “When Giving Up Is the Right Thing to Do” by Kristen Strong is about learning to accept when something is impossible and moving on.
Dawn Camp, the editor, also contributed several pieces, and the photographs throughout the book. I think a bit more care could have been used to pick photos that look “right” in black and white; several of these lose something without color.
There’s an author bio section in the back if any of the essays intrigue you and you want to check out their blogs.
Overall, a decent book that will introduce you to many writers in the Christian inspirational field you may not have heard of before, and a nice gift for, say, Mother’s Day.
And speaking of grace, let’s have a video. If you have never heard Sacred Harp singing before, give it a short while–the beauty will be there.