A simple, comforting reflection on one woman's crusade to make a difference in the world.



A memoir of hands-on healing.

Concerned that abused women and victims of prostitution, sex trafficking and drug addictions often have no place to turn for help, Rev. Stevens founded Magdalene and Thistle Farms, a program named by the White House as one of 2011's "15 champions of change." The author provides women with two years of "housing, food, medical and dental expenses, therapy, education and job training—all at no cost to them.” The residents have ready-made employment creating healing oils and natural body-care products that are sold across the United States. No stranger to sexual abuse herself, Stevens feels deeply that a hands-on approach is necessary to help these battered women on a lifelong journey toward recuperation. "The Magdalene homes needed to be creative, practical, and joyful," she writes. "They needed to be sanctuaries where women were absolutely safe, not just physically, but safe enough to follow their own instincts toward healing." Stories of Stevens’ past and her determination to become a minister blend with stories of some of the women who have lived and thrived in the Magdalene program. The author spends considerable time analyzing the origins of the term "snake oil" and how, over time, it morphed from meaning something having healing properties to the more current connotation of something shifty or shady. But her program is anything but underhanded. Christian readers will connect with Stevens’ philosophies, and those interested in creating healing oils will find the included recipes helpful.

A simple, comforting reflection on one woman's crusade to make a difference in the world.

Pub Date: March 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4555-1906-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Jericho Books/Hachette

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2013

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This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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