While it remains laudably honest, this book will likely appeal mostly to Christian readers with similar views.




A semiautobiographical collection of opinions examines Christianity and contemporary topics.

Early in her debut work, Walton offers the admonishment that “when God tells people what I am telling them in my Books and Blogs on Judgment Day it will be TOO LATE for people to do anything about it.” What follows is an assortment of topics about which the author expresses passionate views. These range from the understanding that Satan is deceptive with his appearance—“I am talking about making sure people understand he does not come dressed with two horns”—to the idea that if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 presidential election, “it would have FORCED ‘The Rapture.’ ” Intermingled among such subjects, many of which have come from the author’s blog (www.godssystem.com), are bits of personal history. There is the time the author spent living in her car, her ongoing campaign to control her weight, and how she kept a list of people to pray for regularly. There are also single sentences of great importance that appear in capital letters. These range from the idea that “GOD HAS A VISION FOR ALL OF OUR LIVES” to “IF YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE AN ANIMAL ALWAYS BE CAREFUL AROUND OTHER PEOPLE WITH THEM AND ALWAYS CLEAN UP AFTER THEM.” Needless to say, the wide-ranging, candid book presents a great deal of intriguing material in a fashion that is nothing short of fiery. But the fervent passages sometimes become muddled. In addition to jumping from topic to topic, the book offers many sentiments that are awkwardly phrased. For example, the author mentions playing the lottery and how “the next ticket I purchased was the ‘Mega Millions,’ which Established it.” It is not entirely clear what is being established here. While the author fearlessly addresses controversial issues, these are not handled in subtle ways. At one point, she shares her firm position against the legalization of same-sex marriages: “While gays are celebrating their marriage victory they might as well start celebrating molestation too.” Although such statements are unapologetically incendiary, more nuanced insights would allow for illumination instead of one-dimensional shock.

While it remains laudably honest, this book will likely appeal mostly to Christian readers with similar views.

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2017


Page Count: 335

Publisher: Infinity Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2017

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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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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