A BRIGHT-SHINING PLACE: The Story of a Miracle by Cheryl with Kathryn Slattery Prewitt

A BRIGHT-SHINING PLACE: The Story of a Miracle

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Christian fundamentalist testimony of Miss America 1980, from Mississippi, who after six years of living with the results of an automobile accident--one leg was two inches shorter than the other--attended a ""healing seminar"" in Jackson; there her soul slipped away to a ""bright-shining place"" inhabited just by ""myself and Jesus"" and in seconds her heels, ""like two perfectly matched bookends, were suddenly side by side."" Cathy's story begins with the day of the accident near the family grocery and gas pump, and concludes in glory after the Bert Parks serenade. In between there are recollections of family gospel singing, piano music and teaching, friends and spiritual advisers, beloved MSU and a ""Christian"" roommate who weathered with Cathy a visit from satanic forces--plus the miraculous wins in beauty pageants like Miss Choctaw County, Miss Mississippi, and the big one in Atlantic City. Throughout Cathy records growth in Faith via revelations from the Bible and, more directly, from Above. How for instance, to be perfect? ""Focus on the positive, Jesus seemed to be telling me. Keep on trying. Keep on smiling."" Of course, doubts and frustrations do arise--as when Cathy was only first runner-up in a Miss Choctaw County contest; but a friend explains, ""God wanted you to be first runner-up."" Pressing on through the contests to the preparation for Atlantic City, she details a grueling daily regimen that includes three hours of jiggling with a hip vibrator to knock off stubborn fat--which then disappears in one night, the night she suddenly has ""faith"" that she's going to win. She now knows that God wanted her to be Miss America ""to witness His reality in today's world."" For a predetermined audience.

Pub Date: Aug. 21st, 1981
Publisher: Doubleday