Though a standard inspiration-meets–self-help book, it provides some useful advice for Christian women facing serious...



This program of prayer, journaling, and self-study seeks to help women re-establish a relationship with the Christian faith after a breakup, divorce, or abuse.

In the emotional ruins of grief and despair that follow domestic abuse, a spouse’s betrayal, or the life-altering changes after a divorce, a Christian woman might not only struggle with physical loneliness, but feelings of spiritual abandonment as well. It is this challenge that Viner’s debut book, part inspirational, part self-help resource, attempts to address, positing that rediscovering the connection to one’s faith in God must be done in tandem with emotional healing. Its eight-week guide to confronting the fallout of toxic relationships focuses on prayer, employing biblical scripture and parables to assist women in assessing their feelings of brokenness, revealing the deceptions of loved ones and abusers, finding the courage to face these hard truths while rejecting rationalizations, and ultimately living through the gifts and assistance found in an attentive relationship with God. Such reflection is encouraged through mindfulness fostered by daily journaling and creating personal prayers to help individuals not only face the anguish of loss, but also the fear that contributes to and follows it. Primarily a secular Christian resource for women, the book does not stray from the aid that psychology can provide in recognizing the cycles of abuse, though it is somewhat frustrating to see it fail to utilize a more common vocabulary in discussions of the subject—for example, each time the work describes the long-recognized concept of gaslighting, it never names it as such. While its focus is on God’s role in healing, the manual also cites other self-help resources from authors such as Gregory Yantz, Sandra D. Wilson, Warren W. Weirsbe, and many more, detailing each in the bibliography for further reading. In addition, discussion questions ensure the volume itself has some longevity. Statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence are included and so is a great deal of worthy information on contacting resources such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline and programs like The Rave project for those in imminent danger.

Though a standard inspiration-meets–self-help book, it provides some useful advice for Christian women facing serious challenges.

Pub Date: March 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5127-8057-4

Page Count: 174

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.


The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.


An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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