One woman’s account of how her spirituality has enriched and guided her, presented to mentor other Christians on their own paths.
Cole opens her debut memoir by revealing that she’s a child of rape who has recently tracked down her biological mother while continuing to seek out those whose violence caused her conception—to offer her forgiveness. This is only the first of many stories the bighearted Cole shares as she illustrates how each trial she’s met as a wife, mother, widow, teacher and Christian has helped her to shape her faith in Jesus Christ. While optimistic in tone, Cole frankly relives the most heart-wrenching of her challenges, from a troubled childhood to her husband’s violent murder to the suicide of her son, addressing the pain of each experience while emphasizing the role God has played in shepherding her through these difficulties. She describes the many real-life miracles she’s witnessed, from religious premonitions to faith healing, that have shaped her faith and encouraged her to share it with others. The memoir uses a colloquial tone; this conversational style has its quirks, however, bouncing between the modest and the sensational, adding to the informal nature of the narrative. Conflict isn’t heavily emphasized, and chapters are all similarly constructed—each features an anecdote or parable, punctuated with a lesson or Godly intervention, and often includes a passage of Scripture. And though the memoir is an evangelizing text, even skeptics and the nonreligious will find little fault in Cole’s refreshing message of inclusion. The book contains a few appendices, including some comics supporting creationist views that add little to the narrative and don’t match the author’s friendly, approachable style.
Candid, cheerful proselytizing, seamlessly intertwined with heartbreaking slices of life.