THE SILENT JOURNEY OF A SINGLE WOMAN by Renee Harris

THE SILENT JOURNEY OF A SINGLE WOMAN

A Personal Poetic Journal
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Harris offers new approaches to being single in this debut memoir and advice guide.

Life brought Harris unforeseen challenges, including her parents’ divorce in her youth and her own breast cancer, but it didn’t bring her the expected boon of marriage. From high school to her late 20s, she always had a boyfriend, she writes, but has now resigned herself to spending her life alone. This brief memoir lays out Harris’ justification of that choice in chapters that address such subjects as “Self-Hate transformed into Self-Love,” “Developing a Faithful Relationship” with God, and “Being Free & Letting Go of Fear & Self Doubt.” Blank, ruled sections labeled “Self-Reflection Notes” suggest that the author intends readers to use the book as a devotional guide. This Christian-focused book offers well-intentioned, empathetic outreach to fellow singletons; for example, a one-page chapter encourages volunteerism, and other short sections endorse spontaneity and hobbies. “Dancing is Freedom” is a multipoint essay on the benefits of recreational dance. However, the quality of the prose makes it hard to gauge the book’s potential helpfulness. Repetitive language causes this 48-page book to seem strangely wordy: “My new adventure within my journey was definitely something different, which it was an opportunity for me to recall those centuries of information and apply it to my journey.” Overall, the book’s practical advice is minimal, and potentially useful guidance sinks in a sea of banalities: “Always taking the road less traveled has enriched my life” or “Focus on the ‘END-RESULT’ and your outlook on life will be consistent and ‘POSITIVE’ for all that surrounds you.” The six poems included feel amateurish and redundant, as in the line, “to be quiet is to be silent,” and sometimes compromise between rhyming and free verse, with off-rhyme lines such as “To be quiet, to not sing a tune, / To meditate and calm your inner room.”

A well-meaning but inarticulate self-help book.

Pub Date: Aug. 28th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1500743512
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
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