A heartfelt, accessible celebration of modern-day “saints.”

When All the Saints Come Marching In


A self-professed ordinary woman's series of meditations for her fellow Christians.

The central aim of Edkins (Crumbs from the Master’s Table, 2015) in her stirring, straightforward new book is simple: “to develop an ever-increasingly deeper relationship with our heavenly Father.” She works toward this goal by addressing 12 short, fast-paced chapters to her fellow “saints,” urging them to give themselves over to God (“Submission is the key. He, Himself, and His—totally, completely surrendered”) and incorporate their faith into their daily lives. She stresses that she isn’t advocating joining a monastery; the lives of her “saints,” she says, will each glorify their God in his or her own way: “Saint,” she writes, “you are not there to earn a salary. His plan and purpose for you is greater than that.” This emphasis on individuality, which seems to conflict with a call for abject personal surrender, runs throughout the book, with Edkins repeatedly pointing out that it’s through the separate personalities of its “saints” that the community of faithful will prosper. “Pumping out carbon copies is easy,” she maintains, but the real miracle of Christian life is allowing God to produce “an original”: “In all the world there is one you and one me.” This focus extends, interestingly, to race as well, with a stern clarification that “There is no ‘black church’ or ‘white church’, there is only His church.” It’s accompanied by clear, no-nonsense declarations about how fully embracing a faithful life will forever change those who do it. Each chapter of Edkins’ bracing book ends with a “Recipe,” consisting of a lengthy quote from Scripture, and the author also includes many original prayers, custom-written around the themes she lays out. Although this isn’t a book for religious doubters, much less active skeptics, it will be a congenial reading experience for devout Christians.

A heartfelt, accessible celebration of modern-day “saints.”

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1-4828-0685-4

Page Count: -

Publisher: Partridge Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2015

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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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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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