The Grace of the Lord Is Upon Me by Sithabile Dzingayi

The Grace of the Lord Is Upon Me

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A Zimbabwean woman finds the strength to overcome health crises and losses through reading Bible verses.

After her husband died, Dzingayi writes, “I was feeling sick, weak and my appetite was poor. I would look for ant-hills and scrap sand to eat[,] probably my iron levels were very low.” Dzingayi says that she prayed to the Lord for help to ensure that her family was fed. She writes of the “demonic torments” that plagued her and of how it was only after visiting Pentecostal churches that she came to understand “that the attacks were spiritual husbands”; she said that she “felt as if I was having [a] sexual encounter with someone invisible.” Her story became even more troubling after she left Zimbabwe to be with her sister in London; she discovered that she was HIV-positive. Burdened with the pain of both her husband’s death and the judgment of her doctors, Dzingayi says that she needed the Lord more than ever: “Who could believe me that I did not sleep around after my husband’s death. I had to boldly come to the throne of the Lord.” She describes in detail her past and current medical regimen to deal with HIV, concluding that with these treatments she’s able to live a healthy life with her children: “This is my calling, my destiny and opportunity to share my experience while living with HIV.” As a religious testimony, Dzingayi’s book succeeds in describing her enormous struggle and the power of Christian faith. Unfortunately, this message is overshadowed by disorganized writing and distracting grammatical errors. Dzingayi also fails to provide the necessary background readers need to connect with her; for example, readers never learn anything about her children, and her late husband also remains mysterious. She never offers any insight into her feelings regarding the move from Zimbabwe to London. Consequently, readers rarely come to know Dzingayi outside of the list of horrible events she describes, which makes it a less moving reading experience when she finds the strength to carry on.

A testimony filled with tragedy and hope but whose impact is weakened by confusing, distracting prose.

Pub Date: May 18th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5246-3101-7
Page count: 56pp
Publisher: AuthorHouseUK
Program: Kirkus Indie
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