Your heart will be warmed, afflicted and enticed as you journey across the great Pacific between Asia and America in a catharsis of tragedy and torment. This is a real story of betrayal and devastation. Some of it sizzles and shakes, but the intention is for healing -- perhaps yours. --David Spaite, from the Foreword
"Scandalon" is my first book, but I've been writing all my life. Being raised the daughter of an imaginative, storytelling mother who loved books, I knew early on that I loved to write. My favorite childhood toy was a old, heavy black typewriter and I lugged it everywhere I went - writing stories to share with my classmates at school.
I also love teaching, traveling, cooking, and being with family and friends. I love living in Asia. Mostly, though, I love knowing God. It's amazing to see how He works through every experience, both good and bad.
If any life experience has left you desperate, helpless, broken, or searching, Scandalon is a must read. From the first to the last page, Susan's insightful journey from shame and betrayal to her rediscovery of God's love, kept me curious and captivated. I couldn't put it down. It's a book that I'll long remember as one that impacted me at the core of my soul.
Have you thought what it would like to get to know, work with the people in China, and live with them? Have you wondered what it would be like to grow up in a minister's family? Susan Elaine Jenkins paints an insightful and sobering picture that answers these questions in her masterful memoir, "Scandalon: Running From Shame and Finding God's Scandalous Love."
As I read the book her narrative format had me feeling like I was sitting in a recliner with a cup of coffee and she was sitting across the room telling me her story of how not just one, but a series of scandals hit her life. Some of events were self-inflicted. Other events were of someone else's making. I found a bit of myself and my struggles as I read her story. Her writing and story were so interesting I didn't want to put the book down! Yet, I feared I would read it too fast. I love the way her personality permeates the book.
In 1980, after three years of teaching in the USA in a private school (and saving her money) Susan made a trip to China. It was part of a gift she gave herself - a trip around the world. It was a prelude. In 1997 Susan accepted a two year teaching position in Tianjin, China. She would remain in China.
Susan employs a wonderful method of telling of her adventures in China with reflections on what took place in her earlier life in the USA. The transition between the USA story and the China story is via a short statement of spiritual truth or insight. It is these earlier events in the USA that lead to her seeking refuge half way around the world. We see God's handiwork in her life. We see her improving her language skills, her understanding of the Chinese culture, and how her American culture sometimes exasperated her Chinese friends, especially Ouyang.Read more ›
Susan Elaine Jenkins has a special sparkling style of writing. She unfolds her personal story clearly and with a simple honesty that is hard for most authors to achieve. Scandalon is not just a flushing of memories onto the page, but a private catharsis that can be felt emotionally as her account is revealed.
She uses a series of juxtapositions of Eastern to Western cultures, individualistic weaknesses and spiritual strengths, and even humanity's idealizations with our commonly held conceptions about reality as tools to help express her journey while adding tangible meaning and a truly fresh perspective.
This is Susan's record of realizations as well as a story of personal healing, positive spiritual growth, and renewed hope.
Review by Curt Grayson, Ph.D., author of "Healing the Hurts that Sabotage the Soul" and "Creating A Safe Place"
In this exciting book, Susan brings her story of hope and courage to others who experience difficult life circumstances and people. She discovers through her own journey that God's plan for our lives may not be what we envisioned in our perfect worlds, but it is what He knew we needed to grow and mature in our faith. This is a compelling read that is hard to put down once you start as she takes us through the chapters in her life combining her time in China as a teacher, intertwined with her life back in America. Susan sums up her experience living in China by saying that "living abroad, allowed one's mind to stretch beyond what seemed possible". She also learned that sometimes God heals when you least expect it, from unexpected people! The biblically inspired messages of truth and encouragement through out the book will instill hope and give you courage to continue down the road of life even if you may not know what lies ahead. This book will encourage anyone that has experienced disappointment with people whom you may have trusted to take care of you, but took advantage of their position and power. You will learn that deep pain and disappointment can change to a life of even deeper meaning and joy!
As I turned the pages and delved deeper into Susan Elaine Jenkins' book I wondered how many others have tried, or are currently trying, to navigate those same hostile waters. From her innocent youth, her adult pains, then through her own suffering these pages take the reader on a journey to rediscover the truths and passion first embraced at the tender age of four.
Her story woven from brief views of then and now, here and there, take the reader on a magical trip through an exotic land where all she knows is at odds with all that lies before her. Bruised and battered she starts anew in China. Through her eyes and journals the reader is given glimpses of both the old and new China coming to grips with its own shameful past.
If you or some you know is hurting or hiding from mistakes in the past these pages graced with a simple story eloquently told offer hope and reminder that God is still God and still loves you.