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Somewhere More Holy Audible – Unabridged

4.8 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

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By N. B. Kennedy TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 30, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Tony Woodlief writes lyrically, yet realistically, about family life. He and his wife both came from flawed and broken families, and so have made it their life's work to create a home environment in which everyone feels loved and safe, both physically and mentally.

This is the kind of book that will deeply delight many readers, especially those in loving, close-knit families. If you enjoyed Katrina Kennison's The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir you might find this book similarly satisfying, especially if you share Mr. Woodlief's biblical outlook.

Yet I found myself oddly detached. Once Mr. Woodlief writes in the introduction about his daughter's tragic death, his depression, his infidelities and the near implosion of his marriage, I just couldn't settle into the day-to-day observations of small family moments.

I would have preferred the author go into more depth about the tragedies and hard times he and his wife have endured. How does he maneuver the faith crisis implied in the verse he quotes so often: "I do believe. Help me in my unbelief." Although Mr. Woodlief writes evocatively about how deeply wounded he and his wife were, I didn't get any sense of how they worked through their grief, anger and loss of faith. I know he has much to tell us, and I hope one day he does.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a raw, captivating, and well-crafted book. In Somewhere More Holy, Tony Woodlief walks us through the rooms of his home, using those rooms to explore his own emotions, spirituality, and thoughts on family. By baring his own flaws, doubts, hopes, loves, and struggles, Mr. Woodlief creates a piece of literary nonfiction that is, by turns, both heartbreaking and uplifting. He reminds us of those people and moments that transform houses into homes. And trusting us with the most intimate details of his family's life, he reminds us that, in both good and bad moments, we're never as alone as we imagine. Somewhere More Holy is well worth the read.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Dear Tony Woodlief, I don't know who you are. I just picked your book from the Vine Program, off the Title alone. I liked the title and subtitle. (Equal parts good - we needed the subtitle: "Stories From: A Bewildered Father, Stumbling Husband, Reluctant Handyman and Prodigal Son") I did notice in researching your book before it arrived that your prior work was published in the Wall Street Journal and London Times, so, I knew you could write - and write well. But, I wasn't sure if you could capture my interest...until your book arrived. I picked it up and started to read the introduction. After I read one paragraph, I stopped and pulled my husband away from his work and said, "you have to hear this.". Then I read another paragraph and laughed outloud. I rarely laugh OUT LOUD at something I'm reading. I interrupted my husband again - "You have GOT to read this.". Then I continued reading and started crying. Mr. Woodlief, I am so sorry, your first little girl died at 3 years old. I am so sorry, for the pain you and your wife cried through...but oh so grateful you wrote about it all so honestly. Thank you for telling us the truth, that you cheated on your wife, hated God and burried yourself in a bottle of Scotch. Thank you for being transparent and for writing about it in such wonderful prose, that we actually forget the words and can only get the story. You are my kind of writer Mr. Woodlief, and my kind of Christian - the honest kind. The Funny Kind. The Transparent Kind. Thank you...Oh God, Thank you for Mr. Woodlief, and for Zondervan who published something about faith that isn't insipid.
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Format: Paperback
Tony Woodleif's book was a welcome reassurance that I am not the only father out there who struggles with parenthood, balancing doing the right thing while trying not to permanently scar your children! Blending humor, candor, God's word, and a raw openness about his own failings as a husband and father assures readers who are less than perfect that we are not alone while yet giving us hope that God still loves us -and so do our children and spouses.
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Out of the probably thousands of books that I've read, few are as laugh-out-loud funny, or as unbearably poignant, or as full of wise and profound observations about God's place in our lives, or as beautifully written -- let alone all four at once.
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Format: Paperback
Elegant in its inelegance. The prose was easy to read but the emotions were difficult. This book grapples with a lot of fundamental issues of faith and family that anyone can relate to.

I don't have a family yet but I'll take Tony's musings on rearing his own as both a cautionary tale and a source of hope. Thank you, Tony, for your honesty, wit, and openness.
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Format: Paperback
It says something about the book when the introduction moves me to tears. Somewhere More Holy is a book every father and potential parent must read.

Tony Woodlief's daughter died of brain cancer when she was very young. The despair that followed sent Tony into drinking and having an affair.

Years later, he and his wife Celeste are still married with four boys. This book is Tony giving us a tour of his house while explaining life as a parent after the death of a daughter.

We walk through the doorstep on our way to the living room. Next we stop at the dinning room table before checking out the bathroom. We visit the bedrooms and outdoors before stopping at the doorstep of heaven.

In each chapter, Tony shares some hilarious stories involving each room mixed with the struggles he has dealt with as a parent.

You won't find the shallow cliches in Tony's excellent reminiscences. But you will gain a better understanding of parenthood, the serious pain of outliving a child and God's redeeming grace.

This book is simply terrific.

This book was provided for review by Zondervan Publishing.
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