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301 of 311 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A profound read for spiritual seekers
Sue Monk Kidd has created a masterpiece... a highly personal and yet relevant journey of one woman who suddenly realized the historically patriarchal nature of the Christian church. As a woman and a mainline protestant minister myself, there is no doubt that she has named the pain of generations of women who suddenly woke up and realized they were not fully...
Published on April 2, 2002 by The man

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56 of 69 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It Took Me a Long Time to Get Through It
This book was recommended to me by a good friend and so, being a lapsed Catholic with a lot of irritation at the patriarchy of the Catholic Church, I decided to give it a try. I found the beginning and the end to to be the best parts--the middle was long, repetitive, and a bit hard to take. While I respect Ms. Kidd's journey, I do feel that she tended to put herself and...
Published on December 20, 2006 by C. B. Hurst


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301 of 311 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A profound read for spiritual seekers, April 2, 2002
Sue Monk Kidd has created a masterpiece... a highly personal and yet relevant journey of one woman who suddenly realized the historically patriarchal nature of the Christian church. As a woman and a mainline protestant minister myself, there is no doubt that she has named the pain of generations of women who suddenly woke up and realized they were not fully included.
Her journey is beautiful, deep, and heartfelt. Another Christian reviewer wrote, "not my Journey". Well, Kidd's experience is not mine either... I have chosen to work within the church rather than leave the value I find there. Yet her journey is both understandable, and fully her own. When I was in seminary in the early to mid 90s, this book was definately required reading for all the female pastors-to-be. I have recommended it to women in my church who are struggling with their desire for a more feminine spirituality, who question the status quo and their own assumptions about the nature of the divine.
I love this book not so much as a guidebook to a post-
Christian place, or even a feminist manifesto, but as a how-to for spiritual searching. Highly recommended for both male and female seekers!
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183 of 187 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Father Cries For A Daughter, August 15, 2001
By 
J. Kent Borgaard (Las Vegas, NV USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
As a retired male mainline protestant pastor, who has long been uncomfortable with the obvious (to anyone who really looks) male orientation of just about everything in the church, this book has brought tears to my eyes on many pages. Through it I have pictured my own daughters' disenchantment with, seemingly, the only alternative for a living faith available to them without divorcing themselves from the shelter and nurture of those they have loved and been loved by. Sue has articulated for me what I wished I could have found the words to say to them over the course of our lifetimes. She speaks from the pain of her experience without lashing out; always in dialog, as opposed to reaction. She discovers and shares viable alternative experiences of heart-centered faith, and seems to wait for you to respond with discoveries of your own, which she acknowledges may be different from her own. My one disappointment in this book is that it seems to have been marketed so excusively for women. Sometimes I think the only hope for men to rediscover the joy of really intimate relationships with women, is for the women to draw us into the kinds of discoveries which they are making for themselves. And it seems to me that this will happen so much more quickly if we can be sensitive to the pilgrimage they are on. And Sue says it so openly, non-abrasively, and so well. J. Kent Borgaard, [...]
[...]
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186 of 194 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One woman's journey into feminist spirituality, January 21, 2003
By 
Kelly (Fantasy Literature) (Columbia, MO United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Sue Monk Kidd spent approximately her first forty years in the Baptist church, where women are exhorted to submit to their husbands and where she heard the phrase "second in creation, first to sin" countless times. She was disgruntled with the church's stance on women, but never felt moved to rock the boat much, until one day she walked into her daughter's work and found two customers sexually harassing the girl. Something snapped inside her, and she began to question her religion's assumptions about gender and to seek a more feminist spirituality. Her journey took her to ancient mythology, the Gnostic gospels, and to dark places in her own life as her quest caused trouble in her marriage and her religious life. She tells us how she got through her troubles, and her story seems very human and touching. She would feel uneasy, drop the whole subject for months, but her longing always resurfaced. And in the end, she seems to have found peace, and some interesting insights. This book will be interesting to Christian women trying to figure out how to reconcile religion with self-respect. It was also interesting to me, as a pagan of several years and an agnostic before that--it helped me see value in Christianity that I had not seen before.
My only gripe about it is that sometimes Kidd generalizes too much. The book is at its best when she tells her own story, but sometimes she slips into saying things like "A woman feels X when Y happens". Everybody's journey is slightly different.
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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life changing book, May 27, 2001
By 
Sandra RB. (Louisa, VA USA) - See all my reviews
This life changing book allowed me to say Goddess without fear. Kidd cogently articulates the concept of the feminine divine and the damage that a strictly phallic god has inflicted on women and girls. If you read only one book on the feminine divine, read this one. I continually reread and refer to this book. It deserves 10 stars. The two reviews that rate this book less than 5 stars are unfair. Kidd is white. This book is essentially an autobiography of her spiritual journey. To criticize her for not writing from the viewpoint of a black woman is absurd. And the "Christian" woman's review makes me wonder whether she read the book. The divine clearly remains a phallic deity to her. Kidd did not abandon her husband. To return full circle to accept only a phallic concept of the divine requires that one disavow their feminine soul. Christian patriarchy has been built on the degradation and abuse of women. After reading this book, I cannot accept the Christianity with which I was raised. Kudos to Kidd for a book that spoke from her soul. She threw away her career as a Christian writer by publishing this book. I am grateful for her courage in doing so.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It changed my life, June 1, 2004
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Like Sue Monk Kidd, I was (am) the wife of a Protestant Minister. Unlike her, I was absolutely miserable for twelve years. I was unhappy and unsuited for the role, and found the expectations of the small Methodist congregations impossible to my independent nature. When my husband left the pastorate to take a special appointment primarily because of my nervous breakdown, I felt as if I had failed my religious family and friends. I floundered, confused and depressed for some time until I happened on DANCE OF THE DISSIDENT DAUGHTER. The accounting of Ms.Kidd's search for her place in a patriarchal religious south and her discovery of the power available within when embracing her own feminine nature and the sisterhood of other women gave me hope. I knew that I would encounter considerable impediments if I traveled that road so when I met her at a book signing in Atlanta, I had one question: "Is it worth it?" She looked me in the eyes and said one word---"YES!" And it has been.
This book is of immeasureable value for any woman searching for a path to a personal spiritual awakening not filled with the platitudes and martyrdom usually found in Christian Women's books. I would especially recommend it to wives and daughters of Pastors and Ministers who are finding their husband's and/or father's profession personally difficult. Be warned, it is forward thinking and revolutionary, but you may find spiritual depths that give you and your families a new and powerful source of strength.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A woman shares her spiritual journey with others., July 30, 1997
By A Customer
"Sometimes another woman's story becomes a mirror that shows me a self I haven't seen before." Sue Monk Kidd writes these words and holds up such a mirror in this thought-provoking account of her gradual disenchantment with the traditional, patriarchal Christian Church that was at the center of her personal and professional lives. As she becomes open to questions about feminine images of the Divine, she develops a feminist religious perspective without becoming anti-male or anti-church. She researches the subject extensively, and one of the great delights this book offers is the many voices of women--poets, theologians, and feminists--echoing through its pages. Kidd's story is a traveling companion both for those already in the midst of such a journey and for those who have yet to begin. It is well worth reading and reading again
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Saw Myself, February 14, 2000
In her direct and personal style, Sue Monk Kidd tells the story of her journey into spiritual feminism. Fortunately her story is not hers alone. Her journey is the the journey many women today are making into themselves to discover what has been denied or lost to them in a patriarchial society. Many will see their own struggles and triumphs mirrored in her words. They will cry with relief as her story unfolds and they realize that they are not alone. Sue Monk Kidd has written what most of us do not have the gift to write- but do have the heart to feel and the soul to seek. Through this book Sue gives courage to other women who are seeking to heal thier own feminine wounds and walk the paths of our mothers before us.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seek your own truth from the experience of others, July 16, 2006
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I bought this book because I began a spiritual awakening of my own about a year ago. I firmly believe in the power of story as a way for us to relate our own experience to that of others--from that we learn, we cope, we identify, we grow. Regardless of where our journey takes us, there are vital milestones we can share with each other. That is what Kidd's book is to me.

The author shares a deeply personal and spiritual journey. Kidd discovers that her Christian life is not fulfilling, so she embraces the Feminine Divine. Kidd's story provides the same opportunity for enlightenment regardless of whether you choose a Christian or non-Christian path. This hope, that women find their inner strength and beauty, and then spread that strength and beauty, can be moving and life-changing for anyone, if you are ready and open to the experience.

One thing I appreciate about Kidd's book is that she doesn't tell you what's right and what's wrong. She challenges you to empower yourself to seek your own truth, to seek your own feminine balance. I agree with another reviewer that she sometimes makes some sweeping generalizations. And, although I identified with many aspects of her story, I did find that her focus on feminine oppression was a bit much for me.

I have purchased this book as a gift for all of my closest girlfriends. I hope they capture half as much peace and meaning from Kidd's words as I did. My personal journey is not the same as Kidd's, but I am grateful for the light she has shed on the path.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Realizing Possibilities, August 28, 2005
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Having read "The Secret Life of Bees" I bought "The Dance of the Dissident Daughter" without reading what it was about, but only because I liked the author's other book.

Amazingly, the book was not fiction, but of the authors journey to her own feminine divine. Ironicly a journey that I am currently on myself. The book came to me at a time when I was not sure what my next step should be and revealed to me that I am not the only woman that has gone on this journey.

I think every young woman should read this book before they go out in the world. It is an awesome book that teaches a woman that it is okay to stand up and be heard and not allow the world of men to silence women.

And it shows how one woman found faith in something that worked for her and made her feel more in touch with the divine then she had ever been in her life.

I recommend this book to all women.
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Her story....., November 15, 2003
In THE DANCE OF THE DISSIDENT DAUGHTER, Sue Monk Kidd tells of her journey from mainstream Christian to devotee of the Sacred Feminine. You may recognize Kidd's name. She is now writing fiction. She was forced to give up many things during the six years covered in her book including a successful career as an Christian inspirational writer, but she also discovered there really is life beyond the one you lead. I won't tell you how things turned out with her Southern Baptist husband - she says that's `his story'.
Kidd certainly is a knowledgeable person who seems to have read many of the key books associated with the Sacred Feminine. One other reviewer described her as `almost Wicca' but I don't think that is not quite accurate, and I don't know that Kidd would agree. I can imagine some members of Wicca would disagree with that interpretation. (See DRAWING DOWN THE MOON and THE SPIRAL DANCE for an overview thinking on Wicca.) If Kidd is a member of Wicca, she hadn't come out of the broom closet as of the writing of this book.
Many of us who grew up in the Christian tradition have found the going tough as we became older. Some people can remember where they were the day JFK was killed in Dallas. I can too, but I can also remember exactly where I was when the pope issued `Humanae Vitae' (sp). That encyclical upheld traditional RC thinking on birth control. As one who had been pregnant six times in four years using the "approved" church method of "rhythm" (we had a lot of rhythm and no control as the saying goes) that encyclical was the last straw. Many of us have a moment of crises when we make a decision to stay with the religion of our birth or go on to another path. I chose the latter.
Reading Kidd's book I had a sense of recognition. I found myself laughing a crying along with Kidd. She found a new path, a better path for her. I hope when she is in her sixties (which I am) she will revisit the topic. I'd like to know where else she's been.
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The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman's Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine (Plus)
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