14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Faithful and Engaging,
This review is from: A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband "Master" (Paperback)I'm a lifelong Christian, but I am not native to the Evangelical branch from which Rachel emerges; so some of the standards she talks about as common expectations for a woman in that culture are really unfamiliar territory to me. That said, her response does seem familiar: rather than accepting a filtered & distilled version of who or what she ought to be, she dives in to try things for herself.
In "A Year of Biblical Womanhood," Rachel shares her experience with trying to live various biblical requirements literally: head coverings, submission and attempts at domestic excellence-- none of which had been high priorities beforehand-- all take their turn. She sometimes approaches her adventures with what I picture as an eye-rolling appreciation of the ludicrous aspects (the discussion about calling her husband "Master" clearly had an element of this!), but also with good humor and wit and grateful appreciation for what she learns about herself in the process. The intentional practice of faith in all aspects of life carries weight, and this comes through as well.
At one point, Rachel notes that "I have come to regard with suspicion those who claim that the Bible never troubles them. I can only assume this means they haven't actually read it." (p.51) I wholly agree! That said, Rachel HAS read it, and she shares what she finds-- not just select "proof texts" that so often get the most press, but real swaths of the stories and traditions that make up Holy Writ. She does not settle for the comfortable and comforting, but also dives with deliberate intention into scriptures about women that range from challenging to troubling to tragic. In doing so, she makes a real effort to see what they have to say about the life of a "Woman of Valor" today, in a conversational, accessible style that honors the text.
I had an early copy to preview; but I can't wait until the book is released so I can pick up copies to share. This one is worth reading.