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Finding Home: An Imperfect Path to Faith and Family Hardcover – September 1, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Since 2005, Daly has been president and CEO of Focus on the Family, the conservative Christian organization founded by child psychologist and Republican activist James Dobson. Daly's childhood family sorely needed focus: the last of five children born to aging alcoholics, young Jimmy experienced his father's abandonment, his stepfather's rages, his mother's death and several years with a gloriously insane foster family living next to their own personal garbage dump. He apparently avoided beatings and sexual abuse, though his chirpy coauthor rarely plumbs the depths of Daly's probable anguish. Rather than looking inward, the young adolescent developed a pragmatic philosophy of survival: Keep your expectations low. That way you don't get hurt. Somehow, despite homelessness and lack of income, he made it through college, studied overseas, married a good woman, climbed the career ladder and, sadly, still advises low expectations. I believe it's time we were open with one another about the brokenness that we all share he writes, though his story reveals much more of his family's brokenness than his own. Dobson fans—and they are legion—will find Daly's rags-to-(spiritual)-riches story inspirational; others may wish he had dispensed with his coauthor and spoken directly from the heart. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"A Focus on the Family executive since 1989 and now its CEO, Jim Daly endured a cruel childhood. He survived his parents' divorce and then an abusive stepfather only to lose his mother to cancer at a young age. This up-from-the-ashes memoir gets even more grit and texture from the author's early experiences in a crime-ridden Los Angeles suburb. How does any human being survive such losses without losing his sense of what home and family can be? Smoothly written, this is a story that should inspire those whose life circumstances challenge their faith in themselves and humanity. Jim Daly's reading of his poignant story adds first-person legitimacy, though some of the emotional impact is flattened by his uneven delivery." 
T.W. 2008 Audies Finalist © AudioFile Portland, Maine
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0781445337
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434799944
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,004,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. A. Sibbitt on June 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jim Daly's book is not just inspirational. It's important because it is real. It is as real as the chipped linoleum floor of a crummy kitchen in a lousy apartment building. And that's about as good as his future looks. How he overcomes betrayals, heart aches, deaths, and a slew of disappointments is amazing.

It is THE amazing grace in the end that sends this story into a realm that couldn't just happen without some divine help.

Focus on the Family is lucky to have this guy. He's the real deal. He's the genuine article, not fake, not flattering, not unfamiliar with real struggle. He knows how important a family is because he didn't have it.

This would be a great movie; uplifting and meaningful...something movies have not been in a long time....and it's so gritty even Focus on the Family could not handle it.

This book took courage and bravery to write. Read it because it will impart these traits to you.
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Living in the notorious Compton (Los Angeles) area, Jim experienced his first homicide at the age of 8, just 10' away from his bedroom window on the family's ground floor apartment. It left him feeling vulnerable and defenseless. His mom and stepfather had moved there in the spring of 1970 to save some money. Coming from the small town of Yucca Valley, the opposite of noisy Compton, Jim was an "inner city novice".

Where was his dad? He had left three years previously - "the liquid mistress too seductive for him to resist". Had he been a runner for Al Capone as a boy? Jim and his four older siblings will never know. Both their parents pasts are shrouded in absolute secrecy. Maybe they were in the Witness Protection program?

Jim lived in fear. As the baby of the family, born in 1961, alcohol had been a major problem before his birth. Sobriety reigned for four years after Jim's birth and then temptation came calling and his dad fell back into his old habits.

Did Jim actually enter the military at the age of 8? No, but his new stepfather, Hank, sure made it feel like it! Jim's mom died when he was 9. His dad was nowhere around and Hank had gone back to life on the bottle. When the kids came home from their mom's funeral, the house had been emptied (Hank had sold everything apart from a few of their clothes and personal belongings) and Hank was walking out the door! What did they do? Where did they go? If you did not know that you were reading a true story, you would think this was too far fetched to be true! Sadly Jim's life did not get any better at this point. By the age of 10 he was accused of murder! Thankfully the social worker believed him when he told her that the accusation was not true but still a lot for a young child to have to deal with.
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Jim Daly tells of his difficult growing up years. Things happened in his life that are almost unbelievable and jaw-dropping. It exposes the human condition and points toward God's goodness. Folks from tough places have a choice and Jim has made a powerful one.
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Thank you for being transparent, so others who are hurting can relate, be encouraged, and lean on God. Your words are so true: "When we are transparent, we’re in the best position to encourage one another to experience the richness and depth of the life God has for us. When we allow God to be involved in our pain, He has this uncanny ability to make sure none of it is wasted."
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I appreciate your devoting a large part of your memoir to events from a childs eyes. I think growing up in a severly disfuctional family, the Lord was prepairing you for the special position you hold today. Many self-centered so called "grown-ups" have children and pay less attention to their needs then animals. Kudos, Mr Daly. Your trials made you better not bitter!
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We think we have a life in need of a great work, but reading Finding Home is an eye opener. Jim Daly grew up in the worst of families to become a pillar of the American family. It is no wonder that he became such a force due to the tumultuous childhood. If your faith is at a cross roads, this is a must read!
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Couldn't put it down. I wanted to see how Jim Daly could end leading Focus on the Family after suffering such a dysfunctional family situation. Very inspiring book reminding me that God is not limited in what He can accomplish in our weaknesses.
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Loved reading his background as I didn't know him at all, and really just thought he was related to James Dobson. What a story he has, and that he should be the one God placed in this position. How Great is our God!
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