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Sensible Shoes: A Novel Paperback – June 14, 2010
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That's why I find "Sensible Shoes" by Sharon Garlough Brown such a welcome, unexpected, joyous breath of fresh air. It's the powerful story of four women, each with issues and baggage from their past, who meet at a retreat center in Michigan. Through their retreats and their interactions God begins to move them from brokenness to wholeness, and the journey is breathtakingly inspiring. And here's the thing-it is both well-written and extremely insightful. No shallow platitudes here, no quick fixes that deny the heartache real people struggle with every day--"Sensible Shoes" is honest and raw in the way life is, and in being so it opens the door for authentic reflection on the ways God stirs us to step beyond our pasts and embrace a life that is rich, deep, and saturated with His presence.
If that were all, "Sensible Shoes" would be highly worth recommending. But what takes this book to another level entirely is the fact that it, while fiction, teaches and guides the reader as well as any non-fiction book on the spiritual life. If you like Richard Foster or Ruth Haley Barton you will love what Brown does throughout this book in teaching spiritual disciplines and ancient spiritual practices. The reader learns them along with the characters, and that is what I think makes this book totally unique. This would be a great book for small groups to read together and learn practices that would enrich their walk with God.
In short, great story, great characters, great spiritual depth. Christian fiction is in good hands with writers and books like this.
Not so with "Sensible Shoes." I have to say that I was not only engaged by the writing style and the beautiful story (stories, really) being told, but my Christian faith was challenged in a way that I'm still processing. If you enjoy good fiction and you're looking to draw closer to God, I can't recommend this book high enough.
It was even better than I thought it would be. I read this 343 page book in three days- half of it on my flights between Madison and LA, and then the other half on the way back. It was the perfect travel companion. It was especially useful in helping to distract me from the fact that the airplane felt like a roller coaster on our way from LA to Dallas on the way home.
The real beauty of this book is that it ties together spiritual formation with really good fiction. Four women from different walks of life become unlikely friends during a 6 session spiritual formation retreat.
"Hannah, a pastor who doesn’t realize how exhausted she is.
Meg, a widow and recent empty-nester who is haunted by her past.
Mara, a woman who has bounced from relationship to relationship, trying to navigate a difficult marriage.
Charissa, a hard-working graduate student who wants to get things right."
At the retreat, they are led through several different spiritual formation practices:
Walking a labyrinth as a journey of prayer
Praying the Examen
Praying with our imagination
Self-Examination and Confession
Creating a Rule of Life
Not only do we learn about the practices right along with the participants, but then we see how it works out in each of the characters’ lives. We see the wrestling with God, the slow transformation, and the one step forward and two steps back that often marks the process of spiritual transformation.Read more ›
What is so masterful about Brown's book is that she pulls her characters and her readers through murkiness to dawning awareness to poignant discovery. The four characters are carefully created to represent the things we know as truth about ourselves. I found my own frailties in the personalities and stories of each character. So often, while reading Sensible Shoes, I wanted to call friends and read them the tender lines that meant something to me. Brown's heart for people shines through and in reading her story it felt as if I was sitting at the feet of one much wiser than me who wanted me to be comforted, and to learn a better way.
Sensible Shoes blends fiction and allegory and comfortable familiarity with scripture and ancient truths to help us see the world around us in a new light. I highly recommend the book and hope Brown continues to write and share in this way.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this book! So good I bought extra copies to give away. This author does a great job combining an engaging story with deep spiritual truths and encouragement.Published 4 days ago by Calvin Thompson
It came along at just the right time in my life. I experienced the grace and love of Jesus through the characters in this book. I highly recommend this book.Published 8 days ago by Jill
Powerful story of 4 relatable women on their individual spiritual journeys, which bleeds over into the reader's own journey. Soul stirring...Published 10 days ago by P. Nafzger
The condition of the book was rated "good." In my opinion, it was actually in "excellent" condition..Published 10 days ago by RE
Loved this book. Just the right mix of character, spirituality, and lifePublished 1 month ago by BLBMCB
I found this to be a very good book with many gems of wisdom found along the way. The spiritual guidance and practices offered are very sound transformative and helpful in my own... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lindy Cutshall
Wonderful book about spiritual journeys,I couldn't put it down. Four different women and circumstances, but very relatable. Plan on reading the next book!Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer