The book's subtitle: "The Improbable Journey of a Human Rights Activist from Unbelief to Faith" is very accurate in depicting that this book is about Holly's journey. She gives us just enough background on herself, then dives into the context of which major events, minor details, personal and professional relationships slowly softened her bitterness toward the Lord. Glimpses of faith penetrated the dark clouds looming over her career, allowing rays of light, hope, and praise to enter into the devastating cases of abuse, even torture, that she was acquainted with.
We don't only hear about Holly's experiences and influences; we hear her thoughts. She has an uncanny way of being very honest and transparent regarding her own beliefs at different points in time. It is remarkable to see someone so precisely depict how their own train of thought was changed over a course of time. Many of us, when we discover we've been wrong about something or someone, accept the new-found truth and try to sweep our previous misconception under the rug, or tuck it into a closet, as to pretend we knew the right facts all along. Not this author. She airs out all her dirty laundry in a spirit of full disclosure regarding what was going through her mind.
At first this was concerning to me, as many of the beliefs she expressed early on in the book reflected what I believed to be direct misinterpretations of Scripture and/or the character of God. I reminded myself that this was a novel about her journey, not an essay about her arrival, and kept reading despite my 'red flags' of disagreement. To her credit, she never claimed to have 'figured it all out' and reminded the reader that the ideas and concepts she mulled over were merely her own thoughts and interpretations.
Nearing the last couple chapters of the book, it is apparent that Holly has developed her own personal relationship with and walk with God. She seeks to know Him more and graciously lays bare her learning experiences thus far, not-withholding the ever-present sense of doubt that plagues her.
This was a fairly quick-read for me, and while I did not find it nearly as fascinating or inspiring as many of the biographies I have read, it may be hold just the right encouragement for someone else who struggles with doubt due to the suffering that is so evident in this world. The reason I did not give this book a higher rating is that I feel it was written prematurely. In my opinion, the message and content of this book could have been far superior if the author had chosen to hold off and write a stronger ending when she had answered some of those lingering questions and corrected even more of the misunderstandings she had regarding the character of God. The book ends on the note that she hasn't yet arrived on very solid ground in terms of placing her complete trust in the person of Jesus Christ. To hear the joy and liberation she would experience when set free from such weighty doubts to a life of praise would've been glorious!
**In the spirit of full disclosure, I will let you know that I received a copy of this book courtesy of Blogging for Books for the purpose of reviewing. I wasn't obligated to give a positive review; the opinions are my own.