Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Emotionally Healthy Woman by Geri Scazerro (DNF with link to free sneak peek chapter)

The Emotionally Healthy Woman by Geri Scazzero is subtitled "Eight Things You Have to Quit to Change Your Life".  I should have known better.  When I read the description of this book, I got the impression that The Emotionally Healthy Woman leaned more toward memoir than how-to, because the description talked about some pretty drastic things the author has "walked away" from.  But the subtitle is directed to the reader, clearly indicating that the topic is about how the reader can make changes, rather than how the author did so.  My mistake.

The Emotionally Healthy Woman was, in fact, a DNF for me because I was hoping to read about how one person walked away from or "quit" certain bad habits/practices in order to improve her emotional health.  As I was reading, though, I was frustrated to find that the author's personal accounts of changes she's made in her life ("quitting" the church at which her husband was the minister, for example, and becoming a member of another) were very, very brief.  Even if it was not a memoir, per se, I would have liked to read far more about the author's personal experience.  I only lasted about 50 pages.

The Emotionally Healthy Woman is also a little heavy-handed thematically.  I felt like I could get all I needed from the list of things the author "quit" and the actions with which she replaced them.  From what little I read, I was already getting fatigued with the use of the "quitting" concept.  It's not necessary to flog a theme to death; it's okay to just use it as a guideline.

You can read a free chapter from The Emotionally Healthy Woman at my free chapter blog, but here's a very brief excerpt to give you an idea what the author is referring to with the "quitting" theme:

When we quit fear of what others think, we choose freedom.
When we quit lies, we choose truth.
When we quit blaming, we choose to take responsibility.

If you need or desire to hear those concepts elaborated upon, the author appears to have done a nice job of seeking out scriptures and Biblical examples (The Emotionally Healthy Woman is a Christian book from Zondervan) to back up the ideas.  But, I didn't personally feel like I needed to make a Bible study of the concept.  I think, if anything, I'd be happy just tearing out the one-page list of 8 items to give up and their replacement actions -- to hang on the wall as a reminder.  At this stage in my life, I prefer reading a memoir because I'm just happier vicariously experiencing a concept via a personal account.

Recommended specifically to Christian women who feel like they need a little guidance and some Biblical reference points to help them make life changes for the improvement of their emotional health, particularly those who are heavily involved in church and feeling a little overwhelmed.  There's some good material in The Emotionally Healthy Woman; it just was not the right book for me.

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  1. Lol! The fact that I saw the title to this book and immediately started laughing and thinking, I think I could use this book right now... Well, I'm not sure what that means but, yeah.

    1. LOL I know what you mean. I think that's why I grabbed it. This was a book tour -- forgot to mention that. In my younger years, I think I would have really enjoyed it. I used to read a lot of similar books on Christian living. It's just that . . . well, I'm older and I'm not in the kind of place the author is talking about. I'm not one of those people who is so busy trying to keep up with activities and save face that I hide the real me. I think it's a good book, really. But, yeah. LOL The title just makes you feel like, "Maybe God is trying to tell me therapy is a good idea?" ;)

  2. I don't think it's necessary to harp on the various changes that one could make in order to be happier, because I think deep down in our hearts, we know where we need to change, and what needs to be done. I would rather read a book about the courage to change when you have fear of the unknown, instead of something like this. I can see why this was a DNF for you though!

    1. Yes, true, but I do think this particular book is a good one if you're the right reader. Sometimes people need a little (or a lot of) guidance and like to see it all laid out scripturally to know that it's okay to make specific changes and it might be wonderful for them. I really think it's directed at a very narrow audience, particularly women who are overwhelmed because they have said yes to too many obligations and are just smiling and laughing through it while they're cracking inside or ready to keel from exhaustion. I'm at more of a "looking for things to do with myself" stage -- quite the opposite, but still stressful in a very different way. I think I would have loved it if the book had been a memoir, even though her life is very different from mine.


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