Everything Happens for A Reason

Everything Happens for A Reason

And Other Lies I've Loved

Book - 2018
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"A divinity professor and young mother with a Stage IV cancer diagnosis explores the pain and joy of living without certainty. Thirty-five-year-old Kate Bowler was a professor at the school of divinity at Duke, and had finally had a baby with her childhood sweetheart after years of trying, when she began to feel jabbing pains in her stomach. She lost thirty pounds, chugged antacid, and visited doctors for three months before she was finally diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. As she navigates the aftermath of her diagnosis, Kate pulls the reader deeply into her life, which is populated with a colorful, often hilarious collection of friends, pastors, parents, and doctors, and shares her laser-sharp reflections on faith, friendship, love, and death. She wonders why suffering makes her feel like a loser and explores the burden of positivity. Trying to relish the time she still has with her son and husband, she realizes she must change her habit of skipping to the end and planning the next move. A historian of the "American prosperity gospel"--The creed of the mega-churches that promises believers a cure for tragedy, if they just want it badly enough--Bowler finds that, in the wake of her diagnosis, she craves these same "outrageous certainties." She wants to know why it's so hard to surrender control over that which you have no control. She contends with the terrifying fact that, even for her husband and child, she is not the lynchpin of existence, and that even without her, life will go on. On the page, Kate Bowler is warm, witty, and ruthless, and, like Paul Kalanithi, one of the talented, courageous few who can articulate the grief she feels as she contemplates her own mortality"--
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, [2018]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780399592065
Characteristics: xviii, 178 pages ; 20 cm


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Mar 16, 2018

I don't remember how I came across this book or why it ended up on my "For Later" list at the library, but I needed a quick read before we left for our 3 week road trip and this one was available. I didn't know anything about it when I grabbed it but the title intrigued me. The book follows the author along her journey of being diagnosed with Stage IV cancer and her "acceptance" along the way. (I put acceptance in quotes because throughout the story there are definitely ups and downs, days that she feels rage or fear, calm or grief. I wouldn't say that in the end you feel a complete sense of acceptance, but one of realization that she must live in the now because tomorrow is never promised.) I know this may sound cold, but I didn't love the book. I felt like the best parts were actually the appendix (a list of things to NEVER say to someone experiencing a hard time and a list of potential things you could say). I totally understand that this is about her personal journey and maybe I am expecting too much, but I was left wanting more - wanting more of a conclusion, wanting more of her relationship with God (she talks about how she is in expert in the field of the prosperity gospel, but never really touches on HER beliefs), wanting more something. This was a quick read so I didn't feel like I had too much invested in it, but when I finished I was still a bit disappointed. I would give it a 6 out of 10.


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