Friday, February 20, 2009

Book review: Healing Waters by Nancy Rue & Stephen Arterburn

The beginning setup of the book seems to imply that Lucia will be focusing on her recovery efforts on her emotional eating as a coping mechanism for the pains in her life, including a drug-abusing husband who went to jail for dealing drugs, a sister who lives in the limelight of ministry, and a recent miscarriage. The book is even dedicated to participants of "Lose it for Life". However, therapist Sullivan Crisp (injected into the story in a non-natural way) mostly focuses Lucia's sessions on her tendency to be a servant to the whims of her family. At the end, I didn't feel that Lucia had really made any progress in her eating issue and the only inspiring therapy sentence I highlighted was "You'll never stop hurting. You will stop crying, if you just go ahead and let it all out." I didn't see any obvious recovery over her miscarriage either, nor processing her grief over her husband's behavior. Overall, it seems like the book wasn't quite finished yet in terms of the therapy aspects.

The first several chapters of the book were amazingly commercial. Almost like the book was commissioned by paid product placements. There are 10 Brand Name mentions in the first chapter and four more mentions in chapter 5, three more in chapter 7, three more in chapter 11, five more in chapter 19, and then no more through the rest of the 25 remaining chapters. Very strange.

The discussion questions at the end of the book can seem like they are leading the reader to a particular expected answer. All that said, the plot line is a very interesting who-dunnit mystery with a culprit that I didnt see coming. While I found the book somewhat disappointing, I'm sure that fans of the character Sullivan Crisp will enjoy this continuation of his story as he seeks healing from the suicide of his wife which also killed his newborn child.

1 comment:

Marmee of Bear Meadow said...

Thanks for the review. You give many examples to support your observations. I'd find that brand-name stuff very, very off-putting. What was the editor thinking? And how disappointing if "You'll never stop hurting," etc., is the best therapy sentence you found. That is so sad and puzzling; I've appreciated Arterburn's personal-growth writings very much.