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Saturday, September 24, 2011

"By the end of the book, the overwhelming feeling is one of awe."



The Son in My Eyes  Mai Spencer with Dixie Philips
Reviewed by Graphoniac

ISBN: 10-1-935265-66-0
Deep River Books, ©2011
$11.24 @ Amazon.com

Overall Grade: A
Compelling first-hand stories, minor flow concerns

The Son in My Eyes is the auto biography of Mai Spencer, a Vietnamese lady who has seen the hand of God working through even the most dire of circumstances. As a child, she lost family members to war and sickness, and nearly lost her own life when Agent Orange was sprayed over the jungle--and over her!--to destroy the broad leaf plants near her village. She endured beatings, railings, rejection, raids, poverty, abandonment, and so many more unspeakable things. In her autobiography, her reflection on her life, she sees those events not in a bitter light, but in the light of grace.

After having married an American and moving to the States, Mrs. Spencer became a Christian. She left all her Buddhist traditions. She began following God with her sensitive spirit, and ultimately started a ministry in Vietnam, investing in lives and making a difference one child at a time. The Son in My Eyes tells, first hand, how God used each of the difficulties in her life to prepare her for this ministry.

The writing is clean and easy to read, though it takes a little getting used to Mrs. Spencer's gut-level honesty. She doesn't sugar-coat anything: this is a tough, tough read. I admire her transparency, telling her painful story with such openness had to have been hard. Through that transparency, you can't help but see her amazing heart. Towards the end of the book, Mrs. Spencer notes that while some come to Christ immediately, others, like herself, come to Him "inch by inch." She goes on to explain that God doesn't waste trials, but rather uses them later in life to bless others. And that's where she's at now: blessing others.

If you're a stickler for writing style, you may notice a few rough spots where flow is iffy at best. Sometimes it's hard to see the relevance of what she's telling us, and sometimes it's just hard to keep up with the story. After a little while you adjust, though, and it feels like you're sitting in this sweet lady's front room while she shares the stories that come to mind.

By the end of the book, the overwhelming feeling is one of awe. How God can take such horrible, terrible experiences and use them for good... well, I won't spoil it: go read it for yourself.
Pros:
  • The hard-to-read stories are tempered with knowledge of God's grace, and often scriptures.
  • It's clear that the author is not bitter, and wishes to share her story of God's protection through very, very difficult times.
  • The author is courageously honest, sharing good and bad alike.
  • Even with the story-telling style, the grammar is correct and easy to understand.
Cons:
  • A little rambly, at times hard to follow, unpolished story-telling style
  • Intense situations, told rather matter-of-factly, may be hard to read for some, especially if they come from abusive families.

This product was provided free of charge to Graphoniac for review. All opinions are my own.

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