Monday, January 2, 2017

The Women of Easter by Liz Curtis Higgs

The premise for the book intrigued me: a book about three Biblical women named Mary.  What struck me was Higgs similarity in writing to Max Lucado's style--down to earth, plain speaking thoughts.

I wanted to like this book. Wanted it to be something that would help me look at Easter in a fresh new way. Unfortunately, I could not get past the first chapter for several reasons.

What immediately struck me was the amount of end notes in each chapter. Chapter one had over forty. If you have just a few sources of reference, I can appreciate an end note but when you are over ten, it's annoying for a reader to have to continually flip to the end of the chapter to find out who is actually the source of a particular idea. After two dozen notations, I was beginning to feel like Higgs was just compiling a reference on other people's works.  Sentences would have partial phrases quoted--why not just assimilate their points into her own words?

Another annoyance was the fact that she would sometimes just cite a phrase within a verse, not the entire verse.  And instead of having an in text reference, it would be in the end notes.  I think it's imperative that Scripture be immediately identified as such, not up to the reader to go dig at the end of the chapter to see the reference.

Thirdly, the author quoted more translations than I have ever seen in one book. Copyright page says most are from NIV but in the first few pages, readers are hit with several others.  I've been a Christian for over 30 years and some of the abbreviated versions I had never heard of.  And I could not find anywhere in the book where there was a list of what the abbreviations stand for. Yes, one could look them up, but that seems like an unnecessary burden.

And finally, once verses were quoted from The Message and The Voice, I knew the book was not for me. Those may be fine for personal reading but it made me cringe to see them included as the basis for her points.

I guess if a reader can get past those things, it may be an insightful book. But when a book is largely a collection of a variety of ideas, I'd prefer to just read the individual works in their entirety.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of  The Women of Easter from Blogging for Books for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

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