Friday, November 4, 2011

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp

Zondervan (January 17, 2011) 240 pages

Source: Library

***A couple of you(you know who you are) ;) were looking forward to today's review. I've already posted this one at Goodreads last week, so I hope y'all aren't too disappointed! ;)

One Thousand Gifts was really an impulse read for me. I did want to read it, because a few months ago, I had somewhat advertised the book with one of my link-ups. I stopped after one, though, because I decided I better figure out what the book stood for if I was going to advertise it. When I was in the library a few weeks ago, it was on the new shelf, and I surprised myself when I ended up checking it out.

I have such mixed feelings about it, though! It took me about 1/4 of the way to get used to the way Ann writes. From there to about 1/2 way through, I actually found the book quite beautiful. But, it just lost it's touch for me after that. I DO think that the message of the book is a great one. Who couldn't benefit from learning to be more thankful....for everything!!!

There's just So.Many.Words! MY!! For me, the message just got lost in all of it at many points.

There's one time Ann's husband tells her to look at the moon, and suddenly she grabs her camera and goes running through a field. Why? Is she convinced she might actually catch it since it's so close? Is she trying to get a better shot on the camera? Is she simply trying to enjoy the moment without her kids? The way it's written, I'm left wondering what on earth was going through her mind. And that's just one example.

Apart from that, I just didn't like some of the wording Ann uses. Here are a couple of examples:

"A glowing sun-orb fills, an August sky the day this story begins, the day I am born, the day I begin to live.
And I fill my mother's tearing ring of fire with my body emerging, virgin lungs searing with air of this earth and I enter the world like every person enters the world: with clenched fists.
From the diameter of her fullness, I empty her out-and she bleeds. Vernix-creased and squalling, I am held to the light."

That was on the first page, and I actually put the book down and debated whether I wanted to continue. Obviously, I decided to keep going. :)

"I want to be in God and God to be in me, to exchange love and blessing and caresses and, like the apostle-pilgrims, my eyes open and I know it because of this burning of the heart:this moment is a divine interchange. I raise my hand slightly, finger imperceptibly the air before the canvas and this is intercourse disrobed of its connotations, pure and unadulterated: a passing between. A connection, a communicating, and exchange, between tender Bridegroom and His bride."

There were several times reading that I just simply had a feeling of unease, and I couldn't put my finger on why. I didn't love One Thousand Gifts, but it is Ann's spiritual journey and therefore, it is beautiful, in its own way. There is a good message of thankfulness, if you can find it in all the words. The whole concept of writing down our blessings is just a wonderful thing! I don't see how that could be negative in any way!


  1. O I see what you mean. It's lovely but wordy. Almost has an old fashioned style of writing to it. Great honest review.

  2. ;D

    I'm afraid that if I pick up this book I'll just go bonkers.

    I think that's really all I can say in this moment...except that it's nice to see a more balanced take on this one. Let's not love and adore it or anything. Find points to ponder, perhaps. But love it? I'm thinking NOT.

  3. I'm glad I read it, because it did give me things to think about, but I'm also really glad that I simply checked it out at the library. I don't anticipate this to ever be a re-read! :)