I remember the first book I read a book by John Eldredge (and the late Brent Curtis). It was The Sacred Romance (subtitled Drawing Closer to the Heart of God). As I read the words, I was brought back to the C.S. Lewis quote, "We read to know we're not alone". I didn't know other people had experienced the same feelings and sensations I had over the years and here are two men putting pen to paper about those very feelings!
How sad I was when I read John's next book, The Journey of Desire, and learned Brent had been killed in an accident. One feels they get to know people through their books. The first book touched me so much, it is definitely among my top ten nonfiction books I've ever read.
So, I was happy to review Captivating which is written by John and his wife Stasi. The subtitle is Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul. A book written by two people could be quite confusing but they are very good at letting you know who is writing what part of a chapter. This is very much the female equivalent of John's book called Wild at Heart.
Captivating does a good job of describing the differences between men and women, how each relate to God and the world in general. However, I know there were some who thought Wild at Heart was too "cut and dried" and made generalizations they didn't agree with. I agree there are generalizations given but I didn't find any I'd have a problem with.
Stasi shares many of her own experiences, which I found very interesting. Just as her husband does in previous books, she opens her soul to allow her readers into her world. She seems the kind of person it would be easy to sit down to tea or coffee with and chat for hours.
Some of the chapter titles are: The Heart of a Woman, What Eve Alone Can Tell, Wounded, Romanced, Beauty to Unveil, and Warrior Princesses. There is even an entire chapter about Mothers, Daughters, and Sisters.
I would say everyone would enjoy this book but I know better (judging from reviews I've read about John's books online... the same books I enjoy so much). Anyone who leans to a more feminist approach to life would probably dislike the book. Some may think John and Stasi give too simple answers to complex questions... too black and white so to speak.
As for me, I enjoyed it very much. Probably because I like books written by people who have experienced the road in which they write about. I love the way Stasi gives examples from literature and movies to show us the way women and men react differently to similar situations. All she has to do is give Mel Gibson as an example from Braveheart and we are on the same wavelength. :)
I would definitely give it to a friend or family member (or for yourself) who has gone through any kind of abuse, abandonment, etc. It may help them understand how and why they react to different situations. Most women would enjoy it even if they had a perfect childhood. Very interesting book!