A divinity professor and young mother with a Stage IV cancer diagnosis explores the pain and joy of living without certainty.Thirty-five-year-old Kate Bowler was a professor at the school of divinity at Duke, and had finally had a baby with her childhood sweetheart after years of trying, when she began to feel jabbing pains in her stomach. She lost thirty pounds, chugged antacid, and visited doctors for three months before she was finally diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer.As she navigates the aftermath of her diagnosis, Kate pulls the reader deeply into her life, which is populated with a colorful, often hilarious collection of friends, pastors, parents, and doctors, and shares her laser-sharp reflections on faith, friendship, love, and death. She wonders why suffering makes her feel like a loser and explores the burden of positivity. Trying to relish the time she still has with her son and husband, she realizes she must change her habit of skipping to the end and planning the next move. A historian of the "American prosperity gospel"--the creed of the mega-churches that promises believers a cure for tragedy, if they just want it badly enough--Bowler finds that, in the wake of her diagnosis, she craves these same "outrageous certainties." She wants to know why it's so hard to surrender control over that which you have no control. She contends with the terrifying fact that, even for her husband and child, she is not the lynchpin of existence, and that even without her, life will go on.On the page, Kate Bowler is warm, witty, and ruthless, and, like Paul Kalanithi, one of the talented, courageous few who can articulate the grief she feels as she contemplates her own mortality....
|Title||:||Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved|
|Number of Pages||:||178 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Everything » Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved|
Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved Reviews
I started this book in the waiting room at the dentist, which was a mistake, in part because I’m always about to cry at the dentist and also because the dentist does not deserve to witness my deep wonder.
So I did what any reasonable person should and finished this book at home in bed on a slow morning. And gosh. I’m glad my roommates weren’t home because I oscillated between an ugly cry and a full belly laugh in the course of like three pages.
Kate’s voice is incisive and thoughtful and honest ...more
Bowler helps her readers become aware of how hurtful well-meant comments can be when we try to comfort those stricken by disease and tragedy. She skillfully traces the history of her fight with cancer.
She places her book in the context of her expertise in the prosperity gospel movement, the focus of her graduate study. I was gritting my teeth as I followed her narrative of suffering from comments made by adherents of this movement and wondering why she did not depend more on her Mennonite faith ...more
I received an ARC from the publisher for review. This book was a bit heart-wrenching, the story of Kate Bowler's cancer diagnosis and grappling with her own mortality. I have to rate it a little lower because the narrative style was jarring to me - Bowler skipped around so much that I kept having to reread parts of the story because all of a sudden we were in a different tense, or timeline. Some good lessons in here, and be warned, there's lots of God - maybe more than I was expecting. If you've ...more
This book is all I can think about right now—the mix of scholarship and faith and personal trauma. I share so many friends in common with her and so it seems close. I respect so much her persisting and not “skipping to the end”. Her resistance to making meaning except that “trust often feels like love” and her ability to find and celebrate that love are truly amazing.
At thirty-five years old, Kate Bowler returns home from the doctor one day with a Stage IV cancer diagnosis. This disrupts her entire universe, forcing her reevaluate her longstanding belief that God has a plan for all of us and that everything happens for a reason. This is particularly challenging for a Divinity professor who grew up in a Mennonite community in which all things -- good and evil -- are attributed to "God's plan."
And that's why I like this memoir: because Kate Bowler discovers th ...more
Everything Happens for a Reason by Kate Bowler is a startling memoir about courage, hope, and one woman's reaction to receiving the news that she has stage IV colon cancer.
First off, this book was emotionally hard to read! Kate is in her 30s and has a husband and child. I'm also in my 30s and am happily married with two kids. It's hard to imagine being told your life could be over because of a cancer diagnosis. Honestly, I can't even imagine it--it's the thing of nightmares. I can't fathom not b ...more
This is the lowest rating I’ve ever given a book on Goodreads, and one of the few books I’ve read in my life that I can say I truly despised. It’s remarkable to me that someone who had a terminal illness could be so disparaging, dismissive, and disrespectful of medical providers and nurses. I couldn’t even get in to the overall message of the book because I was so flabbergasted at the jabs, insults, generalizations, and cliches that she kept casually tossing around. It had none of the depth and ...more
Kate Bowler is a delightful human being. Very real, honest, and insightful about the stupid things people say to those who suffer. The appendix is the best part with very practical suggestions about what not to and what to say.