Friday, August 11, 2006

Oh Yeah, It's the Bad Girl Book Review

Prostitutes, adulteresses, vengeful murderers and a few expert seductresses are all a part of Liz Curtis Higgs' non-fiction book, Bad Girls of the Bible. What can we learn from these women? Did their wicked deeds and smoldering desires deserve empathy? After all how was a girl to survive in Biblical times? These are the pressing questions Mrs. Higgs asks.

Women of ill repute have covered many a page of the Bible, some never changed their evil ways but some most decidedly did. Liz Curtis Higgs, author of such books as Help, I’m Laughing and I Can’t Get Up and “One Size Fits All” and Other Fables, brings these timeless chronicles of our Biblical bad girls to life. More to the point, she makes their struggles, their desires and their accomplishments a part of our own stories. Mrs. Curtis’ own past is revealed in the opening chapter.

Ten particular bad girls, from the-devil-made-me-do-it Eve, to Jezebel with a murderous appetite for power, were chosen by this award winning author and speaker. Her accounts of the crimes committed by these somewhat scorned and shady ladies are sometimes comical but always handled with true wisdom, which Lizzie (it’s what’s she calls herself throughout the book) has plenty of.

Each chapter is dedicated to one disreputable sister, so to speak, introduced through a fictional account (a modern-day explanation) of a life that mirrors those of our chosen bad girls—a very clever way to make the distant Biblical characters come alive for every reader.

At first I though the introductory fictional stories of each chapter were too predictable. However, I came to the conclusion that my knowledge of the Bible, small as that might be, could interfere with the enjoyment of a good read. Once I humbled myself, it became a fun exercise in trying to guess who Mrs. Curtis was referring to. I did get a few wrong.

Then, at the end of each chapter Mrs. Curtis, no doubt prompted by her radio host experience, challenges each reader with a few questions. These thought provoking questions would make for extremely interesting conversation and not to mention a “come clean” session with our girlfriends—also appropriate for Bible studies in our small church groups. They doubtlessly reveal Lizzie’s insight, wit and knowledge of life and spiritual matters.

Women with a not-so-good past (which is probably most of us) would benefit from this book. Bad Girls will make you laugh and cry and give one a sense of belonging to a close-knit family of bad girls who found out that their past didn’t matter.

Bad Girls is a collection of stories about women who found grace, mercy and forgiveness and embraced a life filled with unimaginable blessings. Of course, it is also a collection of hard lessons learned when women refuse that same grace, mercy and forgiveness which is extended to one and all.

In conclusion, Bad Girls of the Bible: And What We Can Learn From Them is a must read for bad and “good” girl alike. If you’ve ever wanted a second, third or even a fourth chance at life? Pick up this book. If you want to learn how to laugh at yourself once in a while or feel that you are worth something, put this book on the top of your list.

For me, though I don’t usually enjoy non-fiction or how-to books, recommending this one was a no-brainer. Make no mistake about it, this is a how-to book: how to love, forgive, be forgiven and how to live a gracious life. But don’t worry you will never feel you’ve been preached at. It’s not an easy book to put down as Liz Curtis Higgs takes an honest look at bad character and asks us to look deep inside of ourselves.

1 comment:

The GateKeeper said...

This is an email I received from author Debbie W. regarding the book review....

Wow - that's a great review. I am actually trying to get our MOPS group to give each woman at MOPS a copy of Liz's book at our outreach luncheon this spring. You email confirmed in me again how great the book is. Can I share this review with my table leaders at MOPS?