For The Right Reasons: America’s Favorite Bachelor On Faith, Love, Marriage, And Why Nice Guys Finish First, by Sean Lowe with Nancy French
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review.]
This book is a gripping and excellent one for a variety of reasons. I happened to watch “The Bachelorette” with my mom during the season where the author appeared, but I don’t honestly remember having a strong impression about him in any particular way either positively or negatively. Those who are fans of the show, though, will greatly appreciate the insider’s glance this book provides, including a way in which he admits to breaking a lot of rules, albeit mostly minor ones, even as he struggles to maintain his integrity and hard-won virtue and honor in the face of several seasons of reality television programming on three different shows, all of which he was fairly successful in (including a season in Dancing With The Stars which put some stress on his engagement). The book is fast-paced and full of confessional detail, one that most women would have been insecure to read about coming from their husbands.
While this book is not exactly “burn after reading” sort of material, it contains a gripping narrative of a man who skated through college, had a disastrous business that ended in a broken lease and a lot of broken promises, included a long relationship where the author strung along a great girl, and two seasons worth of appearances on shows based on paring down a potential harem for one chance at a marriage. More than physical fornication, this particular book is a gripping example of the problems of emotional promiscuity, where decent people who want love are placed in an area where almost everything is on camera, including a lot of jealousy-inducing kisses and even trysts with rivals to the partner that is ultimately chosen at the end of the season. This is not the sort of environment where trust and loyalty are cultivated, and given that both the author and his wife appear to be decent people, I am very pleased that God saw fit to bless them despite circumstances that were not ideal. The author talks about kisses, secret hours spent talking in the private love suite, trying to sneak away from prying eyes on group dates to avoid making a lot of people jealous, and the heartbreak that comes from thinking of a life with someone only to have the rug pulled out. Despite these circumstances, the author shows himself to be a person of considerable sensitivity as well as searing honesty. Of course, he ends up with a happy ending, so all is well that ends well.
As it is, this book is highly thought-provoking. It contains an insider’s view of reality television and its operations, shows an honesty and openness about past mistakes and the journey of the author’s life with an almost naked vulnerability, and shows the deep struggle of a man who admits his own hurts and insecurities and his desire to minimize the hurt he causes others. The author’s success in reality television appears due at least in part to an ability to play the game, to take the counsel of show executives and be a good team player. Likewise, the book itself is entirely proper in the way that it deals with love–there is really no point in writing a book about love until one is in a good marriage. At that point, everything else along the way, all of the heartbreak and missteps and embarrassment and waiting all fits into its proper context, as a mere stage in a glorious journey with a happy destination. The author’s willingness to take risks to make it to that journey is to be commended, and here is hoping that there are a lot more blessings to enjoy for the Lowes along the way.