Help, I’m Drowning: Weathering The Storms Of Life With Grace And Hope, by Sally Clarkson
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
A book like this one is a hard one to fully appreciate and approve of. To be sure, there is a great deal in this book that is useful and encouraging, but at the same time the author is trying to position herself as an authority in dealing with matters of grace and hope as well as seeking to enlist the sympathies of the reader in any host of personal disputes she has had over the course of her life. To automatically assume that other people one is having with are Pharisees and hypocrites is not a just perspective to have, and the author’s lack of justice in dealing with such interpersonal problems undercuts her ability to serve as an expert in the subjects she writes about. Where she focuses on scripture she does better, but like all too many writers, she tries to make herself an expert personally rather than seeking to be an expert interpreter of scripture, and those readers who lack a faith in the author’s own personal expertise may very well find this book to be far less convincing than the author wishes to be the case.
This book is about 250 pages long or so and it begins with a foreword, a letter to the storm-tossed, whom the author assumes she is writing to as fellow women, and an introduction. After that come chapters that remind us that all people feel dark sometimes (1), that it’s okay to feel sad (2), that we need to find hope when we feel all alone (3), and that life is hard for those with high expectations (4). This is followed by chapters that discuss the problems of exhaustion (5), fear (6), disappointment in marriage (7), challenges with children (8), and storms caused by critical and difficult people like the author (9). The book then ends with a call to be gentle to oneself (10), to anticipate the gains in character from a lifetime of dealing with problems (11), and leaving a legacy (12), as well as a storm care kit, endnotes, and information about the author.