Dear Victim of Grace,
Your raw vulnerability ushered in a freedom to go into my own story and acknowledge past hurts and difficulties. I felt drawn in with your first story until the end. Thank you for providing testimony of grace on top of grace.
P.S. Book Details
Author: Robin Jones Gunn
Book Length: 205 pages
Book Genre: Christian//Nonfiction
Publication Date: April 27, 2013
Synopsis: Robin Jones Gunn reveals poignant truths from her life as well as from the lives of women in the Bible as she flips the notion that we are at the mercy of circumstances. She asks, what if God has dreams for you? What if he is accomplishing those dreams in the midst of shattered hopes? When life doesn’t go as expected, it’s easy to feel like a victim. We look at the events that have gone wrong and view our lives as impaired. What if we could see our future as God sees it? Would our view radically change if we understood we are indeed victims rather than of happenstance? God, the Relentless Lover, has vigorously sought you. He has instilled dreams in your heart that are grander than you can imagine. But the route to their fulfillment often is through a path you wouldn’t seek. What if God wants to take the hopes that tug at your heart and enliven them? Are you ready to live inside the mysterious joy of being a victim of grace?
Robin Jones Gunn is a personal hero of mine since I was in middle school. I read all her fictional Christian teen books and felt somehow connected to her. It took me awhile to branch out to this book of hers, but I am so glad I did! Her vulnerability is refreshing and encouraging. I love the bravery of others to write books about personal matters, but sometimes I find uncomfortable or off putting. Victim of Grace made me want to enter in to my own story, instead of shut the book and cry.
The story begins at the end. Gunn writes about talking with a friend about uncertain life circumstances. As they were talking, she came up with the term “Victim of Grace”. Then she went back in time and walked the reader through her story – the good and difficult. I enjoyed the pace of her stories. They were short enough that I did not get bored, but provided enough detail where I felt connected.
I will admit, it is helpful to have known Gunn and her story previously. I know how she writes and I connect with her style. There is a certain bias which may have interfered with an impartial reading. Yet, I suppose, this is part of reading. We all connect to different authors and stories. It is part of what makes reading so special. But… I diverge…
Gunn tackles everything from forgiving past hurts to dashed expectations. She writes in a way to involve the reader and relate to them. I notice that she would share a story, yet she focused more on the feelings than the circumstance. To me it seemed a practice in empathy. She is so articulate with how she was feeling in a certain moment. As a result, she was able to walk the reader through hard situations with understanding and grace.
I would recommend this book to women who enjoy Christian memoirs and faith encouragement. While anyone could pick it up and enjoy it, in my opinion, there are certain topics that a teenage girl is unlikely to relate to (such as marriage difficulties). This is not to dissuade interested teens, more a warning.