"Lean On Me" by Anne Marie Miller {a book review}

Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

book reviews

Lean On Me (by Anne Marie Miller) is a memoir, written by an introvert, on finding intentional, vulnerable, and consistent community.  It is a story of determination and how, by embracing one's season in life, you can persevere - with faith in God's grace through prayer and community.

Anne Marie talks of how, whether in our sufferings, our joy, or selfishness, we have to make intentional and planned attempts at fellowship.  She writes on how to find appropriate community, what to avoid, and how to overcome suffering safely and timely. 

All this is talked about, not in a step-by-step "how to" fashion, but as a personal memoir.  In doing so, you can feel the vulnerability and openness of the author, making it feel as if you were having a heart to heart with a trusted and wise friend.

When I chose to review this book, I did so because I thought this would be a step-by-step "how to" book on fixing my (what I felt to be) lack of community in my own situation.  I thought I would be reading how to find my own community. 

In reading this book, within the first chapter, I was in tears as Anne Marie explained the reason we feel lonely.  I felt a big weight lifted, so to speak, off my shoulders from my self-imposed desperation to find the perfect community, no longer feeling like there was something wrong with me.

I'll admit I did feel irritated after it started out so strong, in talking of what it takes to be committed, and then bringing me to tears of wonder and relief over the biblical examples, when then the book seemed to suddenly take on a tone of memoir of which I felt I could not relate.  I've never known the grief of divorce, so how can I possibly relate? 

But by the completion of the book I changed my mind.  Sorrow is sorrow, no matter the source.  We all have it in some form.

This is a fantastic read.  One where you can feel the sorrow and feel the joy, right along with the author as if you were her trusted community.  She shows you, through her story, how it looks to have a community.  What it takes to be vulnerable.  This is one example, not a magical "how-to" instant cure. 

The fault of my upset, I believe, was in the advertising,  I see no reason why the book summary can't mention that this is a memoir.  The personal narrative adds to the loveliness of the book, not takes away.

I recommend this to anyone suffering in loneliness and lack of community, but especially to those that suffer a tragic divorce.  While I am not one to know divorce, in reading this book, I realized I had a perseved lack of community.  My eyes were opened and for that, I am grateful.

1 comment:

  1. That's a great review! I'm considering reviewing this book as well.. I liked Anne's other book Permission to Speak Freely-- her honesty shines through in this one, too,it seems.


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