Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul
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Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  35,643 ratings  ·  1,440 reviews
Every woman was once a little girl. And every little girl holds in her heart her most precious dreams. She longs to be swept up into a romance, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, to" be" the Beauty of the story. And yet―how many women do you know who ever find that life?

Most women think they have to settle for a life of efficiency and duty, striving to be...more
Hardcover, 243 pages
Published April 7th 2005 by Nelson Books (first published April 7th 2004)
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Mere Christianity by C.S. LewisThe Shack by Wm. Paul YoungThe Screwtape Letters by C.S. LewisThe Purpose Driven Life by Rick WarrenThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Favorite Christian Books
15th out of 893 books — 732 voters
Captivating by John EldredgeUnconditional by Tanya EavensonGet Out of That Pit! by Beth MooreMy Utmost for His Highest by Oswald ChambersA Melody for James by Hallee Bridgeman
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1st out of 196 books — 187 voters


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Community Reviews

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Jane
Apr 24, 2007 Jane rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one
As requested, I've decided to review the "book" Captivating, by husband and wife team, John and Staci Elderidge. Just how much of this book actually comes from Staci, and how much she was forced to write by her chauvinist husband is unclear. But she's credited on the book jacket. I guess that's worth something.

Well, where to begin? How about with the book's premise: we women, like Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella, are waiting for a man to rescue us from our sad-sack, self-esteemless lives. How does...more
Candace
I have continued to read this book, against my better judgment, and I have become increasingly uncomfortable with it. Not only does it heighten your emotions in order to incite a reaction, it has taken scripture reserved for Israel and applied it to me. That is ludicrous. Also, as an editing side note, when referring to any member of the Trinity in second or third person, it should be CAPITALIZED!! Oh and the audacity to ask God to show me how He loves me, come on! The question should be how hav...more
Katie
I avoided reading this book for over two years now because I always thought it was going to be a fluffy girly book. But it surprised me.

I really enjoyed reading it. When someone makes fun of this book, he/she are almost always referring to the part where Staci Elderidge talks about the three things that women desire--I can't even remember them all but...everyone makes this book sound fluffy. But really, the heart of this book is talking about why we have such extreme women...we have "rollercoast...more
Lucas
I'm no woman, and so I have to take all of the "you" statements in the book as "women" statements. But still, I think this book is insightful, and it helps to provide some biblical justification for many of the misunderstood characteristics, needs, and longings of many women. If you're a man, read it only if you have a woman you can talk to about it. Ask her questions. Tell her what confuses you. Tell her what makes sense. She'll enjoy it, especially if she's your "special lady."

This book, so fa...more
Nicole
May 08, 2008 Nicole rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Women and the men who love them
Recommended to Nicole by: Kelli
I was recommended this book by my twin sister. I wasnt exactly excited about reading it. However, once I started I couldn't put it down. Captivating isn't a self-help book, or a sermon; far from either. Instead, Captivating is a book about discovery. It sheds light into the areas of a woman's heart most people would dare not even look and gives the reader permission to heal wounds that one didn't even know were there. This book changed my life forever. All it took was the first page and I was ho...more
Tommy Tran
Dear Whomever May Be Concerned,

Today I started my girlfriend's favorite book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. There are three things that I have learned in the past two hours of reading and thinking. #1 Emily is an amazing girl and I'm pretty much the luckiest guy on Earth to have her. #2 Guys suck at understanding girls. Being one of those guys who thought he understood girls in high school (arrogance is quite embarrassing) I just would like to say to every guy out there. "WE SUCK AT UND...more
Andrew Neveils
Aug 15, 2008 Andrew Neveils rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Men and Women
Recommended to Andrew by: Whitney
Now, I give this a 3-star rating because I do not have the option of a 3.5, and it is not quite worthy of a 4-star rating. It is a great book - or course, for women. Having already read "Wild At Heart" and impacted by it, I decided to read "Captivating" while my girlfriend read "Wild At Heart". We wanted to better understand one another, and one another's gender more.

"Captivating" is a copy-and-pasted version of "Wild At Heart". They quote the majority of the same movies (mostly men's movies, at...more
Danielle
I'm just not connecting with this book. It comes off smug in my opinion, completely lacking the humility and honor I would expect in a book written for women who love the Lord. I've been tempted to put it down several times, but I'm trying to continue to read it with an "open mind".

Ok, 2 weeks later, I'm done trying now. I just can't read any more of it, the more I read the more irritated I get. There are too many good books out there to be wasting my time on this one. I got almost 1/2 way throu...more
junia
Sep 08, 2007 junia rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: farenheit411
So, I just read this today and at first, I liked it. The author seemed to embrace the ideas of women as a companion, as beautiful etc. It seemed to embrace femininity in a way that was refreshing and lively - basically, she didn't seem stodgy and repressive.
But really... although there were random quotes i liked etc, she bases her "truths" on movie quotes, movie examples, scripture taken out of context, and .. a lot of personal experience...
i mean, i wanted to like it. I feel like, someone shou...more
Cheryl
This book was given to me by my mom, after she had read it. It took me a while to get into the right mindset to have the patience to read it; however, when I did what a jewel I found - not only in the book, but in myself as well. The book is filled with metaphors and analogies that at first I found it hard to identify with because I was, as the book refers to, a woman striving and busying myself with all the worldly mundane tasks of life. I didn't "have time" for this flowery mumbo-jumbo! A woma...more
Sara Diane
I'm not a big fan of "self-help" books like this, but a good friend said she kept thinking of me as she read it, so I picked it up. I read the first two chapters last night and it has a lot of good things to say!

After finishing, I can honestly say that this is one of the best books I've ever read about being a woman and how women were created and understanding the soul of women. I'm blown away. I think every woman needs to read this book (18 is a good point, or 16 for those who are mature enough...more
Heather
Honestly, I read this book because it was a gift and, let's face it, what woman doesn't want to be "captivating?" However, after the second chapter I realized where the author was going and it made me sick. In what seems like a typical psychological mantra, barely veiled in Christianity, she speaks to the "suppressed female," who it seems, does not appreciate her inner beauty the way the Christ does and walks around with the undue burden of the Proverbs 31 woman. The solution? Love yourself more...more
Mikejencostanzo
I think I was expecting something a little different from this book when I picked it up, than what I actually received in reading it. Overall, I guess I'd have to say it was a disappointment -- but one with some glimmers of good stuff that touched my heart.

The book began with a look at womanhood through exploring Eve and various female archetypes through history and literature. Funny thing is, I couldn't really get into it at first. It was a discipline to push myself through the first couple of...more
Sona
One of my friends recommended this book to me. It's a faith-based book. I was weary, but luckily it turned out to be Christian without being "here are the 12 rules to follow to be a good service provider to men." Let's just say it made me rethink my whole "cold bitch" lifestyle. I would recommend it to some of the women studio execs I've known.

Lauren
READ WITH SCRUTINY AND DISCERNMENT, but know you can take good things.

Interesting. Loaded with cultural outlooks.

Talking with others I've decided I liked it because I could relate with it, but I don't think a girl who grew up in a different place could relate to it.
Wildoaksfarm
The best thing this book did for me was to remind me of how great my childhood was and to give me a glimpse into the lives of women who didn't have the same kind of childhood as I did. There is one chapter that starts out talking about a little girl's dream birthday (the girl was even named Carrie). It pretty much described how I aways felt on my birthday as a little girl - at that point, I realized that this book was maybe not directed at me. I often felt like I already have what the author and...more
Stephanie Scott
I could not get through this book. The authors are blatantly ignorant of things they pretend they are experts on- such as art. When they talk about Adam doing the action and Eve standing around, they obviously failed to look at all into history. They insist that the tone of these pieces they refer to transcend boundaries of culture, but all of the art they're referring to is Catholic and European. They really needed to study art history and the concept of the male gaze before making sweeping gen...more
April
This book restores my soul. As a woman it is too easy to become trapped & enamored by what this world deems "beautiful" & "worthy." I, too, have followed the empty train headed towards a wasteland of so called redemption--in hot pursuit of the shoes i simply MUST have--the makeup that promises to transform me--the sparkly adornments designed to make me stand out & shine! A refreshing reminder that there is more to a woman than meets the eye & our beauty has everything to do with...more
Amanda
Jun 13, 2011 Amanda rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
This book came highly recommended by a few friends and a myriad of strangers who had rated the book online. I did my best to give it a chance and to read it with an open mind. Although I made it all the way through, I gritted my teeth almost the entire time.

Countless bad (and also secular) movie references aside, this book was filled with cliché after cliché about girls' dreams of being fairy tale princesses and the message that women are damsels in distress who need to be rescued by a man. John...more
Julia Winegeart
It's over!!! She had to have one parting shot at "emasculating" women(*eye roll*) But mostly I'm just glad it's over.

Let me be clear, there ARE some REALLY good parts of this book. But I can't think of a single one of those parts you can't find elsewhere in Christian literature. So I would suggest skipping this one and moving on to something that's not entirely gender essentialist and sometimes misogynist.

I posted chapter by chapter statuses if you are interested but essentially the main point...more
Margaret
Dec 12, 2008 Margaret rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Every female :)
Shelves: finishedreading
This book is absolutely amazing! One of my guy friends didn't like it so much--maybe too soft--however you can interpret that word...but I think it's great! It talks about a woman's journey in this world- but in a greater, purposeful perspective. It has elements of romance, adventure, childhood, and more. :) This is a look at how God made women unique and wonderful-in His own image (not that He's a girl). Our beauty reflects the glory of God. Our life is a tale of how the enemy tries to destroy...more
Crystal-faith
Jul 28, 2008 Crystal-faith rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: boys and girls who think "feminism" is a dirty word.
This book is based on opinion and tradition, not the word of God.
Which is fine, unless it's trying to pass off as some kind of Biblical book.
Which sadly, it is.
The only thing worse, is women everywhere are reading it and accepting it as TRUTH as opposed to reading it and testing it to what they know about their faith and what the Bible says AND DOESN'T say about women and gender.

Pathetically, this is how the cycle continues.
Amy
TERRIBLE!! The title names alone should've clued me in, but this book was so highly recommended that I ignored them. "Arousing Adam" is especially distasteful as far as chapter titles go. I've never felt more unfeminine in my life. I alternated between being near tears at falling so short of expectations and laughter that people still think women want a knight in shining armor. I don't really desire any of the three things "every woman wants." Somehow, this made me feel inadequate. I identified...more
Bridget
This book is a grotesque misinterpretation of femininity. It reinforces paradigms ages old that a woman’s place is upon a pedestal, and that beauty – whether in her canoeing skills or her ball gown – is her essence. It negates the need to dabble on the hearts of wild, wilful, untameable women, simply decreeing that if you’re of that ilk, you’re broken, desolate and lost.

Seduction, within a “Christian” sense, plagues this book; Women are to be pretty and needy and petty in the making to make them...more
Michelle
I read this because I received it as a gift. I have mixed feelings about it. I'm not sure if the way I recoiled at the words beauty/beautiful and feminine/femininity sprinkled so liberally through this book is more a reflection of my own issues or an inherent problem with the book. I appreciate that the author kept stressing that a woman's beauty is more an inner thing than a surface display but I still got kind of sick of hearing about it.

Also, I take issue with so many of the examples of how a...more
Amanda
I really enjoyed this book, but with some caveats. This really made you look at God and Jesus in a different light, and it made me ponder things I never did before (especially about Adam and Eve). I also liked how blunt the authors were about certain issues like the role of women in the church (regardless of the denomination you subscribe to). One thing I didn't like was how Stasi broad-brushed women as little girls who twirled their skirts and dreamed of being princesses, put mommy's pearls and...more
alice
Mar 19, 2007 alice rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any woman seeking a relationship with God
I enjoyed reading this book and devoured it in a matter of days. I couldn`t put it down. However, because I read quickly, I felt like I didn`t give myself ample time to digest all of its points. I want to read this book again and let it sink in.
This book is easy to read and has many examples and points which speaks out to many women`s experiences. It explores the issues and struggles that women face when they are trying to start and build a relationship with God. It uses many personal examples f...more
Alana
While it did not strike me as deeply as it did the first time I read it while in college, it is still full of profound wisdom and truth, and very freeing to the soul. It was interesting to read it this year, having recently gone through a divorce, and having to face the deep issues and wounds of rejection, uncertainty and having to rebuild my own identity as a person, and as a woman. Laced with both excerpts from popular literature and film as well as corresponding scriptures, it speaks to both...more
Kristen Lanman
Jun 09, 2007 Kristen Lanman rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who don't know any better
A room painted bubblegum pink, with floral border wallpaper, sporting an immense collection of plastic unicorns is the best way to imagine the tone of "Captivating." It is written by a husband and wife team. I hate it when men try to divulge the secrets of the woman's heart to women, but the wifes commentary was even more repugnant (maybe because she should know better). The premise of the book was worthy, but ended up completely botched by the authors.
Peggy
Jun 13, 2007 Peggy rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: frilly girls
I tried to read this book twice. At Chapter 5, where Eldredge states that Satan has a particular venom aimed at women, I stopped reading both times. I think her theology is off in a few places. Satan is targeting all of us, darling. Someone should let her know.
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Mansfield Public ...: Captivating Review by Jacky Novena-Ramirez 1 4 Aug 09, 2013 08:20AM  
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  • Traveling Light: Releasing the Burdens You Were Never Intended to Bear
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  • Jesus Freaks: Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus, the Ultimate Jesus Freaks (Jesus Freaks, #1)
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John Eldredge is an author (you probably figured that out), a counselor, and teacher. He is also president of Ransomed Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God, recover their own heart in his love, and learn to live in his Kingdom. John grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles (which he hated), and spent his boyhood summers on his grandfather’s cattle ranch in eastern Ore...more
More about John Eldredge...
Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul The Sacred Romance: Drawing Closer to the Heart of God Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive The Journey of Desire: Searching for the Life We Always Dreamed of Walking with God: Talk to Him. Hear from Him. Really.

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“There is an emotional promiscuity we’ve noticed among many good young men and women. The young man understands something of the journey of the heart. He wants to talk, to “share the journey.” The woman is grateful to be pursued, she opens up. They share the intimacies of their lives - their wounds, their walks with God. But he never commits. He enjoys her... then leaves. And she wonders, What did I do wrong? She failed to see his passivity. He really did not ever commit or offer assurances that he would. Like Willoughby to Marianne in Sense and Sensibility.

Be careful you do not offer too much of yourself to a man until you have good, solid evidence that he is a strong man willing to commit. Look at his track record with other women. Is there anything to be concerned about there? If so, bring it up. Also, does he have any close male friends - and what are they like as men? Can he hold down a job? Is he walking with God in a real and intimate way? Is he facing the wounds of his own life, and is he also demonstrating a desire to repent of Adam’s passivity and/or violence? Is he headed somewhere with his life? A lot of questions, but your heart is a treasure, and we want you to offer it only to a man who is worthy and ready to handle it well.”
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“You see, women have been essential to every great move of God. Yes, Moses led the Isaelites out of Egypt, but only after his mother risked her life to save him! Closer to our time, Clara Barton was instrumental in starting the Red Cross. Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin put fire into people's heart to end slavery in the United States. Rosa Parks kicked the Civil Rights movement into gear with her quiet act of courage. Eunice Kennedy Shriver created the Special Olympics. Mother Teresa inspired the world by bringing love to countless thought unlovable. And millions of other women quietly change the world every day by bringing the love of God to those around them.” 104 likes
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