Emily's Reviews > The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman's Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine

The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd
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's review
Feb 03, 08

Thank you Lord for helping me FINISH this book.

I, of course, wanted to read this because I've been such a fan of Sue Monk Kidd's earlier nonfiction. This was the last I hadn't read and her story of religious transformation from Christianity to what she calls a worship of "the Divine Feminine."

I can say that she is very expressive, well-researched author. She was extremely through, pulling in many different sources and, as her previous non-fiction books, she did a good job of weaving informative and memoir. This book gave me a lot to think about. I enjoyed learning about some of the feminine characteristics of God- something I believe to be Biblical and often ignored by most Christian churches. There was also a good bit of fascinating history (especially about Gnostics and early Christian femininity.)This was also my first taste of any sort of feminist writing, which I enjoyed just as an overview. That's why I give it three stars.

Why do I not give it more? This is basically her story of becoming a feminist. Very few things in this book I agreed with. I believe in women's empowerment, but I've never had a desire to become a feminist. Like many other oppressed groups, she seems to feel a lifelong victimization because of her gender. She constantly reacts out of a feeling of perceived societal inferiority and anger.

In this book, she was so expressive and metaphorical that the symbols almost lacked power for the sheer number of them. I mean, really, does literally every object you pick up or dream about need to represent the Goddess within?

Spiritually, there were also a lot of disagreements I had with her. My pastor has often said that he's glad he worships a God who is too big to fit into his image. That's exactly what the Goddess of this book is- shaped in Kidd's image to be exactly what she wants.

Also, I spiritually struggled with the book because I believe that when God calls us to something in an authentic spiritual journey, (s)he (and I will acknowledge God's lack of gender) collaborates with us, moving us WITH and BY him/her in our life. There are going to be some things that we find difficult or uncomfortable. This wasn't WITH God, but about Kidd's own desire of what she wanted God to be, with no struggle other than a "rah rah" feminine empowerment.

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Rachel (new)

Rachel I haven't read this book, but your thorough and eloquent discussion on it strikes me. Based only on what I've read by Kidd (The Mermaid Chair and Secret Life of Bees), I can see your analysis is absolutely spot-on. In Mermaid Chair, I began to see traces of what you already described (her coming into the realization of feminism), and her apparent need to conform God into what she wants or wishes God to be.

Thank you for your enlightening review. You've saved me time, since I know I won't bother with this piece from Kidd.

Emily I just finished the book, and I'm not really glad that I did. (To be honest, I skimmed a lot of it.) Your last three paragraphs pretty much sum up my reaction to her story.

Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) thank you for this review. I haven't read any of Kidd's output since the mid 80s, when she was being sold as little Miss Perfect Christian Wife and Mother. It would appear I haven't missed much. She apparently got tired of that role and is looking for a new drum to march to. I guess I'll stick to the Way.

message 4: by Jean (new)

Jean lol !

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