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

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  66,443 ratings  ·  2,054 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
Hardcover, 243 pages
Published April 5th 2005 by Nelson Books (first published April 7th 2004)
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Dawn It is a book for women of all ages, as the soul is ageless and timeless. John and Stasi use examples of both older and younger women in the book, and …moreIt is a book for women of all ages, as the soul is ageless and timeless. John and Stasi use examples of both older and younger women in the book, and the principles apply to all of us, no matter our station or status in life.(less)

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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  66,443 ratings  ·  2,054 reviews

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Apr 24, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Tommy Tran
Nov 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Stephanie Scott
Jun 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
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
☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ✺❂❤❣

For people who hate Biblical stuff, this would be a lost idea.

For people who hate the notions of the stupider romantic traipsing as well.

The hardcore feminists, for them there will not be enough pitchforks on Earth to deal with this book. The more balanced out ones might enjoy it, a lot, especially in some places.

For people who look for reading some soft & a bit inspiring stuff, fluffy and comfy reading - a winner. Especially if they can disconnect the rational part of their brain fo
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
Natalie Vellacott
Jun 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: christian-living
This is just as bad as the male version Wild at Heart.

This quote from the summary says it all really:

The message of "Captivating" is this: Your heart matters more than anything else in all creation. The desires you had as a little girl and the longings you still feel are telling you of the life God created you to live. He offers to rescue your heart and release you to live as a fully alive and feminine woman. A woman who is truly captivating.

I don't agree with any of it and this is definitely n
Jul 12, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 09, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  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
Apr 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nongermane, religion
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
Jul 13, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 08, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 28, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 13, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For every ten pages of lucidity and helpful ideas there's a hundred of horrifically shallow spirituality, Hollywood fluff worship, and truly absurd concepts of gender roles. Long review coming soon. Alas, books of this sort are assumed to be holy, and might be very damaging to the wrong reader at the wrong time.
Jun 16, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 how God sees us- ...more
Julia Winegeart
Dec 08, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: actual
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
Crystal Starr Light
UPDATE: I think it's time for a new update for this book. I actually found my old review on Amazon (which isn't an easy thing to do these days), and I did something I don't do much anymore: I deleted the 11-year old review. (What a way to make me feel old.)

I've been reviewing since 2007, and looking back at these early reviews really brings into stark contrast how much I've changed since then. Typically, I let those old reviews stand as they are, a capsule of who I was at the time. I know many m
Not sure how to rate this one. I think it was almost equally as fascinating as it was confusing, ...and disturbing. The way some things were worded was definitely over the top, and I just totally didn't agree with them.

Other things I was not at all comfortable with. For one, I think there's a delicate balance between esteeming a woman for what God made her, and exulting her beyond what's right. And a delicate balance between showing God's love and care for men and women are equal, and actual
Oct 13, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 06, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Andrew Neveils
Jun 22, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Kristen Lanman
Jun 09, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nikki Mcgee
Jun 01, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious

One of the greatest achievements in this book is that it manages to offend and bore at the same time. This was not a book I freely chose to read, it was suggested from my church book group and I found it a real struggle to read.

It started on quite a promising note discussing the feeling that many women have , that they are simply not enough, whether this is maternal enough, pretty enough, clever enough or organized enough. I do wonder if this is just a feminine trait or one universal to all,
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
Aug 23, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Nov 20, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It wasn't so captivating.
Sep 08, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: theology
I was not a fan of this book. Eldredge took her individual experience, expanded it to encompass every woman's experience, and then infused it with some piety. I set it down after she waned theological (badly) on why women shouldn't do sports (REAL women desire to be at rest!), then later complained about her weight. It came across as petty in a pious disguise: the Christian edition of rude accusations that fit women are not truly feminine.

In all, the book relied exclusively on post-19th century
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add German edition 4 14 Dec 29, 2018 05:38AM  
Mansfield Public ...: Captivating Review by Jacky Novena-Ramirez 1 8 Aug 09, 2013 08:20AM  

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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

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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.”
“We think you'll find that every woman in her heart of hearts longs for three things: to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty. That's what makes a woman come alive.” 139 likes
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