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A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael
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A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  8,124 ratings  ·  280 reviews
A Chance to Die is a biography of Amy Carmichael, an Irish missionary and writer who spent fifty-three years in south India without furlough. There she became known as ''Amma,'' or ''mother,'' as she founded the Dohnavur Fellowship, a refuge for underprivileged children. ...more
Paperback, 381 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Fleming H. Revell Company (first published June 1st 1987)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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Natalie Vellacott
This is the first book I have read about the life and work of Amy Carmichael and I have to say that I was surprised by the content. I feel conflicted as to how to review and rate this book as there were so many positive and negative aspects.

Amy believed she was called to China but subsequently ended up in India where she ministered for 55 years--with over a decade spent as a "shut-in" after an accident. Evangelism had been her focus and I found myself admiring her singlemindedness and lack of in
...more
Christina Knotts
May 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Having read this several times before going to India as a missionary myself, I was greatly encouraged in everything about Indian soil.

I tried my hardest to follow in Ms. Carmichael's footsteps. Her faith, above anything, was what I geared towards.

I first read the book at age 12, and then re-read it and re-read it again during preparation for my first trip to India when I was 18. I could NOT wait to get there!

I loved the book - especially from Mrs. Gren's perspective - it was a very enjoyable rea
...more
Libby May
Sooo...
I got this book from my pastor's wife. She saw my love for kids and wanted me to read this book.

THE BOOK: 3.14 stars. (KELLYN!!! 😂)So the book itself isn't bad at all. It's long and had a lot of details and other stuff and yeah. It's really descriptive of Amma (or Amy)'s life and I do highly recommend it if you're like studying her life for school or just for personal reasons. However, this is not an entertainment and took me about 3 months to finish. It was hard to get through more tha
...more
Natalie
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely a must-read. I was challenged, convicted, inspired, and encouraged by this book. Not everyone is called to be an Amy Carmichael, but I think every Christian can find something in her story to encourage and strengthen his or her own walk with Christ.

Ps. I do have some disagreements with some of Amy’s practices and beliefs, but I’m not going to go into them here in the review. I’m not sure all her standards or views can be supported Biblically. Just wanted to mention that. <3
Rod Horncastle
Apr 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Wow, I was so excited to read about this lady. What an amazing person.

I first heard about her in Warren W. Wiersbe's book: 50 People Every Christian Should Know. Probably the greatest collection of human beings ever assembled in one book. Amy's small bio just blew me away - A women who ended up in India saving small children from the abuses of Indian culture and Temple Prostitution. It appeared that Amy feared no one - and she made alot of people angry in the process: I applaud her. She even ups
...more
mirela Darau
A truthful description of missionary life, I'd say, since I was used -when it came to missionaries - to think only in terms of miracles, sparcles, intense and interesting life. It captures the prosaic, the long years of learning languages, the tedious days of impossible weather, even the "unfruitfulness" we all have to deal with at one point of our lives. It's an account of a woman with weaknesses, sterness, though with a strong character, belief, determination. I find it extremely balanced!!

I r
...more
Monica
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
A wonderful introduction to an amazing Godly woman. A true servant of Christ with much wisdom that we can still benefit from today.
Auntie
Nov 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
In a time of male domination in the Victorian Era, Amy Carmichael was called by God to the Missions field. As Elizabeth Elliot tells the story, Amy determined to follow her Lord in spite of many issues that would not qualify her for service abroad. She had chronic pain and was not a particularly strong woman in sense of physical health. She found learning foreign languages difficult, and found conflict resolution very distasteful. She wasn't a team player, things needed to be her way, period. Me ...more
Taneil Linschied
Although A Chance to Die did have many inspiring thoughts and moments, there was much in it that seemed lacking in my opinion. I have read other missionary stories that I have enjoyed far better. (For example: Evidence Not Seen: A Woman's Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II and Bruchko - Revised: The astonishing true story of a 19-year-old American-his capture by the Motilone Indians and his adventures in Christianizing the Stone Age tribe. )

Some definite faults that I saw were that
...more
Annette
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Summary:
The life story of missionary Amy Carmichael. From her childhood, to her missionary work in Japan and India. Elisabeth Elliot's reference material was from previously published books written by Amy Carmichael and the Dohnavur Family.

My Thoughts:
Although I enjoyed reading the story of Amy Carmichael's life. The book is not warm with intimacy in regards to the character of Carmichael. At first sight, it seems Elisabeth Elliot didn't capture or flesh-out the person of Amy Carmichael. However
...more
Kathy
Oct 24, 2008 rated it liked it
I admire Amy Carmichael’s life-long passion to follow Jesus and serve disenfranchised children. In her teens her burden was for factory girls, ‘shallies’, who were so poor that they couldn't afford hats to wear to church, so they wore shawls over their heads. The ministry grew to over 300 children, and Amy had to secure her own building for the ministry. Amy's first overseas assignment was to Japan for 15 months. She struggled to learn the language and the customs of the Japanese people, but lea ...more
Vlada G.
Nov 20, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am an avid reader, but for some reason this book failed to grip my attention. I enjoyed the first few chapters about Amy Carmichael's youth, but somehow my interest waned toward the end; I had to make myself finish it just for the sake of finishing it, without really caring about the story. Maybe it has to do with my own age, but I failed to identify with the more mature Amy Carmichael, and so my empathy decreased. Much as I admire Amy Carmichael personally, somehow this book failed to bring h ...more
Meggie
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
I feel terrible that I didn’t like this book. After all, its written by one great missionary about another great missionary, its supposed to be inspiring. But I just couldn’t get on board and nearly stopped reading numerous times. Amy Carmichael, missionary to India in the late-19th, early 20th century is a significant figure. She truly died to all desires to run an orphanage. But I found her manner irritating and over-righteous. Much of her writing and experience reminded me of George Mueller. ...more
AJ
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Amy's life story starts out a little dry, but when you follow her to India and realize the challenges she had every single day, the story takes you into another world and into the mind and heart of one of the Saints "who from their labors rest; to Thee, by faith, before the world confessed". ...more
Scott
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
*3.75* An amazing life lived for God, for sure. A very detailed account (from her books, letters, and interviews of those who worked with her) of the life of missionary Amy Carmichael.

It gets a little slow in spots with all the details, and for one long chapter the author jumps back to tell the history of Great Britain and India (which seems to provide little to the story), but otherwise an inspiring account of someone who was totally committed to the work of loving others as a Christian missio
...more
Emma Whear
I've been meaning to finish this for quite a while.

With Elliot and Carmichael you can't go wrong- though this whole novel is pretty starchy, as was Carmichael herself.

My favorite part was reading about Carmichael's upbringing, and the way her family was accustomed to get up at 4 AM to start the day.

Also, that her ministry goals were completely diverted by what she ended up doing, which was essentially mothering abused children in India.

Neat woman. Dark place. Starchy biography.
...more
John
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The devil does not care how many hospitals we build, any more than he cares how many schools and colleges we put up, if only he can pull our ideals down, and sidetrack us on to anything of any sort except the living of holy, loving, humble lives, and the bringing of men, women and children to know our Lord Jesus Christ not only as Savior but as Sovereign Lord.
"Every work undertaken in obedience to a divine command, whether the work be that form of conflict with the powers of darkness that we ca
...more
Rebekah
Mar 18, 2017 added it
Recommended to Rebekah by: Hannah Hulin
I could not have said it any better than Jennifer Nelson's review.
Her sentiments are mine, EXACTLY.
...more
Elena Marie
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Probably one of my favorite biographies of all time.
Kelly
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“She felt keenly her own helplessness, awkwardness, and ignorance, and begged her friends at home to pray. … She deplored the tendency she found in herself to do more talking and writing about praying than actual praying. She lacked practice, she wrote, so it was a small wonder she was an infant in prayer speech. Would her friends at home help? Would they, when they wakened in the night or were busy at work and her name flashed into mind, would they recognize it as God’s telegram to remind them ...more
Nicole
Elliot wrote a dense and detailed bio of Carmichael in “A Chance to Die”. This was no easy read and took time and dedication to wade through. I am not sure if it’s Elliot’s sophisticated style of writing or that she is purposely ambiguous at certain points of the story, but many times I would become lost as to what she was trying to convey. For example, when telling of disagreements in the ministry, I couldn’t tell who was in the wrong. Perhaps, she intended it to be that way.
Amy certainly disp
...more
Heather
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Christians, espically those who are considering the mission field
Recommended to Heather by: Katharine Yoder
I started reading it because a friend recomended it then gave me a copy. I had nothing better on my current reading list. I slowly read it throughout a semester in school and forgot about until this past week. Within this past week I have not only finished one of the most incredible books I have ever read, but I have found one of those few books that works its way into your heart and stays there. I am currently morning the fact that now that I am done and I will have to give this copy back to my ...more
Erin
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: did-not-finish
People seem to either really love this book or find it completely unreadable & I can see why. The manner of Amy Charmichael's upbringing reminded me of Little Women-- strong Victorian ideals, lots of spiritual nurturing and sentimental nicknames ("Motherie"? Rlly?). One of the best things about this book is that it illustrates that people really lived this way once. Amy truly believed that the highest spiritual standards should be attempted. True, she also had tendencies that are considered wors ...more
Bethany
Jul 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book. It is the story of Amy Carmichael, a woman who gave her life to rescuing children from temple prostitution in India. It challenges the reader to confront what Amy referred to as "nominal Christianity". As I read about Amy Carmichael's dedication to Jesus and all that she gave up for the sake of the Kingdom I was convicted and inspired. Elliot does a wonderful example of protraying Amy just as she was: a real woman in the midst of a real battle. ...more
Tessa
Fascinating, encouraging, and very readable. Elliot managed to portray Amy Carmichael in all her glory without putting her on a pedestal. Definitely recommended for people who want a nice intro to Amy Carmichael (or for people like me, who have only read children's biographies). Elliot is a talented writer and her admiration for the wonder that was Amy's spiritual life (especially her prayer life) comes through on every page. I'm very glad that I read it. ...more
Heather
Nov 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: england, biography
3.5 stars
This is a hard one to review. A lot of it was dry and hard to get through and maybe a bit repetitive. I appreciate her heart for the Lord, her example of prayer and self sacrifice. But, some of her beliefs were off, and her attitude and opinion about men and marriage were not quite right.
Sarah
Nov 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a great, honest look at Amy. Elliot not only talked about the many wonderful things she did, but also her faults.
Mindee Berkman
Aug 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Truly inspiring. Thought provoking and convicting without meaning to be so. This is a book I will come back to again and again.
Danette
A challenging story of a woman who trusted God completely, walked intimately with Him, and saved the lives of many.
A book someone tells you "changed my life"
...more
Raquel Evans
I loved so much about this biography, and would recommend it to everyone. Amy Carmichael's intensity and commitment is inspiring, especially as her (and Elisabeth Elliot as her biographer's) focus was on doing the everyday service of living out one's faith, rather than the seemingly glamorous parts of going off to be a missionary.

I like the slice of history of India that came along with Amy Carmichael's story, and also really appreciated that the biography was honest about Amy's high and low po
...more
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Where can I see copies of the Carmichael family magazine 'Scraps'? 1 1 May 23, 2020 04:30PM  

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From the Author's Web Site: My parents were missionaries in Belgium where I was born. When I was a few months old, we came to the U.S. and lived in Germantown, not far from Philadelphia, where my father became an editor of the Sunday School Times. Some of my contemporaries may remember the publication which was used by hundreds of churches for their weekly unified Sunday School teaching materials. ...more

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