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All the Pretty Things: The Story of a Southern Girl Who Went Through Fire to Find Her Way Home
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All the Pretty Things: The Story of a Southern Girl Who Went Through Fire to Find Her Way Home

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  1,395 ratings  ·  188 reviews
"The night the trailer burned down, I think Daddy was the one who set it on fire. . . . "

For a long time, Edie thought she had escaped. It started in an Appalachian trailer park, where a young girl dreamed of becoming a doctor. But every day, Edie woke up to her reality: a poverty-stricken world where getting out seemed impossible. Where, at twelve years old, she taught he
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 20th 2016 by Tyndale Momentum (first published January 1st 2015)
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Cindy About a dozen discussion guide questions at the end but think her reflections on the few Bible passages she includes would make great discussion start…moreAbout a dozen discussion guide questions at the end but think her reflections on the few Bible passages she includes would make great discussion starters for a women Bible study or devotions(less)

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 ·  1,395 ratings  ·  188 reviews

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Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you’re prone to cry, every page of this book will be warped with salty tears. It is not a flowery lullaby. It is not a happily ever after, make-me-feel-warm-inside memoir, as the sweet title and cover suggest. It is a bitter, raw, heartbreaking homecoming of a woman and her journey - a journey to find the fulfillment she desired from her earthly father in the love of her heavenly father. And every step along the way is filled with pain, unimaginable hardship, and trials inexplicably laced wit ...more
Katherine Jones
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Curiosity compelled me to read this memoir of a Southern girl whose dysfunctional relationship with her daddy cast a shadow over her entire life until God’s grace caught up with her, healing, empowering, and transforming her into someone wholly different. I wanted to read it because the author’s situation, superficially at least, reminded me of someone I know. A woman who, despite my many years of knowing her, remains an enigma. In reading Edie’s story, I sought insights into this woman’s life, ...more
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh my heart. I loved everything about this book. Thank you so much to my cousin, Lindsay, who told me to read it and lent me her copy. I'm a blubbering mess of tears right now because I'm so moved by what I just read. I'll try to write a better review after I compose myself but for now I can say that I highly recommend this memoir, especially to those of you that loved The Glass Castle. However, this is not an easy read and this book will not be for everyone. It is such a bittersweet yet beautif ...more
Amy  Adelseck
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book is nothing like The Glass Castle. I am not that picky, but I think comparing it to TGC set me up for disappointment. I also didn't love the writing. She tried to end every chapter on a cliff hanger and you were left hanging for many many chapters and some cliff hangers we never resolved. I liked her redemption story and she had some nuggets of wisdom, but I wish I got it from the library instead of purchasing it. ...more
Lucille Zimmerman
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Five stars.

This is the exact kind of book I like to read. I heard about Edie in my Hope Writers online writing group. I bought the book many months ago but finally picked it up while on vacation in Mexico. Every day, I couldn't wait to get back into it. My poor book: it's covered in margarita splashes, sunscreen, and pool water.

I did bring it back to the states and I'm trying to figure out exactly who to give it to. I don't want to just give it to a random person. It's sooooo good.

I think I l
Aug 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
From her blog, I was familiar with some of Edie's story, and I loved the way she shared her love for Jesus in everything she wrote. As I read her memoir, at times I would have sworn I was reading a gut-wrenching novel. She so bravely and eloquently shares the hardest parts of her past, and then leads her reader to the grace and redemption found only in the gospel. Highly recommend. ...more
Heidi Goehmann
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Truth. Tenderness. Compassion. This book is about the paradox of loving and hurting deeply in your family of origin. It’s also about trauma and restoration and mercy and heartache. The characters are colorful and lively, even more so knowing you can’t make this stuff up and truth has more punch than fiction when we talk about the heartbreaks of life that unravel us so that we can become whole.
Lisa Jacobson
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I literally can't get this story out of my head. I find myself pondering this beautifully-written memoir by Edie Wadsworth when I'm sipping my coffee or vacuuming or running errands. I don't know how she managed to tell such a heart-wrenching story with so much grace and kindness - not brushing over the tragedy and trauma of her life, but somehow weaving a surprising sweetness through it all. And then there's the redemptive element. Not the tidy, wrap-it-all-up-in-a-bow redemption either, but th ...more
Sarah Paschall
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I got wind of an opportunity to read this book for free as part of a launch team. When I heard about a memoir, with an Appalachian perspective, plus a story of redemption; I knew it was going to be good. But, since this is Edie’s debut piece, I didn’t expect it to be that good. Her words are still lingering, long after I set the book down. She’s also prompted me to revisit pieces of my own story....{read the rest of my review here: ...more
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
There was an interesting perspective in this, and a good message. But I struggled a little with 1. the hero worship of a basically deadbeat dad (I get it's reality, but still!), 2. the writing style, which didn't lend to me getting into it and 3) the omission of details, presumably to protect parties but definitely at the expense of the narration. ...more
talon smith
Oct 23, 2017 rated it liked it
“And so began my life with the most wonderful and heartbreaking man I would ever know.”

I get this book. I relate to it and I understand Edie so well that it hurts me. I too, have a father like Edie did. He was my best friend and he was the best guy that I had ever known for thirteen straight years. Until he drank and did drugs. I too, had and still have a mother who saved me and was there for me every step of the way. So my connection with Edie was not where the struggle laid. I understood ever
Mary Blye Kramer
Feb 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
I always hate giving books this kind of awful rating and sometimes it’s because I’ve read one too many memoir in which the author simply doesn’t know how to tell a story or emotionally engage a reader. Or write.

What made this one really annoying, though, was its religious chipper-ness. You could almost feel the author holding back her pain in order to tell people that “Jesus heals”. I didn’t notice the book was a Tyndale imprint until I finished so I guess I have myself to blame.

The writing was
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-of-2017
I have followed Edie Wadsworth for a few years on social media, so I was intrigued by her book. It is an excellent story of God's redemption in the face of alcohol and abuse in the hills of Appalachia.
I read Hillbilly Elegy a few months ago and enjoyed it. But in my opinion, this book is many times better.
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I first heard about this book during an interview that the author gave for faith writers. I was intrigued and had to find the book. Reading this book was like sitting down with a friend who is sharing her life story. There's no pretense, no frills, no walls. Just brutal honesty. I applaud her for being so real. Even when the pain of re-living the experiences in order to be able to write about it had to be unbearable at times, Edie Wadsworth is transparent. This is book truly a book of coming to ...more
Becky Spies
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I had the wonderful opportunity to be on the book launch team of Edie Wadsworth's memoir, All the Pretty Things. I had little knowledge of Edie as a blogger, but I love a good memoir, so I jumped at the opportunity. Little did I know that this memoir would stick with me long after I finished it. (I actually had to pace myself because I wanted to devour it once I got started.) Edie tells the story of her difficult childhood with grace and truth. Her descriptions are beautiful and haunting and riv ...more
Sarah Damaska
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book I could not put down, but All the Pretty Things was one of those books. Each word and story drew me in and even the parts that were painful to read were so beautiful. This is a story of redemption and Jesus. A story of brokenness and restoration. Edie Wadsworth did such an amazing job of honoring her heritage without sugar-coating it. This is a book I will recommend to others, a book that I will continue to pick up off the shelf in the years to come. ...more
May 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Edie Wadsworth writes well; I found her life story compelling, however I did find her hero worship of her drunken father disconcerting. Her mother was the hard working parent, the one who was there for her, and yet Edie glorifies her Daddy for some reason, dedicating the book to him first, calling him her "first love". This attitude permeated the whole narrative, and so it quickly became irritating.
I had difficulty relating to her in many ways, but overall I found this memoir to be a good one.
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I liked the writing in this book: raw and honest. It didn't hurt that I knew of her. I went to the same high school. Her background is similar to others I know, but she was able to get beyond the stigma. It proves that we have more control of our lives than circumstances have us believe. We are more resilient than we sometimes realize. ...more
Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Krisi Kavjian
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wish I could give this one 4.5 stars. It’s absolutely baffling how much I felt myself connect with this author. I read the early parts of this book shaking my head in disbelief at how similar her story is to my own experience. I found myself sending late night texts to my sister who also read (and recommended) the book saying “I feel like I wrote this about us!”. Looking forward to reading more about and from Edie Wadsworth.
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
LOVED this book! Rivals The Glass Castle and is from a Christian perspective. Her story is real, raw and redemptive. Highly recommend this one! A quick read...couldn't put it down. ...more
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! Well-written and powerful story. Loved it.
Rachelle Cobb
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Real and hard and redemptive.
Becky Scally
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a raw, profound and touching book that brought both tears and laughter. I loved every page of this book.
Terri Elder
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An inspiring read! This was a book I could not put down. I found myself working to grab a second or two to read a few pages. Grab her story, you won't be able to put it down. ...more
Katie Petry
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Heart wrenching, intimate and powerful.
annelise sorensen
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
The only reason I give this book 2 stars is because I kept reading it. I have no idea how this book made it to publication. The writing was all over the map, the wrong details emphasized - we know all about the daisy but her affair was a parenthetical add. The final straw was when she talked about tasting food again and made her “infamous” beef stew. Are there not Christian editors?

That being said, I finished because she does have an incredible story of resilience. If only she has an editor tha
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. I found so many familiar things, such as a southern/country family and all the country songs! I really enjoyed reading about Edie's christian life struggles. I know that all of us that are saved by God's Grace can relate to many of the same struggles, just like life in general! ...more
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
We are all products of our environment, so I love hearing people's life stories and digesting what shaped them into who they are. Some rise above their situation and some follow in the footsteps of their parents. Each story is as original as the person. All the Pretty Things by Edit Wadsworth is the story of a child born into extreme poverty in the Appalachian Mountains, with an alcoholic father. You can see right from the very beginning that Wadsworth's father was a product of his family, who a ...more
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Maybe it was the country western songs peppering the pages, maybe it was her description of living in a trailer, or juggling life with divorced parents. It could have been the way I could relate to the deep and unexplainable love a girl feels for her daddy, no matter what. Whatever the reason, this book invited me in and held me in its grasp through all of its pages and not one chapter was insignificant.

Edie Rudder began her life in the Appalachian Mountains, running wild and chasing after her d
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Edie Wadsworth is a speaker, writer, and blogger who has been featured in various print and online media (including Better Homes and Gardens in 2013 on the topic of her family's home rebuild after a fire). After overcoming her difficult upbringing to become a successful medical doctor, Edie left her practice to raise her family and pursue her love for writing. Her passion is to love her people wel ...more

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“Now that I was sitting here holding my own flesh and blood with my heart about to explode from sheer joy, I felt nearer to knowing what it meant to be loved by God. The thought occupied my mind all summer - at every diaper change and every feeding, with every coo and smile and cry.

So this is what it's like to really love someone else, to have the sum total of everything you are and love, living and breathing outside of you?

It was my first, real taste of heaven, of communion with God, and in a way, its own baptism of sorts.”
“We all have wounds & we can either open them up to the light of day so they can heal or we can keep them buried where they will fester & one day wreak havoc on us. (page 244)” 0 likes
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