Christine's Reviews > One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
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Jun 30, 2012

did not like it
Read in June, 2012

(Warning - review sent to family, not edited to protect the feelings of my friends who have read this and may like it...)

I finally, just shy of 7 full months, finished One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp (actually one thousand gifts, looking more closely at the cover). And there is a peak at what I despised about the book. First, however, as Dad taught me, I will say something nice. She does have some good and interesting views on living the Christian life fully, with total gratitude for what God gives you (hence looking for 1000 things for which to be grateful). Take this: "Every moment I live, I live bowed to something. And if I don't see God, I'll bow down before something else" (p 110). Sounds reminiscent of someone else, but still good. So, you may find the book worth reading, if only for the references to other people like CS Lewis and Henri Nouwen. Plus, she married a Dutchman, so what's not to like about that.

But, for the rest - consider this my scathing pregnancy review (a la Three Cups of Tea while pregnant with Naomi). Her style of writing is so poetic, it is gagging. Her misuse of proper grammar was distracting and not inspiring. "Yet, now wisps of cheese tell me gentle that this is the first secret step into eucharsteo's miracle" (p 57). And this is mild, mild!, by comparison to some other sections. In one chapter she is leaving her family at the dinner table to run through their crops to try and catch the moon (?!?!). You can't imagine how long it took me to get through that section! Bleh bleh bleh. Some strange theological ideas mixed in too, but maybe I was misunderstanding her due to the extreme poetic license (and lack of an editor??). To you give you one last glimpse from the acknowledgments at the end, "Caleb, Joshua, Hope, Levi, Malakai, Shalom, six who have swollen me, shaped me, and birthed me into love." Pardon while I breath into a paper bag.

Anyway, feel free to chalk this up to pregnancy. But, I can't read it again later to see if it was all hormones. Someone else read it and let me know.
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04/14/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by LeAnn (new)

LeAnn Your review, hormone-induced or not, answers my question of whether or not to suggest this for book club. Thank you for giving some specific examples of what you found annoying about the book. Sounds like you've saved some valuable time - for me anyway. I shall pass on this one and look for another. Any suggestions?


Jennifer Thanks for your honest review. I liked the idea of this book but the reality, for me, was FAR from good. I couldn't get passed the annoying over-use of corny adjectives to even get to her message. It was lost on me. Good for you for completing it - I couldn't get passed chapter 2!! Such terrible writing!!!!!


message 3: by Elizabeth (new) - added it

Elizabeth Mundie Thanks for your insights. I go back and forth on whether to read this book or not. I do have some questions about what I've heard of the theology and also know that Voskamp can over-write things. I have read a little bit of her blog and have enjoyed some quotes that people have selected from the book. There's a story that Maxwell Perkins edited out pages and pages of a work by Thomas Wolfe (I think it was Wolfe) and made a brilliant work out of the genius that was left. I imagine that most poetic writers could use a Perkins in their lives, and that might apply to Voskamp, as well.


Mark I respect your point of view, and I won't argue with your conclusions. Where are the theological discrepancies I keep hearing about? Anyone have thoughts about that?


Sarah Jo Really, Christine, this is hardly "scathing". :) To use her "style" of writing: this book was like a vomiting donkey hurling chunks of words in putrid combination.


A. D. Paventi ^ Best. Comment. Ever.


Sarah I liked the concept...got a lot out of it, but struggled with her writing style as well. And the concept of making love to God at the end I didn't care for. And I was waiting for closure with her cancer and her family, which wasn't addressed. How are they dealing? Could have cut some of the fluff to include that.


message 8: by Mariel (new) - added it

Mariel haven't read the book yet but your review cracked me up!!! author sounds like a bit of a crackpot.


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