Ann Voskamp is all the things: a wife and mother, a daughter and a friend, a workshop leader and touring speaker. She is also a four-times New York Times bestseller author. One Thousand Gifts is a book that reached a wide audience with its invitation to an attentiveness to the simplest of life’s gifts that are right before you. Perhaps, as for me, it prompted you to start a ‘one thousand gifts’ list of your own.
And so, I was eager to read Voskamp’s latest release. Like her other books, it is foremost a memoir. She writes about two significant parts of her life. The first chapter, titled ‘in the beginning,’ and the early part of the book is an opening of her soul to the early days or even hours of her marriage to her high school sweetheart, who she sporadically, and even annoyingly, refers to as ‘farm boy’ and ‘farm husband.’ She exposes her heart as she writes about the fragility of marriage from first blush to the midlife years.
The later chapters are about the adoption of their daughter from China. Just when their quiver seemed full and Voskamp herself was well established in the speaker conference circuit, a child is divinely presented to them.
Voskamp connects these two events and others in her life with a Red Sea metaphor that she draws on again and again as she navigates circumstances and seeks to understand God, the Waymaker, and his plans for her and her husband in their marriage and in their pursuit of a dear child to enfold into their family.
Voskamp’s story holds many poignant touch points for the reader. This book is much longer than Voskamp’s other books, and it might have benefited from a tighter edit. There is much repetition in her devotional and Biblical reflections. As much as this reviewer appreciated the author’s faith journey reflections, it also created just a twinge of unease. Not all of our painful Red Seas open up with “Moses Way” signposts. And yet I recommend this highly for all readers who have been blessed by Ann Voskamp’s writings. (Thomas Nelson)