Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book Review: A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans (Pre-Cog Edition)

When I heard that people were already reviewing Rachel Held Evans's yet unfinished book, I couldn't wait to jump on that bandwagon. I've been a fan of Rachel's blog for a long time (well before she was being interviewed on NPR and showing up on Oprah's blog), so I feel that I am uniquely qualified to offer insight on books she hasn't finished writing. I considered reviewing her third book, Pissing Off Liberals AND Conservatives by Daring to be Reasonable, but I thought that maybe I'd at least wait until she had pitched it to her agent.

For the most part, I was impressed with what I imagined Rachel wrote. In my mind, she had, as one would expect, a fantastic blend of humor and insight. From talking about her weekend with Chip to making her own clothes, I believe that Rachel wrote about her experiences with the grace and eloquence that I have come to expect from her blog.

But I will also say, I was surprised at some of the less publicized choices that I'm falsely claiming she made.

While we all have seen the pictures of her time in the purple tent while observing the purity laws, I was surprised to pretend to read about her interest in tampon art during her Proverbs 31 month, particularly trying a project that was so obviously masculine. It felt like a departure from the whole idea of biblical womanhood that I was expecting.

I was also taken aback at the sheer number of Smurfette references that were scattered throughout the book's non-existent pages. I know that this was to be a much longer work than Evolving in Monkey Town, but I thought that padding it with references to the lone female Smurf was a little cheap. I will give her some grace because I know that pop references are hard to pass up.

Where I cannot extend my theoretical grace is to Ms. Evans's clear disdain for fiber arts. I feel as though an apology is owed to the Ravelry community for the misrepresentation of how difficult it is to knit. It is prejudicial and my fake disappointment can barely be contained in a mere blog post.

All things considered however, I will still absolutely recommend this book. And next year, when it has been written and released for people to actually read, I will encourage you to take a look and see what you think about it. Because generally, the best reviews are written after a book has been written, rather than before.

Disclosure: I was not provided an advance copy of Rachel's book. Because it still isn't finished. I was not compensated for this review, however, I am hoping that when we meet next summer, I can remind her of this and she'll pick up the lunch tab with her vast piles of author money. All opinions and fabrications are 100% my own. Because the book isn't finished yet.


If you were writing a fake review of a book that you haven't read or that hasn't even been written, who would you pick as your target? (Also, I really can't wait for Rachel's book and I do expect to enjoy it when it comes out. And I'm sure I'll post a proper review at that time.)


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