a-year-of-biblical-womanhoodReviewed by Christen Krumm

Wow. A Year of Biblical Womanhood was… just wow.

Rachel Held Evans, a strong-willed, independent, working girl of the 21st century decided to embark on an adventure that would forever change her life. One year of Biblical womanhood. Rachel picked one virtue a month in her pursuit of that goal. Starting in October with gentleness, Rachel went through domesticity in November, obedience in December, valor in January, beauty in February, modesty in March, purity in April, fertility in May, submission in June, charity in July, silence in August, and grace in September. This was not a light-hearted project. Rachel did her research and lived her project — not cutting corners.

Each month, each chapter challenged me in a way I did not even know I could be challenged. I was hooked from the very first chapter when she started talking of gentleness. I tend to open-mouth-insert-foot a little more than I would like and Rachel, snarky and sarcastic as she was, challenged herself to “cultivate a gentle and quiet spirit…” She also shed new light on a few “new” strong women of the Bible such as the daughter of Jephthah, the unnamed concubine from Judges 19, Hagar, and finally Tamar of the Davidic narrative. These women, victims of the Bible’s “texts of terror” were not exactly “new” women of the Bible but were still shed in a new light making me want to study their lives more — and dig deeper, finding more women who may not have been “big” characters such as Ruth and Mary.

I think one of the biggest things I took from the book is Rachel’s look and study on the Proverbs 31 woman (you know the one … she does it all). At the end of the chapter Rachel sums up the Proverbs 31 woman — the “Perfect, Superhero Woman” — with “The Proverbs 31 woman is a star not because of what she does but how she does it –with valor.” (emphasis mine) I loved that.

Rachel Held Evans writes with an enjoyable candor, and I was pleasantly surprised that this book was not stuffy at all. I am always a bit hesitant to pick up a non-fiction book (especially a “Christian” non-fiction) because, quite frankly, they tend to be a little … stuffy. While reading this book, I always had a smile on my face and on many occasion found myself laughing out loud.

Rachel’s book is one that will be sure to entertain and challenge. It is a great addition to any bookshelf.

Best Quote: The Proverbs 31 woman is a star not because of what she does but how she does it — with valor.

Furthermore: Rachel’s Blog

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Christen is an aspiring author, book lover, and coffee drinker. She lives in Arkansas with her superhero husband and 2 mini people. Connect with her at her blog: ChristenKrumm.com or Twitter @christenkrumm

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Thomas Nelson. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.