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Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved

A divinity professor and young mother with a Stage IV cancer diagnosis explores the pain and joy of living without certainty.Thirty-five-year-old Kate Bowler was a professor at the school of divinity at Duke, and had finally had a baby with her childhood sweetheart after years of trying, when she began to feel jabbing pains in her stomach. She lost thirty pounds, chugged antacid, and visited doctors for three months before she was finally diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer.As she navigates the aftermath of her diagnosis, Kate pulls the reader deeply into her life, which is populated with a colorful, often hilarious collection of friends, pastors, parents, and doctors, and shares her laser-sharp reflections on faith, friendship, love, and death. She wonders why suffering makes her feel like a loser and explores the burden of positivity. Trying to relish the time she still has with her son and husband, she realizes she must change her habit of skipping to the end and planning the next move. A historian of the "American prosperity gospel"--the creed of the mega-churches that promises believers a cure for tragedy, if they just want it badly enough--Bowler finds that, in the wake of her diagnosis, she craves these same "outrageous certainties." She wants to know why it's so hard to surrender control over that which you have no control. She contends with the terrifying fact that, even for her husband and child, she is not the lynchpin of existence, and that even without her, life will go on.On the page, Kate Bowler is warm, witty, and ruthless, and, like Paul Kalanithi, one of the talented, courageous few who can articulate the grief she feels as she contemplates her own mortality....

Title : Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780399592065
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 178 pages
Url Type : Home » Everything » Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved
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Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved Reviews

  • Davita

    I started this book in the waiting room at the dentist, which was a mistake, in part because I’m always about to cry at the dentist and also because the dentist does not deserve to witness my deep wonder.

    So I did what any reasonable person should and finished this book at home in bed on a slow morning. And gosh. I’m glad my roommates weren’t home because I oscillated between an ugly cry and a full belly laugh in the course of like three pages.

    Kate’s voice is incisive and thoughtful and honest
    ...more

  • Julie Ehlers

    Sorry to have to say this, but Everything Happens for a Reason is a mess. This short book is a memoir of Kate Bowler's Stage IV colon cancer and how her diagnosis flies in the face of the "prosperity gospel"—the notion espoused by some Christians that as long as you believe in God and think positively, good things will happen for you, and therefore if something bad happens it's kind of your own fault. Was Kate Bowler previously a devotee of the prosperity gospel, or was she raised in that tradit ...more

  • Victoria

    I received an ARC from the publisher for review. This book was a bit heart-wrenching, the story of Kate Bowler's cancer diagnosis and grappling with her own mortality. I have to rate it a little lower because the narrative style was jarring to me - Bowler skipped around so much that I kept having to reread parts of the story because all of a sudden we were in a different tense, or timeline. Some good lessons in here, and be warned, there's lots of God - maybe more than I was expecting. If you've ...more

  • Cherie Lowe

    This book should be required reading for anyone who will die or knows someone who will die. Hint: that's all of us. Kate Bowler reminds us of the thin thread of mortality, struggling through the doubts and questions any person of faith considers when contemplating the meaning of life and the purpose (if any) of suffering.

    While weighty in concept, this book holds in tandem a bright optimism grounded with a gritty reality. A horror story collides head on with a love story as Bowler offers her mem
    ...more

  • Victoria

    I read most of this book through tears. There were definitely some ugly-cry moments and also laugh-out-loud moments. I listened to Kate Bowler’s Fresh Air interview before I started this, and so I could hear her voice clearly as I was reading. A beautiful book on faith in the absence of certainty, and also about love and community and how not to be a d**k when someone you love is experiencing tragedy and grief. This is definitely a book I would keep on my shelf and read again. Kate Bowler is a b ...more

  • Karol

    Have you ever wondered why bad things happen? Are you at a loss about what to say to friends going through a hard time? For me this book comes as close to explaining the unexplainable as anything I’ve read. It’s real, it’s incredibly moving, and I couldn’t stop reading it.

  • Riva Sciuto

    At thirty-five years old, Kate Bowler returns home from the doctor one day with a Stage IV cancer diagnosis. This disrupts her entire universe, forcing her reevaluate her longstanding belief that God has a plan for all of us and that everything happens for a reason. This is particularly challenging for a Divinity professor who grew up in a Mennonite community in which all things -- good and evil -- are attributed to "God's plan."

    And that's why I like this memoir: because Kate Bowler discovers th
    ...more

  • Kate

    3.5/5

    This is a memoir telling of the author’s experience with stage four colorectal cancer and her faith. It was rather disjointed and I felt like the book jumped around in a disorganized way.