Sins of the Fathers
written by Denise L. Buchanan, Ph.D.c
published by Lulu Press, Inc.
Why did I pick this book: I was asked to review this book by the publicist. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
Did I enjoy this book: I was challenged by it.
This book is filled with highly emotionally charged content. I’m going to review it based on its merit as a work of non-fiction. This review in no way endorses or judges either positively or negatively her beliefs or choices. So here we go:
Every book begins with the cover. This one is highly inflammatory, from the artwork to the title. It’s like cable news inflammatory. I got several funny looks at the DMV when I sat down to read what was behind that cover.
I really expected an anti-Catholic rant. But that’s not what this book is about. It’s a well-researched, thought-provoking story that questions some of our most basic religious and cultural beliefs.
And she does it concisely. She writes just over 100 pages. Each page is filled with all beef and no fat. There are numerous inspirational quotes, song lyrics, and poems sprinkled throughout the book. I’m a linear thinker so the story spoke the loudest to me but others may be inspired by her poetry and quotes.
My criticism: The brevity that I love so much left the book feeling a little disjointed: funeral – childhood – trip to Egypt – return to Jamaica – spiritual awakening – end. I would’ve added a few transitional paragraphs in there to ease the reader from one phase of life to another and tie them together. We readers are a lazy bunch. We like the writer to do the heavy lifting. We just want to sit back and enjoy the beauty of their hard labor.
Would I recommend it: It’s not for everyone. I think the best audience for this book is someone who’s seeking; maybe an abuse survivor who wants to see how others overcame the residual pain of previous trauma. I also think religious scholars may also enjoy this story to reassess, change, or affirm their beliefs.
Will I read it again: It’s possible that I’ll revisit certain sections of the book.
About the book – from Goodreads: With humble beginnings in Kingston, Jamaica, Denise Buchanan grew up in the Christian faith with a deep reverence for the Catholic Church. This all shattered when at age seventeen she was sexually molested by a priest. This molestation resulted in an unwanted pregnancy which was aborted on orders from the Church. Carrying the burden of this secret for over thirty years, Denise sought out many spiritual traditions and academic pursuits in the hope of finding answers. In the book, Sins of the Fathers, Denise recounts her courageous journey through the guilt, shame and betrayal and ultimately delivers a message of hope, healing and spiritual awakening. To contribute to discussions on rape, abortion and God visit: www.sinsofthefathers.org