Today’s literary birthday: Shelby Foote, American novelist and Civil War historian, born November 17, 1916.

FINDING JOY: ONE WOMAN’S JOURNEY BACK TO FAITH is an insightful and inspiring memoir that gives a personal glimpse into the life of Joy Wooderson, the daughter and granddaughter of Christian missionaries who lived and preached in South Africa.

In FINDING JOY, Wooderson gives a unique perspective into her faith, her family, her African homeland, and her journey to the United States, where she became a U.S. citizen.

The front cover, with the photo of white daisy seeking sunlight as it pokes through the parched brown earth, gives a hint of what awaits the reader inside. Chapter 1 opens with a quote from St. Augustine and begins with the author perched on top of Mount Sinai, marveling at the view and grandeur of the vista before her.

Divided into nine parts and thirty chapters, Wooderson’s memoir reads like a novel, with the end of each chapter leaving me wanting to read more.

The chapters and sections are peppered with Biblical passages from the Old and New Testaments, as well as other meaningful and contemplative quotes. The end of each chapter also contains what Wooderson calls “Pointers,” which are questions and statements that challenge readers to examine their own beliefs. The last page of each chapter also includes space for readers to record their reflections.

Wooderson’s memoir is filled with candor and clarity. She openly discusses her crisis of faith, her doubts about organized religion, and the path she took to navigate through dark days into the light.

Anyone who has struggled with their faith or questioned their belief system will find comfort, compassion and wisdom in FINDING JOY.



Filed under Inspirational, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Spiritual, Women's


  1. I can not wait to purchase my copy of this book (hopefully the first weekend of December) and probably one for my mom, too! I love the idea of the pointers and the reflection at the end of the chapters. I saw this book in other stages and am so excited it is published!!! Great review, Donna, and way to go, JOY!!!!

  2. Joy, congratulations, and I hope to read your book soon! Donna, I very much enjoyed the review.

  3. Denise Whitney

    I gotta say, I totally love Joy’s writing style! I have totally enjoyed spending some sacred quiet time reading “Finding Joy”. I hope there will be another book to follow.

  4. Hi Margo and Dianna,
    Thanks for your kind words about my review.

    I am glad you enjoyed Joy’s book. It definitely is an uplifting experience!

  5. Debbie Settle

    I just finished reading Joy’s wonderful book and was challenged and encouraged throughout. Thank you, Joy, for sharing your journey in such a transparent way. Many will be blessed because of your ability to make complex and profound truth real to your readers.
    Debbie Settle

  6. An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who was conducting a little homework on this.
    And he in fact ordered me breakfast because I discovered it for him…
    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanx for spending the time to discuss this topic
    here on your web page.

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