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.