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Holding Her Head High: 12 Single Mothers Who…
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Holding Her Head High: 12 Single Mothers Who Championed Their Children and…

by Janine Turner

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Sorry folks, but I can't recommend this book to anyone but devout Christians who are accustomed to dry reading material.

I am a big fan of the author. I loved her in many of her acting roles and Northern Exposure was one of my favorite television shows. I also knew that Ms. Turner has spoken out about the importance of her faith. Knowing this I was very enthusiastic to read her book. I am sorry to say I cannot seem to finish reading it.

I was so excited initially when I received a copy to review. But after finishing the first chapter, I had a sinking feeling it wasn't going to get any more interesting. While I find the idea of the book fascinating, the work itself just doesn't hold my attention. The writing seems stilted and I never forget I am reading a book. The mothers she highlights never really come to life for me and I lose interest repeatedly while trying to read.

I find myself counting the pages left to read in the chapter I am reading and that is never a good sign. This book just feels more like homework that I don't want to work on. I am only about halfway through and maybe my opinion will change if I can ever finish the book. If I ever do, I will come back on here and edit my review. ( )
4 vote atlaswinks | May 9, 2008 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I requested this book because I do hold single moms in high regard. My sister is one and does a remarkable job with her son. But this book was just too religious for me to get through. Like many of the other reviewers, I had issue with her profiling some women who were not single moms - Yes, Abigail had to raise the kids alone, but John was involved as much as he could. Very disappointed in this book.

I'd recommend this book to anyone with a strong Christian identity. I do know a woman who did have to be a single mom for many years who will be receiving this book. I hope she loves it.
2 vote roniweb | Apr 6, 2008 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I tried, really tried to finish this book, but I can't do it. When you find you are reading with the purpose of counting the number of cliches per chapter, there really is no point in wasting any more of your time. For the record, in the chapters I read, the phrase -- as if you might not remember the title of the book -- "holding her head high" was used an average of 4 times per chapter. Maximum chapter high head count: 8. If that doesn't give you a sense of the tediousness of this book, I might discourage you with the following: improper use of quotations, misspelled words, poor (or wrong!) word choice, dull sentence structure, sloppy research, an inappropriately casual narrative voice, repetitive paragraphs, and poor organization. In general it reads like a 8th grade term paper -- one that would get an 'C' from a burnedout easy grader.

How anyone could make the lives of some of the women profiled boring is surprising. More surprising still is that this book was published. Some reviewers here have commented that this book should have been marketed differently, suggesting that for a different audience it would fare better. I don't think so; poor writing is poor writing. A sad comment to make about a book that could have been so much more.
5 vote cammie | Apr 2, 2008 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I've desperately tried to like this book and I was in fact quite excited when I was told I had a chance to review it for LibraryThing. I read quite a bit of Christian inspiration, so this seemed like it would be a good fit for me. However, I was turned off from the get-go. The writing style, especially the one-word-sentence "Setting the Scene" paragraphs at the beginning of each chapter, just set my teeth on edge. Much of the history is specious at best, sort of a "Veggie Tales" slice of life. I half expected to be introduced to Queen Blanche the Beansprout of France by the time I got to her chapter. This is a book for the evangelical crowd for sure, but maybe that's okay. Reading some of the reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com I was touched by how some of the readers were indeed inspired by these stories.

"Holding Her Head High" is not for everyone but it's for someone out there. All single mothers should hold their heads high and should never be made to feel as if they shouldn't (I should mention that the title of this book annoyed me as well). As other reviewers have already noted, some of these women weren't even single parents. Hopefully this book will encourage a single mother out there and if so, then Ms. Turner has done her job. ( )
4 vote neilandlisa | Apr 1, 2008 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
While I found many of the "mini-biographies" in this collection interesting, I was disappointed by much of the writing. First, Turner really stretches the term "single mother" and thus, I find the title of the book (and perhaps the marketing?) a little misleading. Second, while bits and pieces of this book were well written, I had to drag myself through other parts of the book that often read like bloated dictionary entries.

Still, I found the celebration of motherhood inspiring, and perhaps this is the angle of marketing the publishers should have used. There are many books that celebrate motherhood (we could always use more, however), but there doesn't seem to be a lot written about motherhood in history. ( )
3 vote karenweyant | Mar 25, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 078522324X, Hardcover)

Life lessons from single mothers throughout history form the inspiration for single mothers today.

Single moms are not just a product of our modern culture. There have been single mothers throughout history, women who have raised not only their children but also nations with a higher vision for life. Holding Her Head High recounts stories of twelve such women from the third to the twenty-first centuries, women who found ways to twist their fates to represent God's destiny for their lives.

These uniquely powerful, brave women, within the scope of their own world and times, are like the ninety-nine percent of single mothers today who never intended to carry that distinction. They are abandoned, widowed, or divorced, all carrying wounds, yet they also all found ways to exhibit courage, kindness, dignity, and faith to heal themselves by healing others.

Actress Janine Turner, herself a single mother, describes the social implications for women and children from the Roman Empire through the Middle Ages to Pioneer days, including a single mother of slavery. Stories from women like Rachel Lavein Fawcett, abandoned single mother of Alexander Hamilton; Abagail Adams, a wartime widow; Harriet Jacobs, an unwed mother of slavery whose autobiography was published the year the Civil War began; and widowed Belva Lockwood, the first woman to officially run for President, all carrying wounds but all offering insight, wisdom, and encouragement. Lessons include:

Listen for God's higher calling Hold your head high Dare to dream Champion your children Heal with humor Don't Give Up Before the Miracle

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:46 -0400)

Discusses the role of single mothers from the Roman Empire to the present day through an analysis of the lives and contributions of twelve single mothers, including Blanche of Castile, Abigail Adams, and Harriet Jacobs.

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