Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge {book review}


Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's SoulCaptivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul by John Eldredge

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is my copy. Having read one of John’s previous books, I thought one co-written by John and Stasi would be good. But alas, it is not.

For many pages, more than half the book, I couldn’t put a finger on what it was that I didn’t like. Aside from the obvious, that is. I’ll get to that later.

One night when I was reading, I skipped to the back of the book and read a prayer. Not sure what it has to do with the book. I should say clearly after reading this prayer, that I do not agree with their theology at all. That is what is wrong with the book, foundational to anything else. Wrong doctrine. Un-biblical. Not true to God’s Word.

More later, when I finish the book. (Almost always finish a book, especially if writing a review.)

Finished earlier in the week, but my reaction is the same. Disappointed. Apparently I have a different theology of God (mine is based on the Bible) from the Eldredges, which was not apparent to me in reading another of John’s books. Because of this theological difference, I do not agree with the basic premise of Captivating, nor with it’s conclusion(s). If you want to know more specifically, just ask.

First of all, I have a major issue with the incessant references to movies as examples of the stereotypical (American) woman. The Hollywood film industry seems to be the basis of Stasi’s knowledge of women. And the lack of Biblical quotations, in comparison to the numbers of movie references, is appalling. Why are movies a better reference than God HImself?

Other than that, I had a problem with not being able to tell which of the Eldredges was ‘talking’ at any given time. I have read other books written by a husband-wife team. I think it would give Stasi more credit if the reader knew which was ‘speaking’. Otherwise it appears that John wrote most of the book, which may be true.

I also think that Stasi’s ‘story’ would serve well nearer to the beginning of the book. It seemed like an add-on at the end, totally unrelated to the topic. This reader was left wondering where Stasi fit into the premise of the book, which also makes the reader wonder how much of it is solely John’s writing rather than a team.

And lest you think that a man is unable to write objectively about a women’s point of view, I have read books by men which amazingly portray the female side of things beautifully. I do not think that is the problem. I think it is an experienced writer not giving (or the inexperienced not taking) a team effort.

It’s not a bad book. I don’t have a recommendation either way. It is a book that makes one think. If you want to know what it makes one think….you’ll have to read it for yourself. I’ll not get into the semantics publicly.

View all my reviews

After I posted my review on GoodReads I read the review at Tea Time with Annie Kate’s blog, which I have her permission to share.  I agree with her review, which is well said.

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