I am a fan of a good true story. I don't expect it to be fairy tale happily ever after perfect, it can be rough around the edges- I especially love to see God shift the plot and redemption wash over the messy parts. Edie Wadsworth's All The Pretty Things is just that kind of story. I devoured this book in just a few, late nights. lifeingrace was one of the first blogs I ever read and was instantly impressed with Edie's "picture perfect" life and home (the internet lends such a rosy shade of lens to us all ;). I never knew the hard won life story behind Edie's beautiful and encouraging webpage.
Edie has quite the narrative voice that draws you in and paints a picture of a childhood that, while very different from the one I experienced, makes you believe in and empathize with the good and the hard parts. She may not grow up in the ideal living situation with the most stable of families, but she does know love and God's providential hand gets her through. It's clear Edie had a special tie to her father and she does a marvelous job showing a realistic profile of the man who both loved her like no other and scarred her deeply with his own scars. A wide cast of characters make up Edie's colorful extended family and they all play a part in the story line of who she was and who she has become. Her upbringing causes Edie to grow up in a hurry and pursue perfection in everything that was so imperfect and incomplete in her childhood. She finds hope and direction in the Lord at a young age and her life really is turned around by clinging to that. Edie does very well at bettering herself by jumping headfirst into medical school and becoming a doctor. Along the way, she has got married young and has a couple kids and thinks she has outrun her "demons". Only after she has everything that should complete her does she realize that the work of her own hands won't bring peace-she has an affair, her marriage dissolves and she finally is brought face to face with all the wounds from her past. What is surely a very broken place proves to be fertile ground for redemption and God to step in and take over. Edie is able to make amends with her challenging childhood and remarries and becomes the face of lifeingrace that I was first introduced to.
Never judge a book by it's cover rings true here-there is far more to Edie Wadsworth's story than meets the eye.I can imagine some parts of this story were very hard for her to bare to public scrutiny, but she does it with class and grace and we are all thankful she was willing to share this story of God's faithfulness in bringing pretty things out of sometimes ugly places.
Thanks to Tyndale Publishers for providing with a copy of this book to review.