I am not the target reader for this book.
I bought it a year ago on the recommendation of two friends, and I still haven’t finished it. I’m not going to: I picked it up again, and I simply don’t get the appeal. The writing is too esoteric, too literary for my taste, as though it's focusing on beautiful words at the expense of being understood. Some sentences I read and reread and still don’t know what they say.
I love the concept: Count your blessings (literally). Be thankful. Show gratitude. Live in joy. Live in communion with God. Live fully right where you are. But that, for me, should be simple. And One Thousand Gifts is anything but, as I continually find the language getting in the way of the message.
It has over a thousand five-star reviews on Amazon, but my opinion is firmly aligned with the 10% minority who give it one or two stars. Two stars on Amazon means “I didn’t like it”; one star means “I hated it”. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I hated it. As I said, I like the idea. My issue is with the execution, as one sentence that is simply beautiful is followed by one that might as well be written in another language. But I didn’t like it (which will still mean just one star on Goodreads, which has a different rating system).
Ironically, the one and two-star reviews show up as “Most Helpful” on the Amazon page, with thousands of “helpful” votes between the top three reviews. Perhaps this suggests just as many people dislike this book as love it, but as good Christians they follow the Bambi rule and don’t wish to write a critical review. I can see their point. I’m writing this review, but I won’t be posting it on Amazon.
Writing, to me, is about reading. It’s about expressing an idea in words your reader can understand, appreciate, apply. One Thousand Gifts has obviously spoken to thousands, perhaps millions, of women, but I’m not one of them. I just don’t get it. I don’t get the language, and I don’t get the appeal.
One Thousand Gifts counts towards my 2015 Reading Challenge as a book with a number in the title.