Thursday, April 30, 2015

Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy

This month I had the opportunity to explore Donald Miller’s latest offering Scary Close.
 Donald Miller is a name that came up time and again throughout my college years, acting as a polarizing force through his works such as Blue Like Jazz. However, even among all this buzz, this was my first actual exposure to his work.

On a whole, I can understand the appeal of Miller’s work.

His writing style is familiar, comfortable. His book reads as a conversation between friends over a coffee. This style seemed especially appropriate given Miller’s focus on intimacy and relationships. It almost felt as though the style itself was another forum through which Miller was attempting to explore and express his feelings on the subject matter.

That said, after reading the book, I am still not entirely sure of Miller’s point.

On one hand, readers are introduced to a meandering journey of Miller’s relationship and intimacy issues ending in the author’s marriage to Betsy. On the other, Miller seems intent on trying to explain life lessons about intimacy as related to this journey.

While there were high points where Miller conveys important work (I particularly enjoyed the chapter with him ending a lecture by jumping in a lake), I almost felt like the point of Miller’s work was buried under the emotional connection he worked to form with the reader through the biographical narrative. In my case, the “so what” of the book got lost between personal growth retreats and fixing up broken down locations for the long awaited wedding.

Although I love the stated topic and have read avidly on the subject before, I couldn't shake the feeling the Scary Close was not written with someone of my gender (female) or life stage (young mom) in mind. I did get the distinct impression this would have been a much discussed book had it been around during my college years.

Overall, I give this book 3 out of stars mainly because I can see its potential given the right audience.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”