Book Review: The Miracle in the Middle

I do read books that aren’t about either friendship or letters. In fact, I regularly rate and review books on my Goodreads account, where it is obvious, from my list of nearly 300 read books, that I lean towards memoir, non-fiction, inspirational, and contemporary fiction in my reading tastes. I am particularly interested in inspirational books that help me grow in my faith.

I chose The Miracle in the Middle: Finding God’s Voice in the Void, because I hoped it would shed more light on the concept of listening to God. I expect it will be obvious to readers of our Mary & Me book that a shared faith is a crucial element in mine and Mary’s friendship. That said, while Mary H. has always seemed to have a good grasp on what it means to discern God’s will, I’m still learning what it is to have a real relationship with God. So, yes, I had high expectations for this book, perhaps too high.

miracle in the middleThe book began with a car trip example, and boy, could I identify. As the mother of eight children, there were many years when my husband and I didn’t take any trips at all, because there was nothing “fun” about listening to squalling babies and arguing toddlers for hours in a closed space. And yes, I agree, the middle of any trip always seemed the most difficult. By chapter four, however, I’d read more about author Charlotte Gambill’s mountain-climbing and running than I did about developing a relationship with God. Yes, I understand using personal anecdotes to illustrate a point, but in this case, the incidents seemed more about the author’s physical prowess and less about incidents and events readers could relate to. And dare I say it? Bible verses and stories were used too often, in places that didn’t seem necessary, and I found myself skimming over them sometimes.

There are redeeming qualities to this book. If you are a runner, mountain-climber, or facing a large task or goal that seems insurmountable, there is encouragement to be found in sections of this book. You can get a lot out of just reading the pull quotes off each page. The prayer points at the end of each chapter are another plus.

Disclaimer: I was given this book by for a fair and honest review.


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