Monday, May 4, 2009

Book Review: On My Own Now

On My Own Now: Straight Talk from the Proverbs for Young Christian Women who Want to Remain Pure, Debtfree and Regretfree

by Donna Lee Schillinger
Quilldriver, 2009

Reviewed by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Donna Lee Schillinger is a married homeschooling mom who has served in the Peace Corps and worked as an executive director of a homeless shelter for single young mothers. As one reads “On My Own Now” one discovers that Schillinger made a lot of mistakes in her own life. Much of this book comes from that perspective of learning from someone else’s errors in judgment. I realize that as a thirty-something married woman myself, I am not the target audience for this book. This is intended for young women just starting out in life. I can remember what it was like to be a young woman, however. I would love to say that if someone had handed me a book like this, I would have eagerly followed all of the advice and saved myself a bunch of heartache in the process, but I don’t think that would have been the case. Part of being young is making mistakes and learning from them (as Schillinger did from hers). I’m fairly certain that it is not possible to get through life regret-free. This does not mean, however, that the advice Schillinger gives is not good or that this book is not worthwhile. Indeed, the opposite is true. If a young woman takes even some of the advice in this book, it is well-worth it.

Schillinger touches on all the major issues in a young woman’s life – dating, money, friendship, work ethics, taking care of one’s body, and family. She does so in a very straight-forward pull-no-punches manner and with a sense of humor. She is also extremely willing to share her own mistakes in the hope that someone may learn from them. Each section begins with a relevant Proverb and then moves on from there. I honestly (and somewhat embarrassedly) admit that I am not as familiar with the Proverbs as I should be, and I did obtain much more insight into them from reading “On My Own Now.” There is good advice there for all of us, regardless of age.

“On My Own Now” is highly recommended. While I don’t think any young woman will take all of the advice, hopefully most will take some. Their lives would be better for it.

Reviewed by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

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