Thursday, January 2, 2014

Book Review: Miss Brenda and the Loveladies by Brenda Spahn and Irene Zutell

In Miss Brenda and the Loveladies:  A Heartwarming True Story of Grace, God, and Gumption by Brenda Spahn and Irene Zutell, Brenda Spahn feels like God is calling her to open a "whole-way" house for women leaving prison.  When women leave prison, they end up back in their old neighborhoods, doing the same things that got them in prison the first time, and Spahn wanted to stop the cycle.  Despite almost no one believing in her idea, she made it work, even when found in violation of zoning laws.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book, but I really enjoyed it.  The courage and gumption the author had to have to work with hardened criminals is amazing, and the changes she was able to bring about in their lives is even more amazing.  Of course, she didn't bring about the changes; God did.  Some of the women's stories are heartbreaking and hard to read, but they show how little hope some people have even from childhood.

This book should change your perspective of women in prison and the choices they made to get there (not that they don't deserve what they get), and it may even make you want to help them.

I want to thank WaterBrook Multnomah for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

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