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Seven Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness

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In his eagerly anticipated follow-up to the enormously successful Seven Men, New York Times best-selling author Eric Metaxas gives us seven captivating portraits of some of history’s greatest women, each of whom changed the course of history by following God’s call upon their lives—as women. Each of the world-changing figures who stride across these pages—Joan of Arc, Susa In his eagerly anticipated follow-up to the enormously successful Seven Men, New York Times best-selling author Eric Metaxas gives us seven captivating portraits of some of history’s greatest women, each of whom changed the course of history by following God’s call upon their lives—as women. Each of the world-changing figures who stride across these pages—Joan of Arc, Susanna Wesley, Hannah More, Maria Skobtsova, Corrie ten Boom, Mother Teresa, and Rosa Parks—is an exemplary model of true womanhood. Teenaged Joan of Arc followed God’s call and liberated her country, dying a heroic martyr’s death. Susanna Wesley had nineteen children and gave the world its most significant evangelist and its greatest hymn-writer, her sons John and Charles. Corrie ten Boom, arrested for hiding Dutch Jews from the Nazis, survived the horrors of a concentration camp to astonish the world by forgiving her tormentors. And Rosa Parks’ deep sense of justice and unshakeable dignity and faith helped launch the twentieth-century’s greatest social movement. Writing in his trademark conversational and engaging style, Eric Metaxas reveals how the other extraordinary women in this book achieved their greatness, inspiring readers to lives shaped by the truth of the gospel.


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In his eagerly anticipated follow-up to the enormously successful Seven Men, New York Times best-selling author Eric Metaxas gives us seven captivating portraits of some of history’s greatest women, each of whom changed the course of history by following God’s call upon their lives—as women. Each of the world-changing figures who stride across these pages—Joan of Arc, Susa In his eagerly anticipated follow-up to the enormously successful Seven Men, New York Times best-selling author Eric Metaxas gives us seven captivating portraits of some of history’s greatest women, each of whom changed the course of history by following God’s call upon their lives—as women. Each of the world-changing figures who stride across these pages—Joan of Arc, Susanna Wesley, Hannah More, Maria Skobtsova, Corrie ten Boom, Mother Teresa, and Rosa Parks—is an exemplary model of true womanhood. Teenaged Joan of Arc followed God’s call and liberated her country, dying a heroic martyr’s death. Susanna Wesley had nineteen children and gave the world its most significant evangelist and its greatest hymn-writer, her sons John and Charles. Corrie ten Boom, arrested for hiding Dutch Jews from the Nazis, survived the horrors of a concentration camp to astonish the world by forgiving her tormentors. And Rosa Parks’ deep sense of justice and unshakeable dignity and faith helped launch the twentieth-century’s greatest social movement. Writing in his trademark conversational and engaging style, Eric Metaxas reveals how the other extraordinary women in this book achieved their greatness, inspiring readers to lives shaped by the truth of the gospel.

30 review for Seven Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness

  1. 5 out of 5

    Feisty Harriet

    The subtitle of this book should be "The Secret of Their Greatness is Christianity and Adhering to Traditional Female Roles." Not that there is anything wrong with being a Christian woman, but I was disappointed that was the unifying theme Metaxas chose for these women. In his introduction he blatantly states he is anti-feminist, and my heart sank. I suppose there lies my issue with the unifying Christian/supporting the religious and governmental patriarchy theme. Women who break the mold and ar The subtitle of this book should be "The Secret of Their Greatness is Christianity and Adhering to Traditional Female Roles." Not that there is anything wrong with being a Christian woman, but I was disappointed that was the unifying theme Metaxas chose for these women. In his introduction he blatantly states he is anti-feminist, and my heart sank. I suppose there lies my issue with the unifying Christian/supporting the religious and governmental patriarchy theme. Women who break the mold and are pioneers in feminism he dismisses out of the hat as unseemly radicals, while praising those who excel in "womanly" ways. Meh, not my cup of tea. Some of the women Metaxas selected I had never heard of, some I have read biographies or autobiographies of (Joan of Arc, Corrie Ten Boom) that were FAR superior to the synopsis Metaxas wrote. Several women I am positive do not fit into the same ranks as Mother Teresa and Rosa Parks, but because they were good Christians and anti-feminists, Metaxas included them (Susanna Wesley, Hannah More, Saint Maria of Paris).

  2. 4 out of 5

    Schuyler

    This book gave me so many varied reactions of excitement, inspiration, confusion, indifference, that I'm going to run through each woman individually and briefly discuss them. Overall, I came away from this book having been given a feast of things to dwell on and wrestle with. I received another intellectually stimulating offering from Metaxas' careful scholarly work. And I caught a deeper vision on how I can live my life for Christ. Joan of Arc Most people are distressed by Joan of Arc hearing This book gave me so many varied reactions of excitement, inspiration, confusion, indifference, that I'm going to run through each woman individually and briefly discuss them. Overall, I came away from this book having been given a feast of things to dwell on and wrestle with. I received another intellectually stimulating offering from Metaxas' careful scholarly work. And I caught a deeper vision on how I can live my life for Christ. Joan of Arc Most people are distressed by Joan of Arc hearing voices in her head and then having every prediction of those voices come true. I must confess, the most distressing fact to me was that the slight mentions of Earl of Warwick weren't as positive as I would have wished them to be. I know, rather a small point to quibble with. Overall, I thought a woman like her would have benefited from more time and in-depth consideration, but I appreciated the fact that Metaxas portrayed her as a girl who found great strength in an extraordinary time simply through her unswerving commitment to obedience. Strength is not found in bucking trends and breaking molds and believing in ourselves. It's found in obeying God's direction for our lives, and viewing obedience as our only option, even in the face of fear or impossibilities. Susanna Wesley This brave, dedicated mama was my second-favorite of all the women in this book. I could deeply relate to the philosophy of discipline and love with which she raised her children. She took great pains to give them a thinking education, writing her own curriculum when she couldn't find books to suit her. She raised them in the fear of God and prayer. And all of them grew up loving her and walking in her faith. Ironically, it was through the constant abdication and harsh control of their father that the children went through great heartache. But even Samuel Wesley, really pitiful husband that he was, respected his wife and told his children to honor her for her example. I want to be a mother like her someday, though I certainly hope for a much better family situation. Hannah More Hannah More was my favorite. While I think of Susanna Wesley in regards to my future, Hannah More very much speaks to my present. She was a single women who used her gift of writing to stir hearts toward social reform, exalt Christ, and encourage many friends through correspondence. She was a productive women who valued the arts and also valued connections with Christians and non-Christians alike who could help her reform society. She worked with Wilberforce and many others for the abolition of the slave trade and enjoyed friendships with men like Samuel Johnson and Horace Walpole in her pursuit of the arts. Her example of forming partnerships with people of a wide variety of beliefs was challenging and helpful. I hope to study her life further and gain some more insights from it. Saint Maria of Paris I'll admit, I really wrestled with this one. I didn't fully accept Metaxas' comparison that she was a Bonhoeffer counterpart in the Orthodox church, using that to explain away her unconventional habits of smoking and drinking as a nun. Her life was fraught with relational fracture, divorcing twice, having a child out of wedlock, and losing children to death. God used her greatly to minister to the poor, and not every one of his instruments has to fit into a nice neat mold of respectability. But I still wrestle with the way her sins were handled--the acceptance, almost glossing over, of those very glaring errors. Perhaps his skill as a biographer is presenting the truth without commentary. I can certainly value that. But I need more time and mental pondering to fully appreciate this choice, especially as it seemed similar to Mother Theresa in reaching out to the poor. Corrie Ten Boom All in all, this was the one that left me most disappointed. Perhaps because I'm so familiar with Corrie, but it felt like a rushed inclusion of disjointed, over-familiar anecdotes. The miracle with the Bible, the bottle of vitamins--there was very little new or necessary here, and the writing style felt dull and not quite as tight and professional as the others. It's almost as if this one got the last rush before the deadline, or it was so familiar it wasn't given as much care and attention as the others. That may be my own feeling coming away from it, and perhaps on a second read some of those impressions would be done away with. But I did find fascinating one particular sentence where Metaxas said "But the work for which God had spent fifty years preparing Corrie was about to begin." I never considered how long God may use a season of preparation before he sets someone to doing the actual work. That stopped me mid-sentence to consider further. Rosa Parks This quiet little woman stood up for civil rights on a bus, sparking a huge movement for the equal treatment of black Americans. Her story inspired me for its challenge of justice and courage. But the Bible had a social mandate in its message too, one that taught Rosa that “people should stand up for rights, just as the children of Israel stood up to the Pharaoh.” It was not enough to pray and say that one trusted God. Sometimes trusting God meant taking action too. Eric Metaxas. Seven Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness (Kindle Locations 2613-2616). Thomas Nelson. She knew it wasn't just enough to preach a message, or to quietly take oppression. She could have stood up and moved to another seat; in the end a bus seat is a small thing. But if she had, thousands of blacks would have been mistreated for years and years longer. Obeying God through that moment of fear when the bus driver asked her to move brought a harvest of good fruit. But it wasn't easy to come by. It took over a year of perseverance, sacrifice, suffering, and standing for right on the part of the black people before any kind of social reform was seen in the courts. Sometimes being a Christian means standing up to oppression, but it always involves suffering for a time. Mother Teresa Reaching out to the untouchables. That's something that many of us in the Church are afraid to do. In India, Mother Teresa reached out to the untouchables of leprosy, unwanted children, diseases--saying everyone needed to be loved as they were dying. When she came to the West, she was concerned by the 'untouchables' of a different kind. Here, she observed people shunned and abandoned for their spiritual struggles: drugs, alcohol, abortion. There are still untouchables in Western society today. Her story makes me yearn that the Church would understand and mobilize in reaching out to the people who we so often refuse to offer the truth and love of Christ. This book is a deeply inspiring look at the role of visionary women in the church throughout the centuries. It is beautiful for its honest portrait of mixed beliefs, different lives, and different callings to live out the Bible. I heartily enjoyed it. Some of the issues I had with research and writing were explained in the acknowledgements, where Metaxas mentions he didn't do all the research or rough-drafting of the book. While that didn't affect the overall quality, there were places I could tell this was the case. For that reason I wouldn't give it a complete five-start rating, but it's definitely a must-have addition to the Metaxas shelf in your personal library. *I received a free copy of this ebook from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.*

  3. 5 out of 5

    Julie Davis

    Just as he did in 7 Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness Eric Metaxas shares brief biographies of seven inspirational women. Some are familiar, like Mother Teresa and Rosa Parks. Some I had never heard of, such as Saint Maria of Paris and Susanna Wesley. Metaxas begins the book by considering the way our culture often highly celebrates women who compete with men, as if there is no other way to measure a woman's value. We think of this as putting men and women on equal terms, but it actually pit Just as he did in 7 Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness Eric Metaxas shares brief biographies of seven inspirational women. Some are familiar, like Mother Teresa and Rosa Parks. Some I had never heard of, such as Saint Maria of Paris and Susanna Wesley. Metaxas begins the book by considering the way our culture often highly celebrates women who compete with men, as if there is no other way to measure a woman's value. We think of this as putting men and women on equal terms, but it actually pits them against each other in a zero-sum competition. Someone must win and someone must lose. That's hardly "equality." It is ironic that such a standard is so built into our culture that this concept was slightly startling to me. And I'm nobody's knee-jerk "feminist." I found it amusing, therefore, when Metaxas' first great woman was Joan of Arc. Is there a better female icon for achieving greatness by doing what the boys do, but better? It turns out that one of the contradictions is the little known fact that Joan was not as we portray her these days, like Katniss from The Hunger Games. She was inexperienced, petite, vulnerable, and innocent. It was precisely her feminine, youthful qualities which affected the average fighting man to respect her victories as miracles. Story after story shows these women just as they were, rising to the difficulties of their circumstances in ways that exemplify true womanhood. Each surrendered themselves to God and sacrificed themselves in some way for the greater good. In so doing, each helped change the world for the better. Somehow the phrase "true womanhood" equates these days with "namby pamby" or "doormat." Nothing could be further from the truth. As you read these stories you will come away respecting how strong feminine qualities can be under adverse conditions. Examining the lives of these great women helps reset our view by stepping outside of our current assumptions and that can only help inspire all of us. It certainly inspired me.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brittnee

    Really enjoyed reading the mini-biographies of each of these women, some who I had never heard of before. I already love Corrie ten Boom; Rosa Parks and Mother Teresa are favorites too. I had never heard of Hannah More before but I'll be reading her full biography, Fierce Convictions, next. These women all from different times shared faith and courage.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elsa K

    I have read all the Metaxas biographies and found them inspiring, easy to read and exciting. I love biographies, but some are so dry it is hard to get through. Metaxas really brings these heroes to life. His goal is to give our generation heroes of the faith and I think he is successful.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    My brother and I are currently listening to the audio of Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness. To be honest, I'm pretty unimpressed with it so far. Because of that, I was extremely hesitant to pick up 7 Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness. However, I was packing away my books and it was right there and I figured I might as well give it a try. The introduction didn't do much to assuage my fears. My ideas of womanhood and femininity have shifted over the past few years and I was afrai My brother and I are currently listening to the audio of Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness. To be honest, I'm pretty unimpressed with it so far. Because of that, I was extremely hesitant to pick up 7 Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness. However, I was packing away my books and it was right there and I figured I might as well give it a try. The introduction didn't do much to assuage my fears. My ideas of womanhood and femininity have shifted over the past few years and I was afraid I was going to disagree with Metaxas's conclusions about womanliness and what made these ladies great. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised to discover quite the opposite. This book was encouraging and interesting. Some of the women were familiar to me, others much less so. I particularly enjoyed learning about Susanna Wesley, Hannah More, and Maria Skobtsova. Their stories were inspiring and intriguing. I appreciate the different walks of life portrayed here. Well worth the time.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Trautner

    An easy, fast read about 7 amazing women! I loved the writing style and the way the author approached his subjects. Just the way he explained how he chose the 7 women he did is somewhat profound for this day and age. I'd recommend this for women and men alike. It's inspiring and educational.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Allison Anderson Armstrong

    From the start I had confidence that this book would promote the true characteristics of womanhood in all its "different-than-men" glory. I was so happy to read that Metaxas was not about to write a book about women who "threw off their chains of 'societal restraints'" and who acted like men so that they could change the world. This is a book about women, who embraced their God-given sex, characteristics, and personality and moved the world in which they lived, with the help of God. I was intere From the start I had confidence that this book would promote the true characteristics of womanhood in all its "different-than-men" glory. I was so happy to read that Metaxas was not about to write a book about women who "threw off their chains of 'societal restraints'" and who acted like men so that they could change the world. This is a book about women, who embraced their God-given sex, characteristics, and personality and moved the world in which they lived, with the help of God. I was interested in each of the widely varying stories and lifestyles of these great women, and came away with a sense of pride in the power of femininity.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kris

    Entertaining enough, but almost... too simple. These are just seven short basic biographies of women in history. Anyone could have written this. Maybe I had high expectations? It just didn’t feel very Metaxas-like. Maybe his longer biographies have more richness to them. Will not be picking up Seven Men. See Amy’s review here: Read Amy's 5-star review of Seven Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Entertaining enough, but almost... too simple. These are just seven short basic biographies of women in history. Anyone could have written this. Maybe I had high expectations? It just didn’t feel very Metaxas-like. Maybe his longer biographies have more richness to them. Will not be picking up Seven Men. See Amy’s review here: Read Amy's 5-star review of Seven Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Christine Hoover

    It was challenging and encouraging to read about these women!

  11. 4 out of 5

    DD

    This book was fantastic! The speech at the end when Mother Teresa is accepting the Nobel Peace Prize is phenomenal! Worth finding a copy. Where are these amazing women of today?

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sherri Duran

    This book did not live up to writing style of his previous book. The secret of the woman greatness was not defined in the book. I got the feeling Metaxas was not excited about writing this book but only wrote it because of the suggestion he needed to write something for woman after of having written 7 men and their greatness. Also if I had not been reading it for a book group the people that wrote praises in front of the book, would have made me not want the read it with words like “reawaken wom This book did not live up to writing style of his previous book. The secret of the woman greatness was not defined in the book. I got the feeling Metaxas was not excited about writing this book but only wrote it because of the suggestion he needed to write something for woman after of having written 7 men and their greatness. Also if I had not been reading it for a book group the people that wrote praises in front of the book, would have made me not want the read it with words like “reawaken woman that fell into the trap of feminism” I do thank Metaxas for inspiring me to want to read other historians on Mother Theresa and Rosa Parks. So hopefully Metaxas will return to his style of his first books.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Vivienne

    I loved listening to this book about these incredible women that followed what God had called them to do in this life. They were all amazing. Joan of Arc, Susanna Wesley, Hannah More, Maria Skobtsova, Corrie ten Boom, Mother Teresa, and Rosa Parks. Each one of them helped shape our world with their great love of truth and goodness. They fought the good fight for what they knew was right. I'd like to read, or listen to it again, as it was rich in history.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie

    While the book is informative I came away disappointed in how shallow the biographies were. The tone was simplistic at best, and as a few other reviewers have mentioned, his anti-feminist bias was a problem for me. His main criteria for inclusion in the seven was that they had to be Christian. While I don't dispute the greatness of women like Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa or Joan of Arc, there are plenty of other women historically who also were great. Religion in and of itself is not necessarily a While the book is informative I came away disappointed in how shallow the biographies were. The tone was simplistic at best, and as a few other reviewers have mentioned, his anti-feminist bias was a problem for me. His main criteria for inclusion in the seven was that they had to be Christian. While I don't dispute the greatness of women like Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa or Joan of Arc, there are plenty of other women historically who also were great. Religion in and of itself is not necessarily a qualifier for greatness, at least not in my book. Other great women who came to mind that Metaxas obviously didn't feel made the cut, but who in my mind were equally memorable, are Madam Curie, Helen Keller, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony for starts. Other reviews seem to champion this book because of its Christian tones, but there has to be more than that to elevate a book. The writing quality was mediocre at best, and the author gave little of substance as to what he felt these women had achieved greatness, especially as compared to other works regarding his subject. And lastly, I find his notions against women's equality rather off-putting and patronizing. Great that he's written a book about 7 great women. I'm just not certain he's the best candidate for the job given his idea that women are most notable when they endeavor in feminine pursuits.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Summer

    I so enjoyed this book. I learned so much. The ladies I had never heard of, or knew little of, I will look forward to further readings on them. I would say that Joan of Arc was the least interesting to me and Rosa Parks & Mother Theresa were the most intriguing. All in their right they did wonderful things for women in the Christian world and I was encouraged and inspired. The other women’s stories told were: Susanna Wesley, Hannah More, Saint Maria of Paris, & Corrie ten Boom. I also am a femin I so enjoyed this book. I learned so much. The ladies I had never heard of, or knew little of, I will look forward to further readings on them. I would say that Joan of Arc was the least interesting to me and Rosa Parks & Mother Theresa were the most intriguing. All in their right they did wonderful things for women in the Christian world and I was encouraged and inspired. The other women’s stories told were: Susanna Wesley, Hannah More, Saint Maria of Paris, & Corrie ten Boom. I also am a feminist, but not a feminist as many define it today; I don’t march, I am not Pro-Choice and I believe the woman has an infinite amount of influence when her place is in God’s will. I know I am scoffed at by many of my friends & contemporaries, but the introduction to this book is basically my “manifesto” of being a strong, powerful, influential Godly woman. As all of these women were in their own time and sphere of influence. I hope to be more encouraging and steadfast as these remarkable women were, each in their own life. Mother Theresa is a rockstar to me. She is little but fierce woman and the parts that were shared about what she saw as TRUE poverty in India when she arrived in the late 1940s were absolutely heart breaking and it convicted me in the greatest way to consider and be of help were I can to people TRULY in need.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Janie

    Succinct and interesting. Seven women, each covered for about one hour (audio edition). So far: Joan of Arc - Very interesting. Lots of things I never knew. Susanna Wesley - Susanna is one of my heroines! I read several biographies about her years ago in my early days of homeschooling and adopted many of her methods. This is the first time I remember hearing that Susanna wrote about her explanations / comments of the Apostles' Creed to children. I'd love to find a readable copy of her Complete Writ Succinct and interesting. Seven women, each covered for about one hour (audio edition). So far: Joan of Arc - Very interesting. Lots of things I never knew. Susanna Wesley - Susanna is one of my heroines! I read several biographies about her years ago in my early days of homeschooling and adopted many of her methods. This is the first time I remember hearing that Susanna wrote about her explanations / comments of the Apostles' Creed to children. I'd love to find a readable copy of her Complete Writings (ISBN 0195074378) without paying a fortune -~$100 - but may have to resort to reading most of it via Google Books preview. Hannah More Her name didn't ring a bell under Metaxis mentioned the title of a recent book about More, Fierce Convictions, which has been read by several I know. Maria Skobtsova Interesting. Her name was completely unknown to me, and her story is quite interesting. Corrie ten Boom Corrie's story was quite familiar to me but enjoyed listening to it again. Mother Teresa Wow! I never knew all that about Mother Teresa. Rosa Parks Nor did I know all that about Rosa Parks!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Short

    I really enjoyed reading about the incredible histories of these 7 women, but in the back of my mind I couldn’t shake Metaxas’ take on feminism in the introduction. He provides an example of an author friend who described herself as “pro-woman” but not feminist. Metaxas uses this instance to extrapolate that “to pit women against men is a form of denigration of women, as though their standards must be determined by masculine standards.” While I get what he’s after here, 1) I think it’s dangerous I really enjoyed reading about the incredible histories of these 7 women, but in the back of my mind I couldn’t shake Metaxas’ take on feminism in the introduction. He provides an example of an author friend who described herself as “pro-woman” but not feminist. Metaxas uses this instance to extrapolate that “to pit women against men is a form of denigration of women, as though their standards must be determined by masculine standards.” While I get what he’s after here, 1) I think it’s dangerous for a man to cite the example of one woman to explain feminism and 2) it’s easy to say we shouldn’t pit people against one another when you’re not oppressed. While I agree with the notion that feminism is not about pitting women against men, it IS about equality, which is difficult to see when you’ve never experienced inequality because of your gender, race, etc.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Autumn Rybin

    This book completely changed my life. I cried several times. What I loved the most was how it showed that not everyone is the same and that we need to broaden our ideas of success, etc. For Joan of Arc, she needed to be super headstrong and defy orders. But for Mother Teresa, she needed to wait a year until she had permission to go to India from the Archbishop. Neither way was wrong, just different. I was inspired to embrace my strengths and not try to be anything I’m not. I want to read this bo This book completely changed my life. I cried several times. What I loved the most was how it showed that not everyone is the same and that we need to broaden our ideas of success, etc. For Joan of Arc, she needed to be super headstrong and defy orders. But for Mother Teresa, she needed to wait a year until she had permission to go to India from the Archbishop. Neither way was wrong, just different. I was inspired to embrace my strengths and not try to be anything I’m not. I want to read this book again immediately.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dave & Lindsay Gurak

    A must read Eric did a wonderful job summarizing the lives of seven incredible women who made the world a better place. He strived to describe their stories with detail and spiritual context that offers historical background as well as inspiration to others

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I loved this one—I learned so much about seven amazing women in history. I love that Rosa Parks was included, as we have been studying civil rights. I was especially touched by the fact that all of these women felt called by God to serve others—it tied everything together so well.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    brief but inspiring summaries of 7 incredible women's lives. each story touched me in a different way, but they all show a glimpse of Jesus that I pray I can expemplify also.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Glenn

    7 great women - 7 story worth reading... Highly recommended read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Wes Kronberger

    Didn’t know much about any of the women in this book, and some I have never heard of. These are remarkable people who’s stories are worth learning about

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rose Welchans

    I really enjoyed this book! Seven incredible stories I'm excited to read more about in the future.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kelly-Louise

    This is a collection of short bios of seven God-fearing women, from Joan of Arc in the 1400s to Mother Teresa in the 20th century, who each made a powerful difference in the world, not by trying to be like men, but by trusting in God and using their God-given talents and abilities. The good that these seven women did for their fellow human beings is incalculable. I think one of the best parts of this book was the Introduction at the beginning, where the author states, ‘Corrie ten Boom exudes an u This is a collection of short bios of seven God-fearing women, from Joan of Arc in the 1400s to Mother Teresa in the 20th century, who each made a powerful difference in the world, not by trying to be like men, but by trusting in God and using their God-given talents and abilities. The good that these seven women did for their fellow human beings is incalculable. I think one of the best parts of this book was the Introduction at the beginning, where the author states, ‘Corrie ten Boom exudes an unmistakably feminine warmth; and who can doubt that it was Mother Teresa’s femaleness that flummoxed and disarmed the charmed those with whom she dealt? …. So the stories of these great women show us that men and women are not interchangeable. There are things men can and should do that women cannot, and there are things that women can and should do that men cannot…..men and women were deliberately designed to be different. Indeed we are specifically created as complements to each other, as different halves of a whole, and that whole reflects the glory of God.” (p. xvi) He continues, in talking about the 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs: “The most important and terrible things was that it portrayed the relationship between men and women as a zero-sum game. If one won, the other lost. In this view of the relationship between the sexes, there can be no equity, no mutual admiration, no mutual encouragement, and of course, no real love. That night it was this view writ large: the only way for one to win was for the other to lose. It made for great television ratings, but this idea is a pernicious lie, one that has hurt men and women terribly.” (p. xviii) In the Rosa Parks chapter there is this quote from Martin Luther King Jr: “…If you will protest courageously and yet with dignity and Christian love, when the history books are written in future generations the historians will pause and say, ‘There lived a great people – a black people – who injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization.’ “ (p. 155) And I love this story in the Mother Teresa chapter: “Mother Teresa visited the children’s home herself each day, taking particular interest in babies whose health was so precarious that they were likely to die soon. Wrapping the child in a blanket, she would hand him to a helper and simply instruct her to love the child until he died. She felt it absolutely central to her mission that no child should die without having experienced love. Even if tiny babies brought to them died within the hour, Mother Teresa insisted that they must die ‘beautifully.’ One of the helpers, who had been asked to love a dying baby, held the child and hummed a Brahms lullaby to him until he died that evening. Three decades later the woman still recalled how the tiny infant had pressed his little body against hers.” (p. 179) In Eric Metaxas we have an author who gets it, and is not afraid to write about these politically incorrect themes and the importance of our faith in God in propelling us to serve our fellow man. He has also written a book entitled 7 Men, but I think the next one I'll read by him is his book about Bonhoeffer.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Eric Metaxas presents biographical sketches of seven women who impacted the people around them and changed the course of history. Having read Metaxas' biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, I was familiar with Metaxas' biographical style and in-depth research, and I was eager to read more of his work. When I saw that he had written this book with short sketches of these seven women, I was really intrigued. And truly, from the preface until the final pages, I was hooked. His preface, which detailed wh Eric Metaxas presents biographical sketches of seven women who impacted the people around them and changed the course of history. Having read Metaxas' biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, I was familiar with Metaxas' biographical style and in-depth research, and I was eager to read more of his work. When I saw that he had written this book with short sketches of these seven women, I was really intrigued. And truly, from the preface until the final pages, I was hooked. His preface, which detailed why he had chosen these particular women and how he felt that their influence reached as far as it has, not in spite of, but BECAUSE they were women, I felt myself moved to tears. Honestly, there was a point in each and every biography where I was in tears (something to do with pregnancy hormones? No. I'm pretty sure it was the power of these stories). I was also challenged and convicted by each story too - and really, how could you not be? Susanna Wesley, for example, who was "only" a stay-at-home mom, raised children whose contributions to faith and social issues were immense. Some of the figures were fairly well-known to me (Joan of Arc, Corrie Ten Boom, Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa) and some I had heard of but knew little of (Susanna Wesley), but some were completely new to me (Hannah Moore and St. Maria of Paris). Regardless of my familiarity with each story, though, I learned something new and profound about each women. This was such a wonderful book. There are at least three people I know who will be receiving this book for Christmas this year!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Meh. It didn't help that I'm not really a fan of the first two women in this book. Joan of Arc said the voices told her what to do. Really? Voices, plural? Since when do Christ-followers hear voices, plural? How about one singular voice, that of God Almighty? Joan of Arc is creepy to me. Sorry, sad but true. I'd read a biography of Susanna Wesley prior to this book and it seemed clear in both books that although she certainly had fortitude through a lot of crappy life circumstances, she didn't see Meh. It didn't help that I'm not really a fan of the first two women in this book. Joan of Arc said the voices told her what to do. Really? Voices, plural? Since when do Christ-followers hear voices, plural? How about one singular voice, that of God Almighty? Joan of Arc is creepy to me. Sorry, sad but true. I'd read a biography of Susanna Wesley prior to this book and it seemed clear in both books that although she certainly had fortitude through a lot of crappy life circumstances, she didn't seem to have a saving faith in God until the end of her life. It seems odd to say, then, that Christ was the secret of the great things she did in life. The stories of Corrie Ten Boom and Mother Teresa were inspiring, but of course, those ladies were pretty much awesome in every single thing they ever did, so I don't think anyone could write a not-inspiring description of their lives. I loved Metaxas's previous biographies of Bonhoeffer and Wilberforce, but the abbreviated biographies in this book seemed a lot drier to me. Too many life facts, not enough about the secret of their greatness. The chapter with the most new information to me was the story of Hannah More, and it was interesting to read her story. I also really appreciated the biography of Rosa Parks. I did enjoy the book, but wouldn't read it again or buy it for someone as a gift. I'd much rather re-read or gift "The Hiding Place" or one of Metaxas's longer biographies.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Poss

    First, know that I do not see eye-to-eye with Metaxas. I approached this book cautiously. This book came highly recommended by close friends, and now I understand why. His introduction alone deserves to be read because he dispels the idea that women are only valuable if they can do something a man can do, better. Rather, he chose 7 women who were able to do fantastic things that men are not actually able to do. The rest of the book is an easy listen, for the most part. I see why Metaxas has a la First, know that I do not see eye-to-eye with Metaxas. I approached this book cautiously. This book came highly recommended by close friends, and now I understand why. His introduction alone deserves to be read because he dispels the idea that women are only valuable if they can do something a man can do, better. Rather, he chose 7 women who were able to do fantastic things that men are not actually able to do. The rest of the book is an easy listen, for the most part. I see why Metaxas has a large following; his style is straightforward but engaging. Each mini-biography reminded me of a Wikipedia article—brief but interesting. As one friend of mine said, it’s really an introduction to some fascinating individuals, not comprehensive. The audiobook works quiets well if you listen to small portions while running errands or doing menial tasks. Each biography lasts approximately an hour, so you can easily keep up with the book even if you stretch it out over a few months. During the final chapter, I felt challenged by the acts of love and selflessness he highlighted. Maria Skobtsova, Corrie ten Boom, and Mother Teresa were by far the most inspiring women he chose. These women spent time at the feet of Jesus, and their love for others reflected Him.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Eric Metaxas is such a winsome and informed voice for truth in today's culture. This follow-up to Seven Men is just as inspiring, encouraging, and well-crafted as its predecessor. Each of the women discussed are worthy of emulation in unique ways, and I appreciate how Eric Metaxas emphasizes that they accomplished what they did because of their womanhood. He writes that to pit men and women against each other is to degrade both of them, so it is refreshing that he doesn't uphold these women beca Eric Metaxas is such a winsome and informed voice for truth in today's culture. This follow-up to Seven Men is just as inspiring, encouraging, and well-crafted as its predecessor. Each of the women discussed are worthy of emulation in unique ways, and I appreciate how Eric Metaxas emphasizes that they accomplished what they did because of their womanhood. He writes that to pit men and women against each other is to degrade both of them, so it is refreshing that he doesn't uphold these women because they competed with men and won somehow. Rather, he shows that men and women ought not to be compared to one another, but are meant to work together, so it is precisely because of the femininity of the women in this book that they accomplished what they did. The men in Seven Men did things women couldn't have done in the same way, and the women in this volume are remembered for things that wouldn't have been possible in the same ways for men. Men and women are meant to work together, and Eric Metaxas shows that masterfully in these books. Seven Women is refreshing, challenging, and affirming to women in so many ways.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I did enjoy this book, however, it does fall short of its predecessor, 7 Men. While the end of every chapter of 7 Men left me feeling inspired, 7 Women just didn't deliver the same effect. I really did question his decision about including Saint Maria of Paris in his book. Although God did use her in great ways, she wasn't what I would call a great role model. She was a nun, yes, except she smoked and drank, and had very tumultuous relationships with her husbands. Yes, husbands, as she divorced I did enjoy this book, however, it does fall short of its predecessor, 7 Men. While the end of every chapter of 7 Men left me feeling inspired, 7 Women just didn't deliver the same effect. I really did question his decision about including Saint Maria of Paris in his book. Although God did use her in great ways, she wasn't what I would call a great role model. She was a nun, yes, except she smoked and drank, and had very tumultuous relationships with her husbands. Yes, husbands, as she divorced a few times. Overall, the whole book just didn't have the same heart as 7 Men did. The great life of Corrie Ten Boom was portrayed very dull in this book, and I might as well just go read The Hiding Place as Eric Metaxas did not add anything more to her story. Overall, I did enjoy reading and learning about the lives of these seven women.

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