[First-time post in a new category.]
Tammy and I just read the same book—at the same time, oddly enough, on separate devices on our recent international flight.
As Soon As I Fell, by Kay Bruner.
We’ve never met Kay, don’t know anything other than what’s in her book, and didn’t receive a free copy in exchange for this review! I haven’t even visited Kate’s blog yet.
But my recent contemplations about self-publishing gave me an idea: I could, if I came across top-notch writing by an already self-published author, give them a shout-out, no? Word-of-mouth is how books grow popular best, and, of course, people do things like this all the time; it’s just a new thing for me. (I’ve never even written a review on Amazon.)
As Soon As I Fell is a self-published memoir absolutely worth your time and money. Both Tammy and I loved it. Its message will be especially, though not exclusively, powerful if you are a missionary or in ministry or if you grew up in a religious culture emphasizing right behavior.
Not only is the story compelling—repeatedly we found ourselves marveling over the Bruner family’s misadventures on ships during their years of life in the South Pacific—Kay has some seriously strong communication gifts.
Authors often can’t help analyzing another writer’s writing. We’re a critical-eyed lot, I guess. Do I feel better about myself if I can find something amiss with another’s syntactical manipulations? Or if I can scoff at their toleration of spontaneous word generation in surely once-brief sentences?
I don’t think so. I think I just can’t help it.
Time and again, Kay’s writing would impress me, and I remember getting consternated over how she could utilize so many more adjectives than I could ever allow myself and still not bring Death by Adjective down on her passages. All she ever seemed to be doing—and this is in contrast to so many of the rest of us who too often look like we’re trying to write well—was saying exactly what she wanted to say. My hat was off to her skill throughout her book, yet I never felt like she was trying to impress me. As to errors, formatting issues, things that slipped through the editorial cracks…I can’t recall exactly how many I noticed, but it was a small handful only.
But all that kind of stuff (“who-cares nonsense” my wife might say?) are not the reasons (at least not conscious reasons) most people will enjoy As Soon As I Fell: it’s the story.
It’s a great story, and Kay’s courage in telling it was in fact so poignant for me personally that it had the effect of pushing me over the edge on something I’d been debating: whether or not to post freely about our anniversary trip. Maybe that sounds odd, but people you who pull their salaries from charitable giving know what I’m talking about. It’s not that anyone (at least not these days) would say a pastor or someone in ministry shouldn’t take a vacation; but people can still sometimes be funny about how ministry people spend money “on themselves.”
Thanks to Kay’s courage in writing about her life, my courage to put that stuff aside (and some of it is just in my imagination, I’ll admit)—and say good-bye to comparison, fear, envy—was bolstered. Instead: Hello, beauty, honor, restoration—that trip was a gift to Tammy and I. (And I saw after posting about it how many others were blessed to have “come along with us” or inspired in some other way.)
So…As Soon As I Fell.
Let it be a gift to you, too.