Book Review: Sent

Title: Sent
Subtitle: How One Ordinary Family Traded the American Dream for God's Greater Purpose 
Author: Hilary Alan
Genre: Christian Living

Sent is a memoir written by Hilary Alan and her call to the mission field.  This is the description of the book from Amazon:

Two words from Jesus change everything 
If anyone had the ability to succeed as a committed Christian as well as a high-achieving American, it was Hilary Alan. She and her husband, Curt, had a beautiful home, a fast-track career, and talented, successful children. But in the midst of their comfortable life and active church involvement, they realized they rarely heard from God.
Sent tells the story of ordinary Christians who accepted two words from Jesus at face value and found that doing so changed everything. In Jesus’s call to “follow me,” the Alans discovered answers to the most pressing human needs: meaning, purpose, vocation, significance, and God’s plan for the future. For the Alans, it led to selling nearly all their belongings and moving with their children halfway around the world. For you, the particulars will be completely different, but no less significant. Jesus’s call can change everything in your life.
As you follow Hilary Alan’s journey in response to Jesus’s call to discipleship, you will gain a clear understanding of the things that can keep you from obeying God. You will no longer wonder if you’re investing your life in the best way possible, because two words from Jesus change everything.

When I chose to review this book I was excited to read it.  I wanted to read about their experience and their service to the Lord.   I have to be honest.  I was not able to thoroughly read the entire book.  I was discouraged by the lack of editing.  The writing jumped around and the chapters didn't seem to flow together.    This review is based on my skimming of the book.

It was inspiring to hear about the call to missions that the famly received.  After that Hilary Alan became redundant and had trouble getting to the "meat" of her message.   It would have been better to hear more about the difference that the family made when they arrived overseas.  There was not enough written about what the entire family did when they spent there time in SE Asia.  

One of my concerns that prevented me from thoroughly reading the book was the author's negative tone towards the people she was ministering to.  It was subtle but done in the form of comparisons like calling SE Asia "dirty" and the west "clean."  She just further perpetuated sterotypes that we as Christians should be tearing down.  She wrote with an air of superiority.  

 I admire the sacrifices her family made to serve the Lord.   I am thankful for missionaries that give up so much to help others and serve the Lord in distant areas of our world.  I think that her story is amazing but would have been better shared by an author telling the entire family's story rather than this being written as a memoir by Hilary Alan.

I really dislike writing negative reviews but I must say that I would not recommend this book.  I don't think that unbelievers will hear and understand the message of salvation through this book, rather they may be offended.  The plan of salvation is presented in the last chapter but would be better if it was presented in the body of the story itself.  

I would recommend this book to Evangelical Christians considering the mission field.  It might be a perspective that may help them in their decision to go into missions.

Disclaimer:  I received this book for free from the Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Company through their Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. I also get frustrated over the rushed editing of many books anymore. I feel like the pressures of deadlines are compromising the details of publishing and it hurts the book in every way. I'm glad you shared this with Cozy Reading Spot.



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