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Publisher's Summary

Strong-willed and independent, Rachel Held Evans couldn’t sew a button on a blouse before she embarked on a radical life experiment - a year of biblical womanhood. Intrigued by the traditionalist resurgence that led many of her friends to abandon their careers to assume traditional gender roles in the home, Evans decides to try it for herself, vowing to take all of the Bible’s instructions for women as literally as possible for a year.

Evans learns the hard way that her quest for biblical womanhood requires more than a “gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4). It means growing out her hair, making her own clothes, covering her head, obeying her husband, rising before dawn, abstaining from gossip, remaining silent in church, and even camping out in the front yard during her period.

With just the right mixture of humor and insight, compassion and incredulity, A Year of Biblical Womanhood is an exercise in scriptural exploration and spiritual contemplation. What does God truly expect of women, and is there really a prescription for biblical womanhood? Come along with Evans as she looks for answers in the rich heritage of biblical heroines, models of grace, and all-around women of valor.

©2012 Rachel Held Evans (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
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  • Story

Humorous yet thought-provoking book

What did you love best about A Year of Biblical Womanhood?

The author's humor, mixed with her own deep desire to understand what it means to be a biblical woman helped me think about this complex and often controversial issue.

What did you like best about this story?

The author made intentional decisions to explore various examples of women from the Bible, including sleeping in a tent in her yard during her period (seriously, read the book to see why) and visiting with Amish women.

Which scene was your favorite?

One of my favorite scenes is when she describes cooking a dinner, doing it entirely from scratch, trying to follow a perceived biblical ideal. She tries to do it entirely without her husband's assistance, but then is frustrating that he's not helping. It's a comical and realistic portrayal of the conversations that happen in many homes, mine included, whether or not we're trying to follow an ideal of biblical womanhood.

Any additional comments?

At the end, the author discusses the various positions that are held within Christian circles regarding the role of women, and identifies her own conclusions based on her experiences and study that was part of the book project. Overall, I would highly recommend the book for those who want to think about this issue in a light-hearted but challenging way.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Meghan
  • Queen Creek, AZ, United States
  • 03-04-13

LOVE Rachel!

What did you love best about A Year of Biblical Womanhood?

I love this book! I love the humor Rachel uses to describe her year. I love her voice that comes across! This book is a MUST for everyone- especially those who grew up in a staunch religious environment!

What about Shannon McManus’s performance did you like?

I have listened to Rachel's "Evolving in Monkeytown" read by herself and it was terrific and humorous! It didn't take long listening to Shannon's performance for me to forget that it wasn't Rachel herself reading. Shannon did an OUTSTANDING job! LOVED it!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Not what I expected.

I am somewhat of a libertarian trending conservative guy and figured this was going to be a liberal bible mocking. very happy I listened. Great insight into a sincere exploration of bible texts.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Book club reading. Regrettably shallow & banal.

My book club selected this - I downloaded it so that I could join the discussion. I didn't enjoy the story, though the narrator did an excellent job with the Tennessee twang and Biblical and foreign words. RHE's story was thin, winey and read more like a book report than a personal essay. She created a somewhat arbitrary list of Biblical ideals, assigned them each to a month, and then tried her interpretation of them. She rattled off verses and her sources much like a student would with a research project, whined when she couldn't make something work, cried on her kitchen floor and then wrote a few paragraphs about it. Couldn't make a Martha Stewart curry recipe she thought sounded sufficiently foreign? No worries. Just mock the employees of her local Walmart for not carrying the needed items and settle for Taco Salad. Head covering too daunting? Thank goodness slouchy berets were fashionable that year. It was contrived with no real thread of insights to pull it together and no strong conclusions. Want to know about Amish loopholes to eat dinner with shunned family though? That she can explain. Why apple pie makes her cry, though? Who knows. If you like RHE, read her blog, but skip this book.

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Fantastic!!

Really well done. This was an interesting read. I appreciate the courage it took for the author to do this experiment. I also appreciate the amount of research it took to write this, and to live it. I got a lot out of this book including wisdom, laughter, and many thought provoking moments. Absolutely recommend.

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very engaging

word use is incredible. funny story. great tone so it isn't boring to listen to. way to go competing a year. helps me want to be a woman of valor!

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Refreshing, Challenging, and Surprising

What a refreshing, honest look at what the Bible says about women and what cultures that strive to adhere to the Bible say, which may or may not always be the same thing. This book will be surprising and challenging no matter what biblical interpretation you're coming from. Rachel is among the brave women willing to face the hard things in Scripture head-on, whether comfortable or uncomfortable, and evaluate what it really means for us. Thank you for this, Rachel. Eshet Chayil!

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loved it

loved this Title. I was skeptical at first wondering what direction it's content would go but I truly loved it. I want to buy a physical copy of the book to have to reference more easily. I think I will be back to go through it again rather soon.

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Insightful and Well-researched but Sensitive

This book gave words to a lot of things I have struggled with in the bible's treatment of women, and the church's interpretation of that. Rachel's viewpoint is obviously that of a strong woman and a feminist, but she also gives a honest and sensitive account of the ways a lot of different traditions interpret the role of women in society.

Funny and relatable but still intellectual. Such a good read!

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Thought provoking and entertaining all at the same time

Rachel Held Evans is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. In her transparent and often comical ways, she invites us to join her in her journey to better understand what is behind the oft-used phrase "Biblical womanhood." Whether you're conservative, liberal, or hard to label her journey will challenge your assumptions and beliefs and invite you into a more authentic relationship with the God who made them male and female.