Sunday, April 14, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: The Scent of Water: Grace for Every Kind of Broken

This book is over due. Way over due. This book was one of only two non-baby books I read during my pregnancy in 2011. It was a gift from the publisher in exchange for a review, and I quickly plowed through it, mesmerized, then promptly got too sick to write the review. But I never forgot the book, because it was magnificent. An engaging and important work of non-fiction. Allow me to make amends.

You are transported to a world where some form of enslavement exists in myriad ways, vivid and awful, a landscape of abused young women. Naomi Zacharias takes you on a harsh journey of redemption as she tells the story of women surviving violence, imprisonment, and prostitution. Her dark portrayals of at-risk women and children are also hopeful because of the international initiative she helps run which is aimed at helping these vulnerable victims. You can't help but cheer these women on, all of them. The ones in ministry visiting run down orphanages, the women trying to escape human trafficking, the ones who fail and the ones who actually do make it and change their lives. Admiringly, it's not always about fixing people either. Zacharias writes:

I came to offer something, to fix something. Instead, a woman I had just met accepted me into her country and her life, kneeled down, and washed my feet.

The places in the book were very interesting to me. Iraq, Pakistan, India, the Netherlands, and places I'd never heard of before because who ever hears about the red light district of Mumbai? In every place the reader meets women and young victims, survivors and sisters. The story of Annie, a prostitute in Holland was most thought provoking to me as she was trafficked into a situation where, because of the legality of the sex trade, she was permanently enslaved. A stark reminder that just because something is legal, doesn't mean it is right or without horrifying repercussions. In fact, it sometimes makes it worse.

The book has relatable moments for every woman: The responsibility of each woman is to find the particularity of her calling...In this way, every life is ultimately an individual adventure of finding her place in God's plan. To surrender that is to surrender who you are.

I have a copy of this book to give away. Leave a comment if you would like to entered and I will draw a name in one week.


  1. Some of our youth just came back from Ethiopia, and the couple that went with them has a real heart for prostitutes. While they were there she and her husband helped one of the them out of her brothel to her own little house. It's a very interesting story.
    Enter me please, I would love to read this book.

    1. Twila, you won. Congrats! Get me your mailing info, asap.

  2. I love following your blog...the books sounds challenging and interesting and I would like to enter the contest~

  3. I love your blog! Give your little man lots of hugs and kisses!

  4. Thank you for sharing "The Scent of Water". Sounds like a wonderful book. Please enter my name in the contest!

  5. I've won one of your giveaways before, so please draw another name if mine is picked. I just wanted to comment that this sounds like such an interesting book and I can't wait to read it! Different books affect people in different ways. For instance, some people liked The Kite Runner, some hated it, but for me, even though it was fiction, it affected me in such a way I can't even describe it. I was truly that naive in the ways of other countries and people. It just really made me want to DO something, anything, to help. Thanks for sharing about this book ~

  6. This sounds like a fascinating book. I enjoy listening to her father on the radio and have read his biography.

  7. This sounds like a really interesting book, but my Read Now stack is half my own height right now (and those are just the ebooks!), so no need to enter me in the contest. I also wanted to tell our dear imPerfect Housewife friend that I, too, was deeply affected by *The Kite Runner*. If iPH wants to read another really great book that is eye-opening as to another culture, read *A Fine Balance* by Rohinton Mistry. It is set in Mumbai. But don't read anything online about it, because there are too many spoilers. It's the kind of book you just need to start reading, with no preconceived notions.

  8. I follow the blog of the Barefoot Missionary. She is involved in this type of ministry.

    Please enter me in the drawing to win the book!

  9. As I read this I was thinking yes I have heard of similar things in this country and this country and then my eyes landed on the Netherlands and I had to do a double take! That is suppose to be a modern democratic type society!

  10. Thanks; sounds like a wonderful book!

  11. Not familiar with her, but with RZIM, and Love 146. I checked out her blog and think she will be part of my late night/early morning reading when my husband is working. Putting her book on my list for summer reading. Thanks for sharing more than just her book!


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