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All The Pretty Things (Books to Read)

You know I love books and I love to pass them on to others.  Here's a jewel I took my time reading through.  That I might absorb the story fully.

All the Pretty Things is Edie Wadsworth's memoir.  After confessing it took years to finally write this former Tennessee doctor spills out the story of her life across the pages.  I found myself nodding in agreement with so many thoughts she shared.  Feeling as if she formed the very words I felt too despite our very different life experiences.
Sometimes I felt like I was revisiting moments in my extended family's stories.  Coming from a family deep in the Appalachian mountains entrenched in scandals and jail time and alcoholism I've heard and known similar stories in my own uncles, aunts, and grandparents.
This is a story of abject poverty, extreme family dysfunction, and a little girl turned woman who refused to give up on the love of her alcoholic daddy.  Who always needed her daddy.
This is a story about a young girl trying to take care of a charismatic drunken daddy, spending her Friday nights in a truck parked outside the local bar waiting on daddy.  A story of a girl who never stopped loving her daddy.  If you read the book you love him too, despite all of his inadequacies.
This story introduces you to teachers that care and open children's eyes to something better and more.  This story is about a mom who works tirelessly to give her kids some kind of life.
This story is about sisters melded together in the face of trauma.
This story is about people with out hope, clueless that life could really be different.
This story shows the reality of children scarfing down school lunches as their primary food source.
This story is about the power of strong role models like coaches, teachers, and youth pastors.
This is a story about a woman from dirty trailer parks and no dinner who determined to be a doctor and put herself through med school.
This is also a story about a woman whose perfectionistic drive and deep gaping soul wounds drove her to destroying parts of her life as an adult.
This a story that covers honestly topics of divorce, alcoholism, adultery, shame, and rebuilding.
Finally this is a story of a woman who is given grace anyways.  A woman who burns down her life by her own choices and sees God's redemption full circle.  A woman who is finally healed on the inside.
Edie Wadsworth's memoir is powerful showing the good and dark parts of her.  She is honest about her flaws and yet you love her heart.
This story is about a woman who God loves.  So much.  A woman God doesn't give up on.  A woman God wants to father, to hold close to his heart and heal her fatherlessness. A woman whose life doesn't end when she thinks it will, a woman who God takes His time with.  A woman who wades through deep waters and sees God's full healing and remaking after time.
This is a story of not giving up, because God doesn't give up on us.

I pushed so many of the edges of the pages down in creases to remember pages to revisit.  And I have hung on to this book too long accruing quite a fee at my local library.
There is so much wisdom and goodness in this book, but here are two thoughts I want to hang onto.
"the heart doesn't settle easily for blame-it longs to be redeemed." (pg. 243). Thoughts after untangling the wounds and mess of her life.

I want to always remember these words:
" The only thing worse than the fire was the lingering whisper that this was the punishment I deserved. The accusation came when I was at my lowest, but I had learned not to argue with the Accuser, only to confess and cling to the forgiveness of Christ, which was the only defense I had.  I was learning to live in the open.  I had to refuse to hide or to harden my heart just to keep my secrets safe.  The fire stripped me of the need to protect myself- leaving everything raw and exposed.  The only thing left standing in my life was love.  I had to trust that was enough. " (pg. 278).

In closing this book that I'm sure was very difficult to write shows the complexity of persons. Many times it's easy to categorize people based on things they have done or not done.  Places they have been or accomplishments they rose to. Yet all people are filled with so many experiences and indelibly marked by many moments of the past. All of us need grace and indeed every life is a precious gift that can always be salvaged, healed, and resurrected.  We need not count anyone out.  Not even ourselves.

I hope you enjoy this book!
Edie blogs about her life here :


  1. Hi Somer,
    I've read Edie's blog a few times and saw this book was out but I haven't read it yet. I appreciate this review because I wasn't sure how uplifting a story of loss would be, but it sounds as if walking through these trials has only made her stronger. And isn't that how it is with us? Those things that we never imagined we could go through somehow mark us deeply -- and in a better way -- when we see our way to the other side. xoxo

  2. Praise God for grace given, for coming full circle, for having a story to tell that will bring huge healing and hope. Thanks for sharing this, Somer ...

  3. This sounds like a powerful healing story ... one I'll look forward to reading. Thanks for sharing!


  4. I love Edie! I got to be a part of her launch team for this book and it was great! She has such a deep heart for grace and I'm grateful she told her painful story.


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