When Did Everybody Else Get So Old by Jennifer Grant

Y'all know I am forty. I often forget that this age is middle-aged. I picked this book out of the review queue and thought it would be interesting to prepare for the future. As I was reading, I realized that I have or am living all of the things in this book. In many ways it was helpful and encouraging. In many ways I thought it was WEIRD and preached capital T Terrible doctrine. Here's my two cents.

Jennifer talks about why teenagers make fun of us, rebel against us, and detach from us. That is always helpful to remember because it helps us to engage the issue instead of reacting to it. She didn't give much help in the engaging area however. She also dealt with how our kids make fun of us as a way to build their independence and prove themselves separate from us.That can be helpful in affirming our children's individualism. 

Really this was a strange group of essays that formed a memoir. She went from wearing glasses that her kids said look like Elton John, to losing her addict sister, to being cremated, to being Episcopalian. The part about her sister was interesting. She shares a little list of what not to say to people who are grieving. When someone loses a family member that is an addict they also grieve their life and loss of relationship. It's a grief doubled.

At the very last chapter, she lost me completely. She went on this strange rant about verses used in the Bible to clobber others. Ones that preached repentance and justice. She said that she thought everyone gets to go to heaven. Honestly, I think she took those "clobber verses" and hit people who believe in repentance and our need to be forgiven by a Holy God with them. It was some of the worst theology I've read in a while. 

That leaves me to tell you that I do not recommend this book. 

This book was graciously provided by Herald Press for review.


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