Redemptive. That is the primary word that describes this gutsy book. Mary’s memoir, Thin Places, is a collection of powerful and skillfully told true stories that relates experiences from her life and then draws God’s threads of redemption through them. The stories themselves are raw and at times, difficult to read. But oh, out of those honest recollections, Mary relates God’s ability to touch and heal and restore and make a difference in her life. And if God is doing that in her life, then there’s hope for all of us.

It took me a few chapters to understand the flow of the book. As I read the first few chapters, I was a little confused because I thought the format would be an autobiography that started in youth and moved forward to the present. But then she began interjecting stories from throughout her life. But by the third or fourth chapter, I finally got the idea (dense me!) that each chapter had a theme and there were long-distant-past and more-present stories in the chapter related to that theme. For instance, the theme-named chapters are names like: Pickets, Raggedy, Singing, Divorce, Reactionary, etc.

Because Mary’s book is largely a collection of stories about being abused and/or neglected and/or mistreated, it would be easy to pigeon-hole this book into that arena but that would be a mistake. For I can easily read my own story into Mary’s memoir and I think everyone will find themselves in it also, even if they’ve never been abused, mistreated, or neglected. For each and every one of us wasn’t loved well to the degree we desired or hoped. And as a result, we can identify with Mary’s journey. All of us have experiences which cause false conclusions about life, God, and ourselves. I found myself identifying with many of Mary’s experiences and then with her false conclusion and then with God’s truth. As a result, there was a seed of redemption planted in my own heart and life.