3 out of 4 stars
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The title of the book captured my attention, and I expected The Heart of a Woman to be full of positivity. When I looked at the cover page more carefully, I saw a young woman sadly holding a heart with words representing negative experiences and emotions written on it. I thought Tamika Nelson should have added a few positive words, but after reading it, I realized that she had written it mainly to help sorrowful women to experience healing and have a better future. This is possible by identifying the root cause of problems and behaviors, forgiving themselves, and finding meaning in life. If their wounds are not healed, they tend to be hurtful toward others, and it becomes a vicious circle.
The author wants us to celebrate womanhood. She tries to instruct women by showing us a mirror to know who we truly are and how we can flourish. Each one of us is God’s masterpiece. I think this book is more about the interrelationships between women, although it could also help men to relate better with women. According to her, a married man and woman must learn from each other.
Few women may agree with the author, especially when she says that it is necessary to put oneself first. This is because she is challenging traditional beliefs that women should be self-sacrificing, which is seen as an ideal by society in general. However, in other places, she talks about giving oneself away and suggests that a woman should not compete or try to control her spouse. In one chapter, the author states that if a woman’s heart is broken, it will never become whole again. In another chapter, she seems to convey that healing is possible.
I think there must be nuances to these statements, and they may not be contradictory. Perhaps she means that one should be balanced and discontinue sacrificing oneself for those who see this as a weakness and take advantage of us. In a few chapters, her statements are connected and coherent too. To conclude, there is no consistency in what Tamika has written. However, I was able to put things in perspective when I read about her daughter’s accident soon after she started writing this book and how she couldn’t think clearly. As time passed, there was a paradigmatic shift in her thinking, and this is reflected in the contents of this book.
The Heart of a Woman has 135 pages full of motivational statements that seem to have been collected by Tamika from various sources. I doubt whether they come from her personal experiences (except those related to married life and raising children). They are disjointed, and it is difficult to connect them with the title of the chapter. The book is divided into seven parts. The positions of the parts titled “Love Conquers” and “What is Real Love” could be interchanged. I like the theme of bitterness discussed in the chapter “Misery Loves Company,” but this title doesn’t seem suitable, and I think she should have delved deeper into the problem. I appreciate how she describes women who hide their feelings despite going through abuse and suffering and their need to confide in at least one person. What I like most is her advice to women, to be honest to themselves and love themselves despite their mistakes.
I didn’t like her instructive tone throughout the book. It sounds condescending and thus disrespectful towards the reader. I found several grammatical errors that are distracting. Overall, the presentation is not what I expected. After thoughtful and critical analysis of the contents, I rate it 3 out of 4 stars. I did not give a higher rating because of the inconsistencies described above, which make it difficult to understand the author unless one reads the book twice. I did not give a lower rating because, despite these issues, readers will benefit a lot from her advice. I am happy to recommend it to counselors, social workers, teachers, and all women who want to overcome their problems and live a better life.
The Heart of A Woman
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