Let’s All Be Brave: Living Life With Everything You Have
by Annie Downs
With humor and vulnerability, Annie Downs tells us she isn’t particularly courageous, but she’s sharing how she learned to obey God despite being afraid in her book, Let’s All Be Brave. She’s not a radical adventurer, a climb-Mt-Everest kind of girl. I don’t get the sense that skydiving is on her bucket list. But maybe the best part about this book is that someone who isn’t naturally brave is the one encouraging us to try it out. It’s not her natural personality or inclination. It’s a God-thing. And maybe bravery isn’t the same as bravado. It’s just obeying God no matter what.
The book is an easy read because of Annie’s conversational, chatty style. It felt mostly like a book of blog posts strung together all on one theme. She tries to keep her audience broad, referencing the bravery it takes to be married, to have kids, etc., but the book felt suited best for older teen girls, college-age and young adult women. It focuses a great deal on “getting by with the help of my friends.” It could be a great source of encouragement and inspiration for young women learning to make their own decisions about life as they take baby steps of adulthood.
She also writes some about her being single, which fills a real need in Christian books. I’ve often been asked by Christian women if I knew any books for singles that weren’t all about how to date and prepare for marriage. Annie really has a much-needed voice here.
I found the book organization more than a bit confusing. The chapters begin with a date and location because Annie’s story involves leaving her hometown in Georgia, moving to Nashville, moving to Scotland, and then moving back to Nashville. But, she doesn’t tell her story entirely in chronological order; it’s more thematic. So, I found myself wondering, “Which time was this that she moved to Nashville?” and “is this the move to Scotland that she’s talking about or the short-term missions trip to Scotland?” I got the sense that she’s an artistic, go-with-the-flow, creative type. I’m more of a linear, logical kind of gal who kept wishing there was a timeline in the back of the book.
She also tends to touch lightly on Scripture. This isn’t a Bible study, but there were times I wish it were. As it was, I enjoyed the book, felt inspired by the book, but didn’t learn more about God or the Christian life or His Word after reading the book. Again, though, I loved her style and enjoyed Let’s All Be Brave, and I think I’d have enjoyed it even more as a young college girl making those grown-up decisions about what to do with life and where to go. I needed the reminder to be “brave” for the courageous things that ordinary life requires.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”