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Living Brave: Lessons from Hurt, Lighting the Way to Hope

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For all women looking to find “hope in a hopeless world and bravery in an age that seems to lack it,” comes a searing memoir by Shannon Dingle, a writer and disability advocate who has navigated loss, trauma, abuse, spiritual reawakening, and deep pain—and come out the other side still hopeful. Shannon Dingle has experienced more than her fair share of tragedy and trauma in For all women looking to find “hope in a hopeless world and bravery in an age that seems to lack it,” comes a searing memoir by Shannon Dingle, a writer and disability advocate who has navigated loss, trauma, abuse, spiritual reawakening, and deep pain—and come out the other side still hopeful. Shannon Dingle has experienced more than her fair share of tragedy and trauma in her life, including surviving sexual abuse and trafficking as a child that left her with lasting disabilities and experiencing faith shifts that put her at odds with the evangelical church that had been her home. Then, in July 2019, Shannon’s husband was tragically killed by a rogue wave while the family was on vacation. The grief of the aftermath of losing her love and life partner sits at the heart of Living Brave, where Shannon’s searing, raw prose, illustrates what it looks like to take brave steps on the other side of unimaginable loss. Through each challenge, she reveals the ways she learned to walk through them to the other side, and find courage even through the darkest moments. Living Brave gives women permission to wrestle with difficult topics, to use their voice, to take a stand for justice, to honor the wisdom of their bodies, and to enact change from a place of strong faith. 


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For all women looking to find “hope in a hopeless world and bravery in an age that seems to lack it,” comes a searing memoir by Shannon Dingle, a writer and disability advocate who has navigated loss, trauma, abuse, spiritual reawakening, and deep pain—and come out the other side still hopeful. Shannon Dingle has experienced more than her fair share of tragedy and trauma in For all women looking to find “hope in a hopeless world and bravery in an age that seems to lack it,” comes a searing memoir by Shannon Dingle, a writer and disability advocate who has navigated loss, trauma, abuse, spiritual reawakening, and deep pain—and come out the other side still hopeful. Shannon Dingle has experienced more than her fair share of tragedy and trauma in her life, including surviving sexual abuse and trafficking as a child that left her with lasting disabilities and experiencing faith shifts that put her at odds with the evangelical church that had been her home. Then, in July 2019, Shannon’s husband was tragically killed by a rogue wave while the family was on vacation. The grief of the aftermath of losing her love and life partner sits at the heart of Living Brave, where Shannon’s searing, raw prose, illustrates what it looks like to take brave steps on the other side of unimaginable loss. Through each challenge, she reveals the ways she learned to walk through them to the other side, and find courage even through the darkest moments. Living Brave gives women permission to wrestle with difficult topics, to use their voice, to take a stand for justice, to honor the wisdom of their bodies, and to enact change from a place of strong faith. 

30 review for Living Brave: Lessons from Hurt, Lighting the Way to Hope

  1. 5 out of 5

    Richard Propes

    As is often true these days, I became acquainted with Shannon Dingle long before I laid eyes on her book "Living Brave: Lessons from Hurt, Lighting the Way to Hope." It was Dingle's social media presence that caught my attention, a refreshingly honest presence that seemed to withhold unnecessary niceties in favor of transparency, vulnerability, and a no-holds barred approach to spirituality that felt safer than that which I experience from many of today's Christian voices. I didn't really know a As is often true these days, I became acquainted with Shannon Dingle long before I laid eyes on her book "Living Brave: Lessons from Hurt, Lighting the Way to Hope." It was Dingle's social media presence that caught my attention, a refreshingly honest presence that seemed to withhold unnecessary niceties in favor of transparency, vulnerability, and a no-holds barred approach to spirituality that felt safer than that which I experience from many of today's Christian voices. I didn't really know about Dingle's background in the beginning. I didn't know her story. I didn't even know about her most recent tragedy. I just knew that Dingle's voice was different and so I kept following her. Truthfully, as someone who shares a surprising number of similar life experiences, there have been times I've had to reduce Dingle's social media presence in my life yet it's a presence I always return to time and again. As Dingle says time and again in "Living Brave," this is not the book that she intended to write. I'm guessing it's not the book that HarperOne originally envisioned when they signed Dingle to pen a book based upon her life experiences. Yet, "Living Brave" is Dingle's book. It's Dingle's voice and life and light and journey. I started simply. I had just finished up another book and wanted to read a few more minutes before drifting off to sleep, so I read the first chapter of "Living Brave." It was, as expected, an emotional experience. The following night, last night, I hunkered down here in Indianapolis on an extremely chilly night wrapped up in my weighted blanket and began reading again. I wouldn't stop until I'd reached the last page of "Living Brave," a book that reads like an extemporaneous discussion with Dingle and a book that feels honest and truthful and raw, incredibly raw, because it does come within the very year that her husband, Lee, was killed by a wave during what had been an otherwise joyous family vacation with their six children. Shannon Dingle spent nearly half of her life married to Lee, whose presence certainly isn't responsible for Shannon's immense healing (that's Shannon's!) but is most certainly irrevocably intertwined with Shannon's ability to survive childhood sexual abuse and trafficking, a dysfunctional and abuse family situation, and a myriad of physical and emotional injuries that resulted from it all that continue to impact her daily life. Dingle shares these experiences, all of them, with a rawness fitting of their impact on her daily life. She dwells less on graphic truths and more on how those truths shaped her emotional, physical, relational, and spiritual journeys. "Living Brave," it would seem, was originally designed to be a lighter text celebrating of that healing but, of course, that healing itself is now a quilt with grief woven into its tapestry following the death of Lee at 37-years-old. At the same age, Dingle was forced to add a new branch onto her healing tree of life that allowed for parenting of six children including three that had been adopted who already shared immense traumas in their backgrounds. Similarly, Dingle has been forced to adapt to parenting as a single, widowed parent and has had to deal with all the practical things that companion this like developing an income as Lee, who'd recently received a substantial promotion, had an income that was essential to the family's health and welfare. There was more, of course, as grief reveals all those things big and little to which we must adapt our lives over and over and over again. I wasn't sure, to be honest, that I was up for "Living Brave," a title Dingle explains so simply yet beautifully. I honestly worried I'd have to take it in smaller pieces. I worried that Dingle's trademark uncompromising transparency might be a tad too much in a book-length dose. I worried, quite frankly, that it would trigger ever trigger I have myself...my own sexual abuse, my own family dysfunctions, my own grief, and my own physical challenges. But, something rather miraculous began to happen the more that I surrendered myself to "Living Brave." I began to realize why I too had survived all those experiences. I began to see the wholeness of Dingle, her joys and sorrows and traumas and triumphs. I began to hear her voice as I read and to embrace the weighted truths of trauma and the occasional chuckles of dark humor. I began to see Jesus in the occasional appropriately placed f-bomb or other expletive that may turn off some Christian readers who prefer Hallmark Jesus. I began to feel safe, in essence, with this woman I don't know other than through social media because I sensed a sort of namaste spirit that was willing to live into both the "this sucks" and "I still believe" moments of life. If you're expecting a well organized, hoity-toity Christian book with "healing lessons," then you may find yourself a little bit taken aback by the book that Shannon Dingle has produced. Truthfully, even if Lee were living today I'm not sure that Shannon's unique yet vital voice could produce such a book. She's simply too real, too honest, and too raw. Instead, "Living Brave" is a different sort of theological beast filled with the kinds of lessons borne out of a difficult survived, at times monumentally and at times incrementally, and about the light and the love and the hope that almost unfathomably still guides it all. It's a book about finding a way to step forward when you can't even see six inches in front of you, your footsteps guided more by faith than anything else. As "Living Brave" winds down, the grandness of the testimony is, at least in some ways, replaced by simpler truths present in the unknowing now of a life gloriously and beautifully lived with children and with friends and with family of choice and in safe community. Today, Shannon Dingle is "living brave" without Lee yet she's figuring it out and still believing and still loving and still lighting and she's choosing to share it with all of us. That makes "Living Brave" a remarkable book, indeed.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Ms Dingle is one strong woman- she is juggling one bajillion too many things- she is an excellent writer- this book was hard for me to follow. So- I want to be crystal clear that her vulnerability, her realistic fear- her ownership of her cracks and sadness- all stunningly real- poignant- as a book review- I needed a more consistent rhythm to the book- I am torn between understanding that LIFE is inconsistent and also wanting to lose myself in a consistent book. So this was a hard book to review Ms Dingle is one strong woman- she is juggling one bajillion too many things- she is an excellent writer- this book was hard for me to follow. So- I want to be crystal clear that her vulnerability, her realistic fear- her ownership of her cracks and sadness- all stunningly real- poignant- as a book review- I needed a more consistent rhythm to the book- I am torn between understanding that LIFE is inconsistent and also wanting to lose myself in a consistent book. So this was a hard book to review- because man- she is a truth teller- and wide open to feelings- but my thoughts on the BOOK are separate from that- Lord- everyone confused now?!?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Joelle

    Raw, Powerful, Beautiful Joelle Still Reads Her Bookcase #39 Of you're looking for a nice Christian book to summarize grief and the correct response to it, this is not that book. Sharon's prose is emotionally charged, and raw. There's language in the book. There's stories about her past, and the abuse she endured. There's the constant thread of the devastation of losing Lee. All this combines to create a powerful manifesto on why being brave is the best course of action for our lives. "Being brave Raw, Powerful, Beautiful Joelle Still Reads Her Bookcase #39 Of you're looking for a nice Christian book to summarize grief and the correct response to it, this is not that book. Sharon's prose is emotionally charged, and raw. There's language in the book. There's stories about her past, and the abuse she endured. There's the constant thread of the devastation of losing Lee. All this combines to create a powerful manifesto on why being brave is the best course of action for our lives. "Being brave" does not mean we have to reject our emotions and feelings; indeed, Shannon is insistent we cannot be brave until we acknowledge them. Being brave is a communal action, an individual choice, and the path to choose when all the other options seem easier. Being brave, living brave, is hard as heck. But, it is also the most glorious thing you can ever chose to do.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kate Mitchell

    This book is heart-wrenchingly beautiful. I have already ordered another copy to send to a friend because she should read it. While Shannon doesn’t talk in detail about the things she has experienced, she does mention: her own childhood sexual abuse, the death of her husband, mental health struggles, substance abuse, and more.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I was able to read an advance copy of this book. I HIGHLY recommend it for anyone dealing with loss- whether it be loss of a loved one or loss of a path you thought was your future. Shannon shows us ways to continue in not just “in spite of the loss” but “because of the loss.” Excellent book with much to mull over and digest.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kaylee

    As a young widow, there were so many things in Shannon's book that I identified with or needed to hear. I'm glad I got this on Kindle because I highlighted and added notes like crazy. As a young widow, there were so many things in Shannon's book that I identified with or needed to hear. I'm glad I got this on Kindle because I highlighted and added notes like crazy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Don Doebler

    The author Shannon Dingle and I have never met - but I was drawn to her story because of my own vacation story on the same island. Two years ago Shannon's husband Lee died unexpectedly after being hit by a strong wave at Oak Island, NC. While my story in 2014 didn't end in physical death at the moment, it was the beginning of a process that would. Our large family was also vacationing on Oak Island when my 80 year old father, already undergoing chemo treatments in Pennsylvania, fell extremely si The author Shannon Dingle and I have never met - but I was drawn to her story because of my own vacation story on the same island. Two years ago Shannon's husband Lee died unexpectedly after being hit by a strong wave at Oak Island, NC. While my story in 2014 didn't end in physical death at the moment, it was the beginning of a process that would. Our large family was also vacationing on Oak Island when my 80 year old father, already undergoing chemo treatments in Pennsylvania, fell extremely sick and was transported to the local hospital - our stay suddenly became an extended stay in Wilmington, NC while he slowly recovered to be well enough to go back home two weeks later. There were times we thought he wouldn't make it. The cancer and related conditions ultimately took his life 3 years later. We are indeed grateful for the extra time with him we didn't expect when it happened. We have not returned yet to what was our favorite vacation spot. When I heard of the incident with Shannon's husband in the news, there was an immediate connection because I had been to the same place. That connection led to me follow Shannon on social media and I was excited to finally be able to read her completed book - though she will be the first to tell you it changed greatly from when she first started writing it. Shannon writes brave (not brave-ly ... you'll need to read her work for that story). As a woman of faith, she shares very openly about those moments where she is still mad at God, but yet has days filled with hope, and others not so much. Shannon shares openly about the sexual assault at the hands of her family as a young girl and the pain it still causes and her struggles as a single widowed mother raising six children with different ethnicities and medical conditions. Hoping that Shannon will continue to write as she continues to heal - she has much insight to offer our troubled world. Even when she doubts it or doesn't feel it, it is clear that Shannon does have hope and that's what counts. We are all broken and yet beautiful and hope can become your name (again you'll have to read the book for that to make sense). Shannon's work is touching because her life story is touching and you'll find yourself with teary eyes by the time you finish. Shannon has found so much support in her community and from her "framily" though that this is one time the acknowledgements are as readable as the book. Shannon -- keep hoping, keep writing. This book was advanced to me through NetGalley with no obligation for a positive review. It is scheduled for a July 2021 release.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mary Coder

    THANK YOU @Harperone books for this moving book "Living Brave" Living Brave by Shannon Dingle is heartfelt, heart wrenching,and heart warming. The author is forthright and painfully open about the trials and tribulations of her life. Hell of all of our lives! I wish I'd had this combination memoir/how-to "guide" for Living Brave when facing some very similar circumstances in my own life because I lived in fear rather than courage and I now know that although neither way is easy ,there are the shi THANK YOU @Harperone books for this moving book "Living Brave" Living Brave by Shannon Dingle is heartfelt, heart wrenching,and heart warming. The author is forthright and painfully open about the trials and tribulations of her life. Hell of all of our lives! I wish I'd had this combination memoir/how-to "guide" for Living Brave when facing some very similar circumstances in my own life because I lived in fear rather than courage and I now know that although neither way is easy ,there are the shining rewards of joy, hope,acceptance, and peacefulness on the other side as Shannon Dingle teaches us by telling her raw,truthful and touching life story.This book is for ANYONE who has had to walk through the darkness unsure of how to do so. A "guide" for moving forward through grief and loss,suffering and trauma,lonliness and despair and wanting to be strong enough to the weather the storms of life through to the end to arrive content and whole,happy and hopeful,and unafraid and to be able to face whatever comes each day, Living Brave. #bookreviewpost #bookblogpost  #newbookpost  #booknerdsofig #bookstagrammer  #bookbloggin #reviewpost #honestreview #ireviewbooksnstuff #illreadit #illreadandreviewit #galleyreviewer #womenwhoread  #readmorebooksyall #sendgalleysplease #sendmoregalleysplz #ineed2read #morebooks #booksandbeauty #readmore #beautyandbooks #booktokker  #booktoknewb #homeandhealth #readthis #honestedits #bookrec #honestreviewer #mybookrecs #myreadsandreviews #ireviewbooksandbeautyandstuff #bookclubcookbook

  9. 4 out of 5

    Patricia |

    I've followed Shannon Dingle's writing and activism for a few years now, and I can't tell you how much I've learned from her. I was so excited to get an early copy of her book, Living Brave, from the publisher. I knew that it would be, as Glennon Doyle says, "brutiful" - brutal and beautiful at the same time - and it absolutely was. Dingle writes about her personal history and the tragedy of her husband's death with raw grief and extraordinary hope. The book concludes with this absolute gem of w I've followed Shannon Dingle's writing and activism for a few years now, and I can't tell you how much I've learned from her. I was so excited to get an early copy of her book, Living Brave, from the publisher. I knew that it would be, as Glennon Doyle says, "brutiful" - brutal and beautiful at the same time - and it absolutely was. Dingle writes about her personal history and the tragedy of her husband's death with raw grief and extraordinary hope. The book concludes with this absolute gem of wisdom: "Because I know the feel of the sun on my skin, I can trust that I will feel it again in the moments where darkness seems like all there is. Holding close the hope that the light will shine again soon when the world is full of shadows? That's the epitome of living brave." In this book, Shannon gives us permission to evolve our understanding of bravery - from always saying yes, or doing the hard thing, to understand that sometimes living brave simply means surviving the hardest things we never asked for or wanted in our lives. If you've enjoyed the work of Brene Brown, Glennon Doyle, or Rachel Held Evans, I encourage you to read this book. Thanks to Harper One and NetGalley for the early copy. All opinions are my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Corrie

    I received an advanced copy of this book and was blown away and the honesty, openness, and courage of the author to share her story. Shannon has a beautiful way of weaving together her former writing and current thoughts with other literature references. She touches on classic disability and trauma texts, quotes scripture, and shares hard but important truths in her work. I have loved to see her bolding sharing her story online, and was thankful to read this book. As a disabled clergywoman, I re I received an advanced copy of this book and was blown away and the honesty, openness, and courage of the author to share her story. Shannon has a beautiful way of weaving together her former writing and current thoughts with other literature references. She touches on classic disability and trauma texts, quotes scripture, and shares hard but important truths in her work. I have loved to see her bolding sharing her story online, and was thankful to read this book. As a disabled clergywoman, I relate to so much of her story. I have experienced the pain of an employer having vastly different theological or political beliefs. I have experienced the oppression of being a woman in ministry and being devalued. I have dealt with the difficulty of not knowing when is okay to share your trauma, hidden disability, or past with someone, let alone knowing who is safe. If you are a person who is navigating difficult and painful moments in this world, you will find this helpful. You will learn so much from Shannon and will find ways to live brave.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Becki

    Author Shannon Dingle already has a lot of experience in Living Bravely... She has survived childhood sexual abuse, being trafficked as a teenager, substance abuse and addiction, and chronic illnesses. In the middle of writing this book, though, her beloved husband (and father of their six children) died in a freak accident at the age of just 37— Leaving her to carry on brave... without "Lee". This book is incredibly raw and honest, and offers a real time view of Dingle's powerful determination Author Shannon Dingle already has a lot of experience in Living Bravely... She has survived childhood sexual abuse, being trafficked as a teenager, substance abuse and addiction, and chronic illnesses. In the middle of writing this book, though, her beloved husband (and father of their six children) died in a freak accident at the age of just 37— Leaving her to carry on brave... without "Lee". This book is incredibly raw and honest, and offers a real time view of Dingle's powerful determination to continue to live after Lee's death, to find hope when doubt would be so much more reasonable. While this book will be appreciated by a wide audience, I recommend it's especially to readers who are themselves still in the throes of grief. They will find solidarity and comfort with this author. I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. My sincere thanks to author Shannon Dingle, publisher HarperOne and #NetGalley. #LivingBrave

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Ellis

    I really enjoyed Shannon’s debut book. It was hard to read her heartbreaking stories and not want to cry. Though I’m sure that isn’t what she was aiming for....my emotions were very close to the surface. The poems opening each chapter were beautifully written and touched my heart deeply. I was finding myself underlining and highlighting multiple passages that taught my heart and touched my spirit. I felt seen, understood and known - even though Shannon’s life experiences look nothing like my own I really enjoyed Shannon’s debut book. It was hard to read her heartbreaking stories and not want to cry. Though I’m sure that isn’t what she was aiming for....my emotions were very close to the surface. The poems opening each chapter were beautifully written and touched my heart deeply. I was finding myself underlining and highlighting multiple passages that taught my heart and touched my spirit. I felt seen, understood and known - even though Shannon’s life experiences look nothing like my own. It was more a sense that God knows Shannon, and if He knows and loves her, he also knows and loves me. I am grateful that the author shared such vulnerable and raw stories of their pain, bravery and heartache. Thank you Shannon. 4.5 stars (I received an advanced readers copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my unbiased review)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay O’Connor

    I had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of Living Brave: Lessons From Hurt, Lighting the Way to Hope. It’s a powerful memoir where Shannon shares from her experiences of a survivor of sex trafficking, a young widow and mother of 6, and a disabled woman. She doesn’t preach from up on high but commiserates with us while she’s in the trenches, weaving wisdom and hope into a real and raw look at what it means to “live brave.” This wisdom about bravery applies to all humans, and she writes from I had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of Living Brave: Lessons From Hurt, Lighting the Way to Hope. It’s a powerful memoir where Shannon shares from her experiences of a survivor of sex trafficking, a young widow and mother of 6, and a disabled woman. She doesn’t preach from up on high but commiserates with us while she’s in the trenches, weaving wisdom and hope into a real and raw look at what it means to “live brave.” This wisdom about bravery applies to all humans, and she writes from a place that invited us all in, regardless of the type of depth of suffering we have experienced individually. She discusses the bravery in surviving, choosing your voice, trusting, taking care of yourself, being in relationships, and perhaps hardest but most importantly of all, remaining hopeful.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joni Sensel

    This book was more "advice" than memoir, which I didn't expect. Maybe it's just because I have not been a follower of Shannon Dingle on social media, but I would've liked a more coherent rendering of the memoir part of her life and less of her personal Brene Brown-style advice, though that's valuable, too. (Recognizing that the book was drafted before the death of her husband, I understand how the revisions she made to bring it up to date probably complicated its original structure, but it seems This book was more "advice" than memoir, which I didn't expect. Maybe it's just because I have not been a follower of Shannon Dingle on social media, but I would've liked a more coherent rendering of the memoir part of her life and less of her personal Brene Brown-style advice, though that's valuable, too. (Recognizing that the book was drafted before the death of her husband, I understand how the revisions she made to bring it up to date probably complicated its original structure, but it seems to jump around in time a lot in ways that don't always seem to make sense, and she alludes to experiences and conditions and aspects of her life that left this reader, who'd never even heard of her before, feeling in the dark.) Still, it's very honest and authentic, and that by itself is a good reason to both read it and root for her in the future.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mhughessc

    If anyone knows how to live through a traumatic circumstance and come out stronger on the other side of it, it's Shannon Dingle! I first heard about her after her husband's untimely death while they were on a family beach vacation. That's what lead me to pick up her book "Living Brave." But not only has she lived through that horrifying circumstance, she also has a history of incest, sexual abuse, and trafficking from her own family. I was inspired by the strength and courage she showed througho If anyone knows how to live through a traumatic circumstance and come out stronger on the other side of it, it's Shannon Dingle! I first heard about her after her husband's untimely death while they were on a family beach vacation. That's what lead me to pick up her book "Living Brave." But not only has she lived through that horrifying circumstance, she also has a history of incest, sexual abuse, and trafficking from her own family. I was inspired by the strength and courage she showed throughout the book, and the way she's turned her own difficulties into a way to help others. I appreciate her courage and strength, and was encouraged that I can get through hard times too! Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. All opinions are my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tonia Christle

    This was a tough one to read (and rate) and not for the reasons you think. First, I love Shannon. And I could never dream of doing what she did -- completing a book while dealing with so much uncertainty and grief. But the fact remains that I feel like the editors could have done better. This was a tough book to follow, structurally. There was nothing linear about it. I never knew whether I was going to be in the present, the past or getting some kind of lesson. (And perhaps it was just me, but I w This was a tough one to read (and rate) and not for the reasons you think. First, I love Shannon. And I could never dream of doing what she did -- completing a book while dealing with so much uncertainty and grief. But the fact remains that I feel like the editors could have done better. This was a tough book to follow, structurally. There was nothing linear about it. I never knew whether I was going to be in the present, the past or getting some kind of lesson. (And perhaps it was just me, but I was under the impression that this book was going to be a memoir, so the self-help aspect was very jarring -- I never got used to it.) I'll continue to support Shannon and her family through their endeavors...and I had to be honest about this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    Full disclosure: I have known the author for several years through various social media groups and book launch teams. That being said, even though I already knew Shannon's story backwards and forwards, this book broke me into pieces, put me back together, and reminded me that light piercing the darkness is nearly always painful. There is so much hard-earned insight in these pages. I'm grateful that Shannon chose to lay her soul bare in her grief for the rest of us to learn from and identify with Full disclosure: I have known the author for several years through various social media groups and book launch teams. That being said, even though I already knew Shannon's story backwards and forwards, this book broke me into pieces, put me back together, and reminded me that light piercing the darkness is nearly always painful. There is so much hard-earned insight in these pages. I'm grateful that Shannon chose to lay her soul bare in her grief for the rest of us to learn from and identify with. Her courage is both devastating and inspiring. *I received an electronic ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

  18. 4 out of 5

    Molly McCarthy

    This was such a lovely read - poignant, moving, and inspiring but with parts that made me laugh out loud. I found myself highlighting quotes practically ever other page! She truly has one of the most heartbreaking, yet hope-giving stories I've ever read. I have followed Shannon on Twitter for a while and was so excited to read her book. It was a natural continuation of her wit and inspirational words. She covered a wide variety of topics, all with her usual considerate touch. Thank you to NetGall This was such a lovely read - poignant, moving, and inspiring but with parts that made me laugh out loud. I found myself highlighting quotes practically ever other page! She truly has one of the most heartbreaking, yet hope-giving stories I've ever read. I have followed Shannon on Twitter for a while and was so excited to read her book. It was a natural continuation of her wit and inspirational words. She covered a wide variety of topics, all with her usual considerate touch. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    (I received a gifted copy of this book through a HarperOne newsletter. I only select books I want to read. There is no expectation that I leave a review.) Shannon is a gift. I generally avoid reading Christian literature but will definitely read more by Shannon. She's LGBTQ affirming, disability-inclusive, and anti-racist...something that shouldn't be as rare as it is in Christian circles. She speaks about grief in an honest, real way that avoids forced positivity. She owns her story and her life (I received a gifted copy of this book through a HarperOne newsletter. I only select books I want to read. There is no expectation that I leave a review.) Shannon is a gift. I generally avoid reading Christian literature but will definitely read more by Shannon. She's LGBTQ affirming, disability-inclusive, and anti-racist...something that shouldn't be as rare as it is in Christian circles. She speaks about grief in an honest, real way that avoids forced positivity. She owns her story and her life in a way that encourages all of us to do the same.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laurel Williston

    This book is both very easy and very hard to read, at the same time. It is exceptionally well-written, making the pages fly by. But the content is raw and true and hard, filled with honest truths and important life lessons. Each chapter begins with a poem that relates to the content (I think it was all of them), and they are happy little surprises. The author relates her own lived traumas, both as a child and as an adult, and discusses what she has learned from them and other life circumstances, This book is both very easy and very hard to read, at the same time. It is exceptionally well-written, making the pages fly by. But the content is raw and true and hard, filled with honest truths and important life lessons. Each chapter begins with a poem that relates to the content (I think it was all of them), and they are happy little surprises. The author relates her own lived traumas, both as a child and as an adult, and discusses what she has learned from them and other life circumstances, as well as quoting extensive research. The lessons apply to anyone, in any walk of life, and with any past, present, or future. The words are heart-wrenching and tear-provoking but also hopeful and brave. She makes room for all kinds of bravery and all kinds of people. This book is truly inspirational, because it is so honest and real.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    "We all carry scars and we have all caused wounds." If you want to read a story that is raw, honest and at times very difficult, you will appreciate Shannon's open and vulnerable writing as she recounts the unimaginable events of her life while still holding onto her faith and hope. I highlighted a large portion of her words and feel like there is a nugget of wisdom or encouragement for anyone who reads it. Thanks to NetGalley for the chance to read it. "We all carry scars and we have all caused wounds." If you want to read a story that is raw, honest and at times very difficult, you will appreciate Shannon's open and vulnerable writing as she recounts the unimaginable events of her life while still holding onto her faith and hope. I highlighted a large portion of her words and feel like there is a nugget of wisdom or encouragement for anyone who reads it. Thanks to NetGalley for the chance to read it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    Shannon Dingle is someone whose work I greatly admire, and I had been so looking forward to her book. It pains me that I cannot rate it higher. I struggled most with the format of this book, which jumped randomly between 1st and 2nd person. I desperately wished for more cohesion and tighter edits all around, as I found the book difficult to follow. The self-help angle was something I didn't expect and therefore struggled with as well. All that said, Shannon's words remain powerful. Shannon Dingle is someone whose work I greatly admire, and I had been so looking forward to her book. It pains me that I cannot rate it higher. I struggled most with the format of this book, which jumped randomly between 1st and 2nd person. I desperately wished for more cohesion and tighter edits all around, as I found the book difficult to follow. The self-help angle was something I didn't expect and therefore struggled with as well. All that said, Shannon's words remain powerful.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This book is gutting, healing, and powerful. Shannon Dingle is a wordsmith, mastering and articulating thoughts I've struggled to wrangle in my own head. Thanks to NetGalley and HarperOne for an advanced copy, I lost myself in it over a weekend. It could have been twice as long, all her work is riveting and challenging and I never lost my focus. Lots of love to Shannon and her children. This book is gutting, healing, and powerful. Shannon Dingle is a wordsmith, mastering and articulating thoughts I've struggled to wrangle in my own head. Thanks to NetGalley and HarperOne for an advanced copy, I lost myself in it over a weekend. It could have been twice as long, all her work is riveting and challenging and I never lost my focus. Lots of love to Shannon and her children.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    Shannon Dingle has been through so much in her life. She was in the middle of writing a memoir of what she went through as a child and adolescent. Then her husband was killed in a very freak accident on the beach. The focus of her book changed. As a person who was always giving, she has learned to accept help for herself and her children. Highly recommended for public libraries and to support for those who are grieving. I received a free e-galley through NetGalley. My opinions are my own.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    I won a copy of Living Brave through a Goodreads Giveaway. This book is raw, honest, and beautiful. Everyone has their own views and opinions that have been developed and shaped by their journey. We can’t judge someone else's journey because we haven’t gone through it. This is Shannon Dingle’s journey. There might be views in this book that are different from your own, you can still reflect and learn. Take the time to listen to her heart. I won a copy of Living Brave through a Goodreads Giveaway. This book is raw, honest, and beautiful. Everyone has their own views and opinions that have been developed and shaped by their journey. We can’t judge someone else's journey because we haven’t gone through it. This is Shannon Dingle’s journey. There might be views in this book that are different from your own, you can still reflect and learn. Take the time to listen to her heart.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Cuellar

    Beautiful, hard, and full of truth. I’ve been following Shannon for a couple years via Twitter and the bravery she has shown through the devastating tragedy of living through sexual abuse as a child and then losing her husband in a freak accident is inspiring. I am so grateful that she shared her story. I am so sorry that these stories exist.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Dickerson

    Wow. What a story this young woman has. I admire her resilience and perseverance. In my own life I have been tempted to crawl under the covers and never come out but her troubles put mine in serious perspective. So much bad luck and tragedy. I share her theology too. Hang in there Shannon. Surely there are good days ahead. You are overdue

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kayo

    what a whopper of a book. Book was heartbreaking, but so much more. Definite must-read. Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tahani Ulloa

    I purchased this book on Audible.. This book had me in tears within the first 3min. Shannon's words are so brave and powerful. Her analysis of grief, trauma, and life events are truly thought provoking. Was hoping that this would be narrated by the author, however I do think Jaime did a good job. I purchased this book on Audible.. This book had me in tears within the first 3min. Shannon's words are so brave and powerful. Her analysis of grief, trauma, and life events are truly thought provoking. Was hoping that this would be narrated by the author, however I do think Jaime did a good job.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Wheeler

    Living Brave…. Living Raw Reading this book was like reading poetry while watching open heart surgery. From a horrific childhood to the love of Lee Dingle. Raw, riveting, painful, brave.

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