Book Review: 'Girl, Wash Your Face'



By Tim Challies - Posted at Challies.com:

My assistant put me up to this. She does a first pass on most of the emails I receive and recently called to say, “There’s a book out there called Girl, Wash Your Face, and you’re getting multiple emails about it every day. You need to review it.” I looked it up on Amazon and noticed it has accumulated nearly 6,000 reviews averaging 5 stars. That is no small feat for a book authored by a professed Christian (Rachel Hollis), published by a Christian company (Thomas Nelson), and widely read and distributed in Christian circles. So I ordered a copy and gave it a read. I’ve chosen to focus this brief review not on the many details of the book, but on its big point and central message.


Many Lies, One Truth

Rachel Hollis is the founder of a tremendously popular and successful lifestyle blog targeted at women. Though she has written a few novels and cookbooks along the way, Girl, Wash Your Faceis her first non-fiction work. The conversational, friend-to-friend tone that marks her blog is apparent from the opening pages, and she wastes no time telling what it is all about: “This book is about a bunch of hurtful lies and one important truth.” That sounds positive since it’s clear that as human beings we are prone to believe lies about ourselves, about others, and even about God.

So what is the one important truth at the core of Hollis’s work? “You, and only you, are ultimately responsible for who you become and how happy you are.” This will resonate with many people. We are moral beings who bear the responsibility of making decisions about who we will be and what we will do with our lives. We all feel the desire to become better people. Yet whether we, as Christians, can fully agree with Hollis depends on how she answers a number of questions: What is happiness? What is involved in achieving happiness? What can guide us into happiness? What power is available to those who want it? And what hope is there for those who have tried and failed to gain it?

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