Reviews for All My Knotted-up Life

by Beth Moore

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Living Proof Ministries founder Moore opens up about a range of topics, including her split with the Southern Baptist Church, in this memoir. Born in Wisconsin and raised in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, in 1957, the author regularly attended the Southern Baptist Church from a young age. She describes in detail her immersion baptism at 9 years of age, remarking, “I’d been buried with Christ in baptism and raised…to walk in newness of life.” Moore’s upbringing is described with a veneer of normality, recalling family camping vacations in a Volkswagen bus. However, a darkness is evident when the author states, “No kind of good dad does what my dad did to me.” Her memoir approaches not only the horror of abuse, but also the early trauma of her mother’s deteriorating mental health. At 18, Moore experienced a distinct moment when she sensed “God’s presence” and felt a call to vocational Christian service. Milestones in Moore’s life include marrying and becoming a mother and founding Living Proof Ministries in 1994, dedicated to “encouraging women to know and love Jesus through the study of Scripture.” She attained celebrity status with her church and never shied away from expressing her opinions. The author candidly addresses the time she called out Donald Trump following the publication of the notorious Access Hollywood tape in 2016: “You think this kind of talk is okay?...Do you happen to know women who have had hands forced on them?” Moore also discusses how she handled backlashes and Twitter blow-ups, along with her motivations for ending her affiliation with the Southern Baptist Church.Moore’s memoir is punctuated with thoughtful statements that elucidate her understanding of life, as when she discusses the mentors that inspired her the most: “Each made a deep indentation, a bold point with a permanent marker. Draw lines connecting them, and they form a triangle that shaped my entire ministry life.” Such solemnity is offset with a generous dose of humor, such as when Moore recalls her baptism: “Even though this is what I’d come for, I was still a good bit surprised by the swiftness of the dunking.” In such moments, those familiar with Moore will recognize her oratorical energy in her writing. When examining her deteriorating relationship with the Baptist church, Moore remains candid and does not overlook self-scrutiny: “Something was happening to us. Something bad. Maybe it had been happening all along and I was too blind to see it. Too busy in my own world. Too privileged. Too partial. Too immersed.” Moore writes of abuse she faced as a child and does so with graceful prose: “Different slices of the same secrets are on our plates.” The author lays down her beliefs with bold clarity throughout: “I am pro-life as well. Not just antiabortion, but pro-life, across the board from conception to coffin or cremation.” Readers may not share Moore’s beliefs, but the one million Twitter followers she’s amassed will be eager to learn more about the life story that forged this well-known evangelist. The frank views expressed in this remembrance will divide opinion, but the quality of Moore’s writing is indisputable. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.