Birthing Hope: Giving Fear to the Light

Reviewed by: Hope Bolinger, a professional writing major at Taylor University.



Title: Birthing Hope: Giving Fear to the Light

Author: Rachel Marie Stone

Publisher: InterVarsity Press

Publication Date: 2018

Format: Print book

Length: 210 pages


Birth takes on a whole new meaning in Rachel Marie Stone’s poetic, anecdotal book. The unchronological presentation of events travels through birth and death in all its meanings from Stone’s work as a doula (a midwife) in Malawi to her own reflections of her children. She tackles difficult topics such as familial addictions and genetics, high infant mortality in third world countries, and HIV-positive children. In a memoir-like fashion, Stone simply tells her story and shares some reflections about how birth takes on a new meaning in her Christian faith, using examples such as Mary the Mother of Jesus.

Stone’s writing was poetry. She crafts descriptions far better than any other nonfiction author I have encountered. However, her organization leaves something to be desired. Not only do the events scramble out of order, but so do the topics. Although the reading offers several insights into the spiritual implications of birth, it wavered between genres: poetic prose to memoir to almost a stream of consciousness. Its lack of unity earned it a lower rating.


Rating (1 to 5)

3 out of 5

Suggested Audience

Christians interested in motherhood or birth.

Christian Impact

As Stone describes it, a sort of life-and-death process happens during birth. A mother, in a sense, must go through excruciating agony to bring life into the world. This can be a physical reminder of Jesus’ work on the cross: how He suffered to offer us the gift of life.

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Birthing Hope: Giving Fear to the Light

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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