Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I’ve Loved

Reviewed by: Allyson Hutchison, a Professional Writing student at Taylor University in Upland, IN.



Title: Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I’ve Loved

Author: Kate Bowler

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 2018

Format: Print Book

Length: 166 Pages


After growing up in a Christian household, Kate Bowler became a professor at Duke Divinity. Her specific area of teaching included the prosperity gospel—a creed that sees good fortune as God’s blessing and misfortune as God’s disapproval. When Kate is diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer and told she is terminal, her faith is shaken. Has she done something to warrant this?

Kate takes her readers on a journey through her past and present. She relives past experiences and describes what she has been going through after being diagnosed. Though she doesn’t always tell a cohesive story through her memories and current events, Kate does an amazing job of explaining what it is like to endure many types of physical maladies without knowing why it happened or how to fix it.

Overall, the story is entertaining while being gut-wrenching and tear-jerking. I would suggest reading this with a box of tissues nearby, because you will probably need them.


Rating (1 to 5)

4.5 out of 5 stars

Suggested Audience

Ages 15 and up, general Christian readership, someone who has suffered or is suffering from a frightening diagnosis or terminal disease.

Christian Impact

This book focuses on how illness affects our relationship with Christ. Though we may not always understand why we are experiencing what we are, we must trust God and His decisions for us; He always has the best in mind.

 Other Notes

Suggested audience is ages 15 and up because it focuses on a woman who is married with a child when she is diagnosed, so it may be harder for someone younger to relate to her struggles and anxieties. However, it is possible that a younger reader can glean the message from this story just as well as someone who is older.


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Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved

About Ceil Carey

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

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