Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My seventh monsoon

Book Review: My Seventh Monsoon, Naomi Reed

This very powerful book, written by Sydney woman Naomi Reed charts her and her husband's decision to serve God as physiotherapist cross-cultural workers in Nepal over 15 years. She picks up around 1991, where they were first challenged to consider working overseas and follows their decision to go to Nepal as a young married couple, return to Sydney and then go again to Nepal some years later, this time with three young boys. It charts the decisions they made and the realities of life which presented some interesting and difficult times. To quote her from the back of the book:
The seventh monsoon...was the hardest of them all. I sat of the back porch of our Himalayan home and stared as the rain streamed down all around me. I had never felt so hemmed in - by the constant rain, by the effects of the civil war and by the demands of home-school. As I sat there and listened to the pounding on our tin roof, I wondered whether I would make it through. I wondered whether I would cope with another 120 days of rain. And in doing so, I began to long for another season...
She structures the book around 'seasons' - noting how all people face different seasons in their lives, including those of hope, adjustment, expectancy, longing, grief, distraction and thanks; and how God works through all of these seasons. He is there through the hard times and the seemingly easy times - sometimes as comfort, sometimes challenging us to new and hard things, sometimes caring for us in the difficulties and grief that life brings, and sometimes spurring us on in the faith.

I found this to be an incredibly encouraging and challenging read. Naomi has an ability to be able to look back and see God's hand working over time, and as she takes you on that journey with her, you also can see the amazing work of God in all things. It is a journey that covers some wonderful excitements and highs, but also some dreadful griefs and I found myself in tears at some points. She has been extraordinarily open in this book, which is a real gift to the reader.

Obviously, considering the content, it is a book strongly supporting mission. One of the real strengths though was that it never had a feel of superiority - the "we went on the mission field and you didn't" subtext. She acknowledges the challenges for those 'back here', and the reality that things such as parenting are challenging wherever you do them, albeit perhaps for different reasons. This was the reason I found it challenging - she didn't cause feelings of guilt, but rather a challenge to myself to reconsider our own choices and goals.

I won't go into more detail because I think you should read it for yourself!


Anonymous said...

I agree with you Wendy. My Seventh Monsoon is a really good book. I too appreciated the fact that she did not take her readers on a guilt trip, but pointed us to search for God's truth in our own lives.
I'm a grandma, not a young person and I dislike authors who make me feel like I have accomplished nothing because I've not done what they have. No matter where we are we can all know God's hand on our lives and come to understand more of His love and his plan for us.
Thanks for your positive review.

Wendy said...

Thanks for the comment Geraldine - lovely to hear from you. Glad you enjoyed this book too - it was a great encouragement to read.