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Reviewed by Katie Hart
Navigating Route 20-Something
by Erin Keeley Marshall
"Using examples from her own life and the Bible, Erin Keeley Marshall spotlights 20 different principles she wishes she’d learned earlier."
Life as a twentysomething can
be exhilarating, scary, confusing, rich, and exhausting. And it can be
all of those in one day! Amid the turmoil,
a little guidance goes a long way – especially from someone recently
making the same journey.
Erin Keeley Marshall learned much through her twenties, and she offers this map for the road ahead of her fellow travelers. Using examples from her own life and the Bible, she spotlights 20 different principles she wishes she’d learned earlier. Whether in college, single, married, or learning the joys of parenting, Erin offers advice for twentysomethings in all stages of life.
While this wide range makes this book more accessible, it also betrays its chief weakness – lack of focus. Many of the chapters could be studied as is by any youth group. Others would easily fit Christian adults in their 30s, 40s, and beyond. Less than a quarter of the book seems aimed at the book’s audience, and that audience is already fragmented by radically different life situations.
Each chapter begins with a glimpse into Erin’s life or an interesting observation. Then she expands the thought with ideas and insights that lead into a Bible illustration. The chapters end with “Consider This…” – five paragraphs of questions to get you thinking deeper.
Some of the examples are typical to the point of triteness – courage and Joshua, resting and keeping the Sabbath – but nuggets of wisdom shine through in many of the chapters. However, one thing this book really lacks is practical tips. Erin presents dilemmas, gives Biblical examples, and provides an end goal, but doesn’t give steps to move toward that goal (besides the Living Abundantly lists at the end of the book). A way to compensate for this would be to use the book for group studies. The concluding questions can springboard discussion and members of the group can suggest practical ways to implement the lessons.
So if you’re looking for a book to get for yourself or a twentysomething in your life, I’d recommend you try Life. Now. by Michael and Shannon Primicerio or Perspectives by Colin Creel, but if you’re looking for a book for your young adult small group, Navigating Route 20-Something may be just what you need.
Katie Hart loves the written word. She's published several articles, poems, and nearly 200 reviews in magazines and websites such as Christian Communicator, Church Libraries, Infuze Magazine, Christian Library Journal, and ChristianBookPreviews.com. She's written two novels and is working on her third, a fantasy. Also a Christian music fan, she helps out regularly with concerts at her church and strives to promote the artists and bands she enjoys. Visit her online at her blog.