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Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Not fluff and stuff

Truth, truth and more (sometimes painful) truth. A must read for every woman wondering what happened, how'd she get here and how to make the rest of her life....different. Change is possible, God is faithful and tenaciously pursuing women to know their true value and ...
Truth, truth and more (sometimes painful) truth. A must read for every woman wondering what happened, how'd she get here and how to make the rest of her life....different. Change is possible, God is faithful and tenaciously pursuing women to know their true value and drop society's dictates and all its twisted lies. Not for those who want to 'feel good' without being willing to face some tough stuff in the mirror. John & Staci layer truth with concrete examples and bring years of counseling and research to back up this truth. Life changing (if applied) and something a lot of men could read to learn the heart of a woman and if read by both partners, could bring great depth and discusion to the relationship....and potentially healing.

posted by jennewren on March 12, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Soulful portrayal of a woman's heart

I really liked the first half of this book, but it got a little strange for me near the end. Not to mention repetitive. I do recommend this book because the first half is very strong. It often made me think, "yeah, that is how I feel but I would never have put it that w...
I really liked the first half of this book, but it got a little strange for me near the end. Not to mention repetitive. I do recommend this book because the first half is very strong. It often made me think, "yeah, that is how I feel but I would never have put it that way!" I think it's helpful for realizing that the things that make women who they are - emotions, relationships, etc - are perfectly normal and above all the way things are supposed to be! I think there is a lot of freedom in knowing that God created us this way and there is nothing wrong with us for being that way!

posted by Meags on May 6, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Not fluff and stuff

    Truth, truth and more (sometimes painful) truth. A must read for every woman wondering what happened, how'd she get here and how to make the rest of her life....different. Change is possible, God is faithful and tenaciously pursuing women to know their true value and drop society's dictates and all its twisted lies. Not for those who want to 'feel good' without being willing to face some tough stuff in the mirror. John & Staci layer truth with concrete examples and bring years of counseling and research to back up this truth. Life changing (if applied) and something a lot of men could read to learn the heart of a woman and if read by both partners, could bring great depth and discusion to the relationship....and potentially healing.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 9, 2010

    Captivating!

    In the wee hours of the morning this morning, I finished reading Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul, by John and Stasi Eldredge. What an incredible book!

    I have to confess that I had actually read this one before. I borrowed a copy from a friend a few years ago and loved it so much that I subsequently bought copies as gifts for a number of ladies in my life. Unfortunately, I never got a copy for myself and, since this one is a "revised and expanded" edition, I jumped at the chance to get a free copy from the publisher.

    This is a fantastic book. The husband and wife team of writers is terrific at revealing the heart of a woman: why we were made the way we're made, why we feel the way we feel, why we long for the things we long for, and why we struggle the way that we do. Through Biblical example and everyday accounts of women just like us, the authors show that while every woman is unique and special, no woman has or will suffer alone. We're all in this together, and while the world has worked steadily throughout history to silence women and stifle all that we were created to be, God has a special and powerful plan for our lives. He made us to fulfill a specific purpose, and everything in us points us to that.

    It isn't a feminist "women rule!" kind of book, though. It is open and honest about the things that women struggle with and have failed at, and helps me to see that nothing that has happened in my life has been random or arbitrary. God has a plan for my life, but so does my enemy; everything in life can be used for one side or the other.

    I highly recommend this book to the women in your life. Young women just starting out and trying to find their place in the world..women with grown children who are finding themselves in a new place...older women who feel like most of their story has already been written. It is an empowering book that encourages soul searching and introspection, self-evaluation and assessment.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2009

    Soulful portrayal of a woman's heart

    I really liked the first half of this book, but it got a little strange for me near the end. Not to mention repetitive. I do recommend this book because the first half is very strong. It often made me think, "yeah, that is how I feel but I would never have put it that way!" I think it's helpful for realizing that the things that make women who they are - emotions, relationships, etc - are perfectly normal and above all the way things are supposed to be! I think there is a lot of freedom in knowing that God created us this way and there is nothing wrong with us for being that way!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2007

    A reviewer

    Good points - Mrs. Eldredge has overcome personal trauma, and offers hope to those who are in pain. Many good points about being in a relationship with God. Good points for men who want to understand women who have been through traumatic life experiences. Bad points - poor Biblical rationale for its conclusions. Convoluted logic. Promotes a fairy-tale view of the Bible. Overly romanticized interpretations of everything. Too focused on a person's view of themselves.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2009

    Absolutely "captivating"

    I loved this book! Lots to ponder about our wonderful femininity and to consider what we have lost over the years. Put it together to see how to return to the Godly woman we were meant to be.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2007

    I'm amazed!

    If you wanna read about a victim who does not take accountability for her own actions and emotes through her writings, then this is the book for you. I was hoping for some guidance and spiritual inspiration, but only read on how to blame my surroundings and do what feels good. Not only am I appalled on how she made the Mary, Mother of God, look like chop liver, but her interpretations of Scripture is evidently based on her emotions, not on facts. Want truth and validity? Read books written by Kimberly Hahn.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2007

    Honestly, I couldn't finish it

    No only does the author present weak validation for her points (using examples that aren't scriptually based) as well as presenting ideas and concepts that seem to be read into. Perhaps I simply was not a good candidate to read it, however after reading it, it's amazing more women aren't in therapy after reading this book. It seems to give more issues for you to deal with, how you fail, then it offers help. In my opinion, over raited and over praised.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2006

    Couldn't wait to be finished with this one!

    I think this book is best for those that need healing. For those that have been there, done that it's a waste of time. Also, some of the things she writes about women are nice but there aren't any scriptural references. Examples: She writes, 'Jesus is extending his hand to you. He is inviting you to dance with him. He asks, 'May I have this dance every day of your life?' His gaze is fixed on you. He is captivated by your beauty. He is smiling. He cares nothing of the opinions of others. He is standing. He will lead. He waits for your response.' She also writes, 'The essence of a woman is Beauty. She is meant to be the incarnation-our experience in human form-of a Captivating God.'

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Not Inspiring but can help others

    The book sets an outline of how women act and think based on past experiences.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    A MUST Read for teens & women of all ages!

    This book helps a woman see her value & worth through her maker's eyes, instead of the world's eyes. Society has given women a "to be acceptable" list of requirements which we cannot live up to, and thereby struggle with our self worth. God made us with amzing beauty, purpose, and grace and this book can help you look somewhere besides a magazine, billboard, commercial or other people for validation and your value as a woman. All women are captivating by design, and our Divine Creator is captivated by us. I challenge you disagree. Enjoy!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2010

    Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge

    When I received the book Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge I was eager to start reading. I enjoyed the first of the book where the authors wrote of the importance of women to God and also how the Devil is out to try to destroy our relationship with God, but the more I read the less I enjoyed reading. In my humble opinion, I feel that many of the descriptions of Jesus and God as a woman's lover just did not seem quite right and they left me with an uneasy feeling. I had the definite feeling that Stasi and John used scripture more to validate their own ideas than to prove the worth and role of women. Many of their scripture references were on target, but I found many to be theologically unsound. To me the most unsettling, theologically unsound statement was on page forty-five when Stasi or John wrote, "Eve was given to the world as the incarnation of a beautiful, captivating God-a life offering, life-saving lover, a relational specialist, full of tender mercy and hope." That is not what my Bible tells me.

    One thing that I really did not like about the book was all the references to secular movies, poems, books, and songs. Many of them I had never heard of and even if I had, I did not see the advantage of using such references. Another problem was that many times I would read half a page or more before I knew if it was Stasi or John writing. It was good to have both a woman's and a man's opinion in the book but knowing at the beginning of a paragraph who was writing would have helped tremendously.

    I am of the opinion that probably the book has more value for younger women and girls for much of what was in the book seemed irrelevant to a woman in her sixties or older. We women are never to old to be the woman that God wants us to be but I think that we can do that without this book. I will probably tell friends about this book but will tell them to keep an open mind and an open Bible when they are reading it.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2009

    LIFE CHANGING

    If you want to change your life for the better, buy this book and the study guide. It's truly inspiring!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2013

    This book was recommended to me by a friend. I would have never

    This book was recommended to me by a friend. I would have never picked it up otherwise. I would have never really come across it if it weren't for it being recommended to me since I don't venture into Christian nonfiction too much. With that being said, aside from a few reservations, this book was actually really pleasant and beautiful in many of its parts.

    I think you have to be a practicing Christian to really appreciate this book, more than I did anyway. I am a Christian, but I haven't considered myself a 'practicing Christian' in a long while now, even though I am a very spiritual person and I have my own personal relationship with God. In this sense, some of the scripture passages went over my head. Even so I was still able to realize what the authors were getting to in some parts of the book.

    One of the reservations I had when I started reading the book had to do with rhetoric. I was fond of some of the words being used, and some of the notions being talked about. Things like how women were Unseen, Unsought, Uncertain and they had to be Romanced and Rescued. Once you strip away some of the rhetoric in this book, you realize there are some meaningful and substantive fundamental concepts about us, women, and our femininity worth reading about.

    My next reservation was with the roughness of the concepts. I felt the book was stochatic in many ways. It didn't really flow easily from one part to another. It sort of jumped like a rabbit from one pasture to another... grazing on the surface of each one but not really getting to the nutritious depth of it all. I think even so I was still able to gain some insight into what the authors were trying to explain.

    So what did John and Stasi Eldredge accomplish with this book? What is the authors gain from reading this book? Well first and foremost, I believe they realized an image of a woman's feminity. How does our culture, society, and the rhythm of our daily lives tame and even at times destroy a woman's femininity, a woman's captivating soul? And how does a woman regain her sense of beauty, captivating soul, and a calm secure sense of self back?

    First, through a woman's beauty and mystery, both of which lie at the center of her captivating soul. This is what the authors say about these two. See for yourself. While on the surface, these statements might appear a bit mocking and sarcastic even, there's something of use in them, something deep down true about them.

    'A woman knows, down in her soul, that she longs to bring beauty to the world. She might be mistaken on how (something every woman struggles with) but she longs for a beauty to unveil. This is not just culture, or the need to 'get a man.' This is in her heart, part of her design.'



    'One of the deepest ways a woman bears the image of God is in her mystery. By 'mystery' we don't mean 'forever beyond your knowing,' but something to be explored.



    Not something to be solved but known with every-deepening pleasure and awe. Something to be enjoyed. Just like God, a woman is not a problem to be solved, but a vast wonder to be enjoyed... She years to be known and that takes time and intimacy. It requires an unveiling. As she is sought after, she reveals more of her beauty. As she unveils her beauty, she draws us to know her more deeply.



    Whatever else it means to be feminine, it is depth and mystery and complexity, with beauty at its very essence."

    Secondly, I believe the authors touched on very real dynamics of a woman's soul (as well as a man's). Towards the end of the book they talk about what curses women and prevents them from acheiving their true captivating soul. That plague is 'loneliness' for women, and for men is futility.

    The book, though, is much more broad than what I have just mentioned here. If you are a woman with a curious mind on how Christianity sees women and if you want to see a fresh perspective placed against that, this is a good book to read. I am a woman and I have a curious mind, and I am glad I read this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 25, 2011

    Couldn't identify with it/some alternative books

    I read Wild at Heart and Captivating several years ago and even as a teenage girl identified more with Wild at Heart. Captivating just had me wondering if something was seriously wrong with me because I couldn't identify with what she was saying I should be feeling as a woman. Several of my girl friends were also frustrated by this book.

    Read/give Passion & Purity by Elisabeth Elliot or Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere instead. Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer is completely different but goes straight to understanding God.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    one of my favorite books by far..

    this book was truly amazing. i could relate to so many things and i'm sure anyone else can. it has made me think so much of how i view myself and god and i think everyone should read this. you will be captured from the very first page. it was just so inspiring, had some great advice and was so greatly written.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Highly Recommend

    This was a very good book. While reading, every emotion known to woman rushes forth and sweeps you away. Those emotions blow you here and there until the end where you are left silent and still. You walk away from the book confident in the woman that God created you to be. Pick up this book and do not put it down until you've read it from cover to cover. Once you're done keep it alive in your heart so that you can carry it everywhere that you go passing along it's power and strength to other women.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2010

    Not what I expected

    The book makes a major point in that there are three desires that women have. One desire is to be romanced; another desire is to know that people think we are beautiful, and the last desire is to play an important role in an adventure. These points make the book very easy to relate to with all of the examples and emotional ties, but they are not very strong points. Women have more than three desires, and many of these desires are more than just skin deep. I believe that having only these three points took away from the overall affect of the book. Besides not containing enough points or strong points, the book is somewhat of a slow read. The chapters are very repetitive, and I believe that the book could be just as good, if not better, if it were half as long. Another problem that I found with the book was that parts of it were written from a male's perspective and parts were written from a female's perspective. At times I did not know who was writing, and was slightly confused. Overall I would not recommend this book. Although it was not beneficial for me, women who have been hurt in some way by men, possibly physically or sexually abused at some point in their lives, may find this book helpful.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Okay Book

    Captivating, the best-selling book by John and Stasi Eldridge has recently been revised and expanded. I have read this book in precious years, but decided to re-read its newer edition.

    As many of you are aware, Captivating is a book celebrating the beauty of a woman's soul. Thousands have been touched by this book, and many have found healing in its pages.
    This groundbreaking book shows readers the glorious design of women before the fall, describes how the feminine heart can be restored, and casts a vision for the power, freedom, and beauty of a woman released to be all she was meant to be.
    Although this may be just what some hurting women need, I am not entirely taken with Captivating. Some of the chapters did not sit well with me. The book focused on how beautiful women are, and yes, that is true, but we can only have true beauty through Christ. I wish that had been more of the focus in the book.

    John and Stasi have written some great things, but I caution readers to take everything they say with a grain of salt.

    I was provided a review copy of this book from BookSneeze.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Captivating by John and Stasi Eldrege: A Light Read

    Thomas Nelson Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book as part of their BookSneeze.com bloggers book review program. I was not required to write a positive review, and therefore, the review is 100% my honest opinion.

    Captivating by John and Stasi Eldrege is a light read.

    It is about setting women's hearts free and releasing them to be all they were meant to be. I'm not quite sure if I understood it well. the way the authors intended it to be understood, but the book is about that, and I don't think I like it that much in comparison to the previous books that I received as an advance read from the publisher.

    I have always believed that we make our own destinies, and though God make plans for us, it is up to us to fulfill those that he had planned for us, and feminist all around is going to have my head for saying this, but I don't feel that women are made to be His utmost creation. Women, are made to complement men, and complete each other.

    Distorted belief, coming from a woman? I suppose it is somewhat distorted, but I didn't really like this book, though it is a good read for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

    I didn't feel there was a strong theological basis for some of the statements made about God and His purpose and design for women. There were points that sounded very good, but left me wondering how in context a verse was applied or the scriptural basis.

    Will I recommend this book for others to read? I suppose I would, but not to those who sees things in different perspectives.

    I would rate this book, 2 out of 5.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Review of the book; "Captivating"

    Overall, I was not satisfied with this book. The authors used a lot of personal narrative and experiences to support their theory. They also used a lot of extreme circumstances as supporting examples which would not apply to many women reading the book. I was also disappointed with the fact that they did not use a lot of scripture as support. While I liked some of their ideas, I think that there are better books out there that describe the heart of a woman that have much better Biblical support.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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