- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
A Salvationist's faith is, above all, practical. It's Christianity with skin and shoes on. This not a Kum Ba Yah kind ...
A Salvationist's faith is, above all, practical. It's Christianity with skin and shoes on. This not a Kum Ba Yah kind of crowd.
Bette Dowdell grew up in The Salvation Army, her mother and father both officers, as the Army calls their clergy. Her loving, laugh-out-loud memoir describes how her family conquered obstacle after obstacle, and it introduces a cast of characters you'll want to meet.
"I did not grow up in a vanilla family. Vanilla is comfortable, fairly predictable and somewhat bland. That doesn't describe us.
Some people believe the opposite of vanilla has to be dysfunctional, where anger, rage and lack of connection rule the roost. That doesn't describe us, either. We had love to spare, with parents who gave us dreams to dream and a big leg-up on the future.
Our lack of vanilla predictability came from growing up in The Salvation Army, with constant moving, difficult circumstances and almost no money. But, here's the key: None of us realized we had it hard; we each thought we were living a life of privilege.
At the hub of all this optimism was Daddy, a once-in-a-lifetime man, ably assisted by Mother, always ready to take whatever hill appeared on the horizon. This is their story.
To give you an idea, people who knew Daddy routinely refer to him as either Sir Charles or Saint Charles. That's the kind of effect he had. To know him was to understand the meaning of awe. Brilliant, good looking, a gifted speaker, gifted musician, gifted athlete-heck, gifted pretty much everything-and yet with a firmly grounded ego that focused on others.
And Mother wasn't exactly chopped liver. Together they raised five children once described by a sister-in-law as "intimidating as" (I'm paraphrasing here) all get out."
On We March: A memoir of growing up in The Salvation Army has the love and morality of Little House on the Prairie, but isn't vanilla. And it has the energy of The Three Stooges, but isn't wacky. Its stories will make you laugh a lot and maybe cry a little.
Posted December 31, 2008
Had she told only the good things, this memoir of growing up in the Salvation Army would not be near as powerful. The tale revolves around her father, Charles Dowdell, who she reveres as one beaming tower of a man. One would think that a church hierarchy would be exempt from the politics played out continually in any corporate structure. The opposite is true; it¿s worse here. Sometimes the family found themselves without food or transportation, assigned to decrepit quarters only a hallway from the transient population, and protected only by the dogs her mother meticulously trained. Undaunted and unmoved, Major Dowdell, uncomplaining, soldiered on, eventually right on out of the Salvation Army. It¿s inspiring that after changing schools every year or two and growing up on donated clothes and food, this daughter pens a heartfelt thank you. What a story!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 20, 2008
How fun to get to peek in on the Dowdell family. They truly were and are Soldiers of the Cross. An incredible walk the walk memoir of Christian living. That shall live on for all eternity. Is your name written in the Book of Life? Keep marching onward knowing that those who do shall reap the gift of Life. On Easter morning St Charles Dowdell would say "He is Risen" and you better respond by saying, " He is Risen indeed!" Thank you, for letting me walk beside you, Charles as you rest in Him. And thank you, Bette Dowdell, for letting me reach in and feel the Love and Joy and some times the heart ache you experienced as you grew up in The Salvation Army! Keep marching on!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.