On occasion I find a book that, although it speaks to me in my current positions, I wish would have been written and published earlier in life. If a book like Scary Close, the new one from Donald Miller, had been published ten years ago when I was nineteen and going on twenty, I wonder if I could have avoided some (many) of the mistakes I made in relationships. Scary Close is a book of what Miller does best, anecdotes and memoir used to get across a challenging concept to a reader in a way that does not seem so challenging.
Scary Close traces Miller’s life from right before he meets and begins courting his (now) wife Betsy, up to the wedding date in New Orleans. At times funny, other points poignant, even in some instances awkward and uncomfortable -you’ll know what I mean when you read the chapter about Don and Betsy going house shopping- yet it all is written for a purpose. That purpose is to get the reader to move to a deeper level of sincerity and intimacy in relationships of all types.
What I enjoy about Scary Close is what I enjoy about any Don Miller book; the storytelling is personal and sincere. One can tell that Miller does spend a sufficient amount of time on the art of word-craft. What I was not as wild about was that at points it felt like Miller was being overly honest to the point that it almost felt less than sincere, like he was trying to seem intimate in a book about intimacy. For example, throughout the book Miller turns to an inward, psychoanalytic lens which seems a little over-the-top for me and I am not sure how well it suits the project.
Regardless of that very minor foible, this book is indeed worth the time and commitment to read. Not only did I benefit from having some good stories and some serious points to ponder which I can apply to my own marriage, but I also got a great music recommendation (Ben Rector– check this guy out) and some recommendations for other books to read. Scary Close is a book that both the lover of story and the person who desires a greater level of authenticity should read.
This book was provided for free through the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for publishing a review on the book. I was not obligated to post a positive review; the opinions contained are my own.