A Successful Failure: The Complete Series by Okisha Jackson is a story about one woman’s faith and her journey to grow not only as a Christian but also as a career woman and a young mother. The author pulls the reader right into the story from page one. She begins telling the life story of Shauna Jackson, a woman who decides to go straight into the military after high school. We are able to understand that this was the most natural option for her since she came from a military family and did not have plans for college. The reader will also realize her hesitation when it came to being involved in actual military conflict; by conveying both of these facts about her character, the reader is able to relate and put his or her self in the Shauna’s shoes almost instantly.
As her life story unfolds, she’s faced with many problems about parenting, the men she’s involved with, keeping her faith, and facing adversity in the workplace. The problems Shauna faces are everyday things, which readers can understand and empathize with. The style of storytelling the author writes with is very straightforward, which makes it easy to read and understand. Jackson does not bog the reader down with over-complicated details and minutia but allows the story to come together in a naturalistic way and lets readers know the big picture details and how the character feels in every circumstance, so that there’s an emotional connection between the reader and Shauna.
We all face moments of uncertainty about which path in life to follow and reading about Shauna’s experiences could help someone who’s grappling with the same human dilemmas. Much of the book deals with these types of moral and ethical dilemmas: how should we live our lives? Where does God and religion fit in? How do we reconcile the secular world with the spiritual? How do we resist temptation? This is a great read for someone who is at a transition in his or her own life and looking for an inspiring read. Jackson does a great job in giving readers a relatable story with a powerful take away message on spirituality and faith. A Successful Failure: The Complete Series would also make a for a perfect read for a Bible study group or women’s book club, since there are so many lessons and events in the book that would allow for great discussion.
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