Book Review: Feminist Prayers for My Daughter

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Book: Feminist Prayers for My Daughter

Author: Shannon K. Evans.

Overview: This devotional presents several prayers for different moments and stages of a daughter’s life.

Morals or lessons: The author comes from a feminist Catholic perspective of longing for equality and grappling with the many ways inequality will affect her daughter, both from injustice potentially happening to her (as in “for support in the face of sexual harassment”), and from her own potential participation in injustice (as in “for leveraging her privilege”).

Age range: parents.
Some of these could be great read-alouds with kids, though.

Format: collection of eighty prayers, written around eight themes.
Most of the prayers are addressed for daily activities (“for body acceptance”, “for taking up space), but some specifically address big transitions (the section “Milestones”, which concludes the book).

Visual/reading ease: high but not involved.
There aren’t any pictures in the book, which I found a little disappointing as a visual person. But the prayers themselves are easy to read.

Biggest pro: how honest these prayers are.
As a mother of a daughter, I worry about these moments and activities. Having the solidarity and orientation of someone else’s written prayer in my hands was a truly comforting experience.
“for felt safety,”
“for intersectional justice,”
“for getting her butt into counseling,”
“for a lost sheep,”
– most if not all of the prayers were immediately relatable for me as things I had worried about and prayed about myself. If you are intrigued by the examples I’ve listed throughout this post, this book is definitely worth looking into.
Also, I’m grateful that the book includes a specific prayer for when a daughter experiences a perinatal loss.

Biggest con: this book comes from a very particular perspective.
That perspective is not going to be for everyone, and even if you like the perspective, not all of the prayers will resonate for you. (I’m not a fan of the “for disabilities” prayer in this book, honestly.)  

Fun factor: medium.
There are some joyful moments centered in the text (“for curiosity,” “for honoring mother earth,” and “for making a home of welcome,” just to name a few). But this book also takes on really difficult topics: “for consensual sex” and “for seeing color” both really stood out to me in this regard.

How much heart: SO much heart.
This was the most comfortingly familiar I’ve felt with a book in a long time. Reading it gave me a sense of finding words for what I was already thinking and praying. So I’ll mark this very high how the how-much-heart scale.

Re-readability: medium.
I pretty much read this straight through an hour after it arrived on my doorstep, but I have a feeling it’s best taken one at a time over months or years. I’m looking forward to testing that hypothesis.

Hey, if you were going to buy this from Amazon anyway and now you want me to earn a little tiny bit of money for recommending this book to you, please use this Amazon affiliate link!

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