In these few pages, author Jamie Gates recounts memories of her life, desiring to tell the “journey of a very shy, quiet girl who shows that God is always with her through good times and bad.”
Beginning with an extensive genealogy, she particularly describes the influence of her father: “…my dad shared with me how God has been faithful from one generation to the next generation.” She writes of favorite hymns, of personal experience (“Yet, I had and yet sometimes I have a hard time to forgiving people, whom [sic] have done me wrong….” and of the Holy Spirit telling her to name her unborn child Naomi. Occasional poetic lines slip in: “I wept midnight tears for them, both…”
The text, however, would benefit from clearer storytelling. As a memoirist, the author strives to tell her personal story engagingly but her writing is, unfortunately, extremely difficult to follow. Chapter breaks and a chronological order would produce an easier-to-understand essay, as would corrected spelling and grammar: “Grandmother sowed [sic] clothes and other items, crousha [sic] blankets…to relieve some stress in her life….” Often meanings are clear only because of context: “Cause, I could not do it along [sic] and I think they knew it too. I finally when [sic] to some counseling after the birth of the baby, [sic] I need to give [sic] some help.” The title itself (Gracefully Design) suggests the need for correction (to Gracefully Designed).
If Gates were to come over for tea and chat about her life, she would undoubtedly have a rapt audience while she spoke of her experiences. However the expectant reader, hoping for the same captivating stories, will find the written account less engaging.
Also available as an ebook.