Overcoming: Personal Journey of Courage

Dokk Elle, Th.D.

Publisher: iUniverse Pages: 114 Price: (paperback) $13.99 ISBN: 9781663238795 Reviewed: January, 2023 Author Website: Visit »

In this brief memoir, Dokk Elle shares the struggles of poverty to prove that education, hard work, a positive attitude, and faith in God can bring about great change.

Elle – aka Larry Seawright – was born into an impoverished family. His biological father was a respected trustee in the local church, husband and father to another family—never acknowledging Elle as his son. Raised by his single mom, Elle and his seven siblings lived in shacks and worked alongside their mother picking cotton in the 1960s South Carolina heat.

In this first installment of a series, Elle shares how poverty, his mother’s love and a wonderful educational system motivated him to “find a better way of life.” Through “drive and focus,” Elle graduated high school, college, served in the military, and traveled abroad and to “forty of our fifty United States!” Today, he’s a licensed, ordained minister with master’s degrees in divinity and theology. Elle encourages readers to “never give up and never quit on life.”

The book is written with an upbeat, positive tone. Most chapters end with an applicable scripture verse and teaching nugget for readers to apply to their lives. For example, Chapter 28 ends with “Don’t ever think that you can’t be a light in someone’s dreary day.”

Unfortunately, the author’s message often gets lost in mundane details. For example, recalling learning to read through Dick and Jane books, he writes, “If I’m remembering right, Dick and Jane’s mother had blonde hair.” Writing about the school’s physical layout, he notes: “Also in this first building were the administrative and principal’s office, the nurse’s office, the janitorial storage closet, and other restrooms, primarily for the principal, faculty, and staff.” Paring down his story to more important moments would result in greater impact.

Regardless, his love of life and dedication to learning and service is inspiring and may encourage Christian adult and teen readers to persevere through difficult circumstances.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

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