“Fight Back with Joy” by Margaret Feinberg

Fight Back With Joy: Celebrate More. Regret Less. Stare Down Your Greatest FearsFight Back With Joy: Celebrate More. Regret Less. Stare Down Your Greatest Fears by Margaret Feinberg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Feinberg challenges her readers with a simple accusation at the start: we live joyless lives. She likens how she used to view joy as a natural byproduct of a complete life, akin to “bonus” gifts offered in infomercials. Yet every time she looked for this bonus, she could not find it. With this in mind, she started her journey to joy with a new year’s word instead of resolution: joy. Instead of a series of promises to be enforced throughout the year, she had a single word to unify her purpose and pursuits. Instead of waiting for this bonus gift that never arrived, she decided to find it instead, and implement spiritual practices to grow this fruit of the Spirit.

Her initial efforts failed. She learned she couldn’t focus on the negative and she couldn’t force herself to be grateful. As a result, she came to the realization that, as she put it, “joy is a cliché.” The word is everywhere in society today, and on every trinket, yet not part of the average American life. Feinberg discovered that most people don’t know what joy is, how to find it, nor how to appreciate or “use” it. Later on in the year, Feinberg was diagnosed with cancer. This book is a result of her diagnosis and efforts to find joy in the midst of life-threatening disease. In the end, Feinberg concludes that “joy is your heritage, purpose, and destiny.”

Celebrate more. Regret less. Stare down your greatest fears. These lines are the subtitles to the book, and the essence of it as well. Feinberg tackles the concept of joy as being a living, breathing gift. She reviews myths and facts about joy, as well as where to find it and what to do with it once you do find it. She even includes “but what, there’s more” material at the end with how to help those facing crisis and grief, as well as how to overcome your own.

Feinberg writes in a prose that allows her readers to connect with her, and shares intimate details of her own life, and loss, that reveals herself to her readers, forging a bond with everyone who picks up a copy of her book. Written with the feminine heart in mind, women are more likely to identify with the author and learn from the book than men (although men are welcome to join the journey to joy as well). With deep spiritual overtones, this book emphasizes joy within relationship with Christ, and assumes a biblical foundation to fully realize this living gift.

Disclosure: I was contracted to write an honest review in exchange for a reviewer copy of the product. The opinions stated in this review are solely my own.

View all my reviewsDisclosure: I have received a reviewer copy and/or payment in exchange for an honest review of the product mentioned in this post.