Secrets of the Vine for Women by Darlene Marie Wilkinson is a short book. Very short. Not that short is bad, but this book only expounds John 15, the “I am the vine, you are the branches” analogy by Jesus. I would expect this content to be able to be delivered in a 45 minute sermon. I think this minimal content in a stand-alone book was disappointing. To give the author credit, she mentioned a few times how small this book was. I got the book free as a review copy, so it wasn’t a huge deal for me. But if I would have paid the full cover price for this, I would have been upset.
My other problem with this book is the title says “for Women”, yet I’m not sure what about this book needed to be specifically for women. Instead of saying “parent”, she said “mother”. Her examples were almost exclusively from women, but through the whole book, I thought, “Doesn’t this apply to everyone?” I felt like the “woman” part of the book was unnecessary.
Though her discussion of producing fruit teeters on the line of “salvation by works”, the rest of the book is theologically sound. It is just disappointingly shallow. A deeper exploration would have yielded a more substantial and more satisfying book. In fact, my initial impression was that the author jumped around topics too much, but the more I think about it, I feel like she keeps revisiting the same information over and over trying to get more and more out of it. Overall, I have to think there are better books out there, even for new Christians who are just starting their journey.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.