Book Review: And Still She Laughs by Kate Merrick

When grief strikes our happy life, as happy as it’s possible, the faith trembles and confusion strikes. Kate Merrick takes her readers on a journey of loss and restoration of faith in her book, And Still She Laughs – Defiant Joy in the Depths of Suffering. Kate has always been a girl who enjoys a good laughter. She remembers how she couldn’t stop herself from bursting into a good laugh even at the most inappropriate times. The funniest moment was when she had to crawl under a table because she could not stop laughing. Anyway, when her five-year-old daughter, Daisy, was diagnosed with cancer, her life turned upside down. The humor stopped making fewer appearances and her entire family succumbed to the horror of this disease. Needless to say, the loss of her daughter after a few years of the diagnosis broke her heart. She began questioning her faith in god.

She describes the pain of losing a child in such a manner that one can’t help but feel her pain as if it were their own. I don’t have a child, but I could feel how a mother would have felt. The moments when we are going through an immense pain, we begin questioning the methods of god and why does he allow us to suffer. The same questions haunted Kate for a long time. She turned to Bible for answers. She read about the lives of Bathsheba, Mary, Hagar, and Sarah. She took inspiration from the lives of these ladies. The suffering that they went through and still the faith (among other attributes) that they exhibited.

Other than the biblical references, Kate has mentioned many stories from her own life. These are the stories that would motivate a reader to not dwell upon insignificant worries. Sometimes, we need to sit back and understand that most of our worries are “just a little bit of poop.” Most of the times, we are so deeply drowned in the past that we forget to look at the present. If we are stuck in our sorrows of the past, we would never be able to see what blessings are present in our lives. As she rightly says,

I need to agree with Jesus that, while things can be different or even disappointing, there is still a life abundant for me to grab hold of.

Although I learned a lot from this book, the idea of keeping faith when the whole world seems dark has been the most enlightening one. Kate has used all the right references and words to ensure that this idea sinks deep into the hearts of her readers. We all know the importance of faith; however, when sorrow strikes with all its might, the first thing that goes out the window is faith. Confusion replaces this wonderful emotion, and we are left with nothing but emptiness.

Faith and confusion seem to bleed together, running down until you aren’t sure what it was supposed to look like in the first place.

How true it is! I know I’ve doubted god in my hours of sorrows and pain. I applaud the author’s beautiful description of faith and its importance. I do not wish to fill the entire review with the quotes from her book, but I can’t help but share her simple yet effective depiction of faith,

Faith raises the dead; faith says yes to God when he says no to our requests. Faith is the love note we give to God. It’s the act, or rather the choice, that pleases him.

Amidst all the positives, I found that sometimes the author spent too much time on one concept. Each idea sank deep enough in a few pages quite effectively, but the author kept trying too hard to make it sink even deeper; this, to me, seemed a little overwhelming.

Having said that, I believe Kate has done a wonderful job of stimulating the brains and hearts of her readers. There are many useful concepts in the book that would enlighten the readers beyond their imagination. I have learned so much from Kate and her inspiring words that I feel I’ve become a better version of myself already. I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars. I think the target audience of And Still She Laughs would be the readers who enjoy memoirs and self-help genres.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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