Title: Growing Up Duggar: It's All About Relationships
Author: Jana Duggar, Jessa Duggar, Jill Duggar and Jinger Duggar
Published: March 2014
Published By: Howard Books
Format Read: eBook, Kobo
Genre: Non-fiction, Christian, Young Adult
Date Read: January 30 2016
The Duggar family came to fame from their TLC realtiy show chronicling their much larger- than-normal family. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are parents to 19 children and as devout Christians they follow some convictions that seem very strange to people outside their lifestyle. In a bid to share their beliefs with other likeminded girls, the 4 oldest daughters decided to write this book. In Growing Up Duggar, Jana, Jessa, Jill and Jinger explain their relationships with their parents, siblings and friends. They discuss their reasons behind dating with a purpose and courting, while following the teachings of the Bible.
Why I chose to read this book..
First of all I would like to explain why I chose to read this book and what my thoughts are regarding the Duggar family in general. I remember back when the early TLC specials aired and the world was first introduced to this growing family. Although it was very clear that they were different than me, I became very intrigued with them all. I was interested in how they managed their day to day routines with so many children, how they managed to support them all and why they chose the lifestyle they had. I looked forward to watching the new episodes each week and I continued to do so until it was taken off the air as a result of the recent controversies.
Growing up Duggar was released in 2014, before the disturbing details regarding the oldest son was made public. This book had already been on my TBR for quite some time by that point, but had yet to come to the top of my pile. Ironically it did come to the top of my pile shortly after the controversy broke. At that time details were still emerging and I decided that it wouldn’t be the best time to get into the book, so I moved onto another. To be honest I was conflicted whether or not I wanted to read it at all by that point.
That being said, although I am disgusted by the events that took place, I am still fascinated with this family.
A proper mindset..
My goal all along was to go into this book with an open mind and without judgement. I knew that I wouldn’t agree with everything they said, but I was still curious even after all that had been released. So when Growing up Duggar came to the top of my TBR pile again, I decided to just jump in and read it.
Reading this book I could picture each of the 4 girl describing their piece in turn. I could hear their voices in my head and picture them describing it all with such conviction. It is obvious that they believe in these convictions with all their hearts. The tone came across as very personable and was definitely wrote with a younger female audience in mind.
Although the Duggar sisters and I share very different beliefs, I was able to take away some valuable tips. Most specifically parenting related pointers about dealing with conflict. Things I hope to be able to remember when I have children of my own. The girls also mentioned how important it is to “love the girl in the mirror”, which I thought was a great lesson to today’s impressionable youth.
Unfortunately I did have quite a few disagreements and dislikes regarding Growing Up Duggar, which is obvious in my rating of the book.
First of all the writing and the organization lacked editing. I thought that the sections where a specific Duggar shared a story could have been better divided and noted. Also examples that were shared felt quite vague and without description.
I was put off by the mention of negative thoughts being a sin and the work of Satan. Although I knew that the content would be preachy, I felt like they spent a lot of time telling their readers what not to do.
In closing, Growing Up Duggar would appeal to a very select group of people: young Christian girls. I believe that that specific audience will enjoy this book and would be able to take away a lot more from it than I did.