Foreword Reviews

Shaped for Glory

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

Shaped for Glory contains inspiring lessons on how to live a fulfilling and healthy life.

In her enlightening memoir Shaped for Glory, Sandra Lunan looks back at her formative years and on the people and messages that shaped who she is.

Lunan grew up in the 1960s in a close-knit family. Her grandmother played an especially pivotal role in her childhood, passing on her love of music. After her grandmother left to return to her native home, Lunan found her church pamphlets. They contained quotes from notable figures including Helen Keller and Charles Spurgeon. Her discovery of their ideas led to further personal growth, and she continued to meet people whose words and actions left their mark.

Lunan’s childhood stories are warm and nostalgic, especially when they’re recounting her grandmother’s lovely personality, faith, and appreciation for music. Lunan also expresses her love of learning through others, ideas about her Christian faith, and accounts of her formal learning experiences. A theme of passion around education runs throughout.

Lunan’s words draw meaning from her most impactful memories. Each person, sermon, or quote is not only remembered but assessed for how it shapes her decision-making. Personal storytelling is paused at different points so that Lunan can draw out general insights from her experiences.

A story about the anxiety that Lunan felt when she transitioned from being a student into the outside world becomes a lesson on patience as a key component to smooth adjustments. In “The A-Z Mind Clinic,” Lunan uses her story to confront common mindsets and suggest solutions for defeating bad thoughts. Alternatives are forwarded in the form of more empowering spiritual thoughts; the book proposes, for example, exuberance as a solution for living in an erratic world, and substitutes gratitude for bitterness. Compelling rhetorical questions are used to emphasize Lunan’s ideal solutions.

Chapters are clearly labeled and organized. Each explores its chosen topics fully and is preceded by biblical quotes that clarify these foci. Poetic thoughts conclude each chapter, delivering important takeaways. For example, following a section on Christians serving as representatives of Jesus, the lines “Go forward fearlessly in faith, then fear will fade” and “To look forward with assurance is ‘healthy’, backwards a hindrance” are shared as further encouragement to turn to God in times of need. Quotes also appear within chapters, highlighted in the text to point to the lessons of the section. It is easy to scan the text for its key points as a result.

Blurry pencil drawings embellish the text, often illustrating characters in it or supporting the story line, as with a quick sketch of Lunan’s childhood home or one of her primary school teacher, who played an important role in her life.

Sandra Lunan’s memoir contains inspiring lessons on how to live a fulfilling and healthy life.

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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