A savagely witty, warm and profound memoir by a young woman with a terminal illness, who contends with the terrifying fact that, even for her beloved husband and son, she is not the lynchpin of existence and life will go on.
Kate Bowler is an assistant professor in the school of divinity at Duke University. A graduate of Yale Divinity School, Bowler's first book was BLESSED: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel (OUP 2013). She lives in North Carolina with her husband and son.
Kate Bowler's memoir is a meditation on sense-making when there's
no sense to be made, on letting go when we can't hold on, and on
being unafraid even when we're terrified. And it happens to be
hilarious. Above all, though, this is a love letter to life, and
it's gorgeous. -- Lucy Kalanithi, MD, FACP, Clinical Assistant
Professor of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine
A heartbreaking, surprisingly funny memoir about faith and coming to grips with your own mortality . . . Everything Happens belongs on the shelf alongside other terrific books about this difficult subject, like Paul Kalanithi's When Breath Becomes Air and Atul Gawande's Being Mortal. Bowler's writing is direct and unsentimental. She's not saying her life is unfair or that she deserved better. She's just telling you what happened. -- Bill Gates * gatesnotes, Best Books List Summer 2018 *
I don't remember why I opened Everything Happens for a Reason, but once I did, I fell hard and fast for Kate Bowler. Her writing is naked, elegant, and gripping-she's like a Christian Joan Didion. Her spirit and perspective are so beautiful that halfway through- I closed the book, turned to my wife and said: 'I have to call someone to find out how this ends. I need to know before I keep reading if she's okay.' I don't think Kate wrote Everything Happens for a Reason to save anybody: she was just telling the truth about her life. Regardless, I left Kate's story feeling more present, grateful, and a hell of a lot less alone. And what else is art for? Everything Happens for A Reason is art in its highest form-and Kate Bowler is a true artist-with the pen, and with her life. -- Glennon Doyle, author of the #1 NYT Bestseller Love Warrior and president of Together Rising
This is a beautifully-written, intelligent, soulful book. Kate's story makes room for anger, for love, for faith and despair, for prayer and silence . . . necessary reading for all of us who long to walk faithfully and honestly through the darkest and most desolate of seasons. * Shauna Niequist, New York Times bestselling author of Present Over Perfect and Bread *
Kate Bowler has stage 4 cancer and she faces it with courage and questions. Does everything happen for a reason? Is there a master plan? Kate comes to the simplest conclusion of all: "Life is beautiful. Life is hard." Accepting these two truths side-by-side can change the way we live . . . A book for all of us who have sought meaning in catastrophe and needed a way to live on. * Abigail Thomas, author of A Three Dog Life *
The Kate you will come to know in this book is 100% real: honest, brave, holy, ridiculous, profane, hilarious, human - her fierce and beautiful words will make you . . . long for courage to tell the truth about your [own] life. * Amy K. Butler, Senior Minister, The Riverside Church *
Throughout, the author delivers raw emotion, realistic description, and candid assessments... An inspiring story of finding faith-in God, in family, and in oneself-while walking close to the Valley of the Shadow of Death." * Kirkus Reviews *
'. . . deeply moving . . . [Bowler] powerfully bears witness to the love, grace and holiness of God and his people. * Christianity magazine *