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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
In her inspirational memoir, Damaged Goods, Stacy Kaye recounts her journey from a small town with a strong church presence to a life marked by unexpected challenges and changes. She is blind-sided by harsh judgment and gossip from her church community when she becomes pregnant outside marriage, emphasizing the need for Christians to embrace love, forgiveness, and restoration over castigation. Her unwavering faith aids her daughter's recovery from Acute Cerebellar Ataxia. Marital challenges and personal loss test her resilience, leading to a period of self-reflection. Kaye learns the importance of prioritizing spiritual health and avoiding the "sin cycle" and "busyness trap." Her story unfolds as she seeks a godly companion, experiences personal growth, and asserts the transformative power of forgiveness.
Throughout Damaged Goods, it is wholly clear that Stacy Kaye finds a well of strength and guidance in God's presence, and as a result, she is able to navigate significant life transitions with grace and conviction. The goal of sharing this is to aid others in doing the same and to help women who have found themselves on the receiving end of what my mother-in-law used to call “congregational stink-eye” know that they are not alone. That there is hope and, most importantly, that there is always salvation. What I liked most is the conversational nature of Kaye's writing and the duality she gives it as both a memoir and a devotional. The questions to reflect on, scripture, and prayer prompts that are sprinkled throughout the book are fantastic. As a writer, Kaye is relatable, and her authenticity does what many similar books are unable to do: make it accessible. Overall, this is a wonderful work for women of all faiths to scoop up.