Non-Fiction - Self Help
30 Pages
Reviewed on 08/09/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

In her inspirational, faith-based work, Daybreak, Gwendolyn Leavell recounts terrifying experiences and discusses how she survived them by applying her faith. In one of the three experiences, Leavell leaves her apartment on a beautiful Saturday morning. Though the streets seem empty and desolate, everything is peaceful and bright. The sound of an explosion suddenly alerts Leavell to possible danger close to her. As she continues to walk more cautiously, she discovers a man is following her. In the experiences, Leavell turns to prayer. Despite the turmoil that surrounds her, through faith, she overcomes her fear and knows what to say or do in frightening circumstances. Her experiences offer hope that is gained through faith and prayer.

I appreciated that Leavell offers a candid exploration of her thoughts and emotions during each of the experiences and shows what to do when facing a dangerous situation. The work is impactful, with critical insights that could help anyone facing an unexpected event. I loved its messages on managing emotions from a spiritual perspective and its practical advice on overcoming anxiety. The stories are also hopeful as they reflect on God’s presence and show Him to be an ever-present help during times of trouble. Daybreak by Gwendolyn Leavell is a powerful work that explains how to use faith during scary encounters. It includes uplifting, important topics about prayer as a spiritual weapon and offers encouragement to anyone experiencing anxiety.

Pikasho Deka

Sometimes, it can be strenuous to navigate the daily rigors of life. People often turn to spiritual guidance in times of adversity. In Daybreak, Gwendolyn Leavell tells three true stories from her life that reinforced her faith and spiritual beliefs. The book opens with the short story "The Bus Stop Caper," where the narrator refuses to let anger overwhelm her senses after a terrifying encounter with a creepy man on a stormy winter's day. On the way to work, the narrator is attacked by a young man kicking trash cans in "The Trash Can Brawler." In "An Ordinary Guy," a young man has an unusual request for the narrator, who is unsure of his intentions. The author describes her experiences with anxiety and how her faith in God helped her deal with emotional and mental trauma in "Anxiety and Me."

The world is not always a safe and delightful place, even for people who want to get on with their own lives without bothering others. This is the premise of Daybreak. Author Gwendolyn Leavell uses three stories to showcase how sometimes traumatic events shape our lives in ways we cannot foresee. The three tales feature terrifying events from Leavell's life, told with a first-person narrative style that puts you in the headspace of the author as she experiences these events. These stories also demonstrate how Leavell's faith in God helped her navigate some trying times and gave her the strength to move on—all in all, it is an inspiring and motivational book that I will gladly recommend.

Philip Van Heusen

How do you react to anxiety and stress? Do you feel you are all alone and have no one who understands? Gwendolyn Leavell shares three stories from her life when she felt acute anxiety and stress. In Daybreak, she explains that we all need to listen to God and talk to Him about our circumstances, fears, and needs. Gwendolyn gives the reader many gems of wisdom, such as any decision made from anger and rage will probably be wrong. While we cannot control what events enter our lives, we do have control over how we react. The cure for anxiety is faith in God. Learn to pray about everything. Remember, God is always with you, so you are never alone. This short book is full of inspiration.

Daybreak by Gwendolyn Leavell is written in a conversational style. Her descriptions of the events in this book are vivid and lucid. The various stories will grab your attention and keep it. Reading the details of the environment is just like being there. Learning to respond to situations instead of reacting with knee-jerk decisions is a major way to overcome anxiety and stress. Knowing that God is your constant companion will relieve stress and anxiety. If God can, and He did, protect Gwendolyn in each of these stories, then be encouraged by realizing that He will also protect you. This book is a great testimony to the faithfulness of God. Reading it is a breath of fresh air. Since God is impartial, what He did for Gwendolyn, He will do for you. This is a great book to lift your spirits.

Joe Wisinski

Daybreak by Gwendolyn Leavell tells the story of the author's three experiences. In each case, she was going about her day-to-day business when she was put into a situation threatening her physical and emotional well-being. On the first occasion, she had just gotten into her vehicle when a man tried to force his way inside. In the second, she saw a man engaging in destructive behavior in public. The man also threatened her as she tried to get to her workplace. The third situation was again a man trying to force his way into her car. In each case, Leavell wrote about how she escaped the situation unharmed. Leavell also wrote about her anxiety, how it affects her life, and how she overcomes it through her spiritual faith.

Daybreak is a book worthy of being read by a broad audience. The stories are authentic, poignant, and emotionally moving. Kudos to the author, Gwendolyn Leavell, for having the courage to write about her experiences. Undoubtedly, many women can identify with what happened to the author in the situations she describes. Many other women will learn more about potentially hazardous circumstances they face through no fault of their own. The book is not for women only, though. As a man, I learned more about how women may feel about negative situations when doing nothing except going through their daily routines. For all readers, Leavell's descriptions of how she overcame the negative experiences and the emotions they engendered are worth pondering and adapting if they wish to.

Diana Lopez

After leaving home, we don't know what might happen or what stressful situations we might face, such as if somebody suspicious approaches us. As a woman, it is sometimes difficult to know how to react, so we need to learn to follow our instincts. In Daybreak, Gwendolyn Leavell shares three different occasions where her mettle was tested. Through her examples, she demonstrates the usefulness of faith and prudence because these virtues helped her to be in control and cope with situations that arose. Toward the end, she adds a section in which she talks about anxiety and how it affected her physically, mentally, and emotionally. The author also explains how faith and God have helped her overcome personal conflict and stress.

I liked the fact that Gwendolyn Leavell is so open about her emotions and thoughts. She describes situations vividly and provides the necessary context to each of her experiences. Her attention to detail allows us to relate to the stories even more. All three stories are clear and help us understand the need to stay calm in conflict situations because sometimes things are not as we imagine. In other cases, we can worsen the situation if we are not in control. That is why she emphasizes the importance of being cautious, rather than impulsive. This demonstrates the need for self-control, managing anger, praying for relaxation, and seeking safety. Daybreak shows that anxiety is a heavy burden, but it is up to us not to let it consume us.