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Reviewed by Erin Nicole Cochran for Readers' Favorite
Gary McDougall’s Don’t Tell Me There Ain’t No God reads in such a way that you are immediately invested in who this man is and what is transpiring on the page. One of the quotes that really painted a picture for me of what life was like for the author is: “The tiny apartment with holes above closets, nails hanging out, and rats running around was luckily only a temporary place of residence for us.” The entire book is filled with moments of pain, of survival against the worst sort of odds, and of persistence to the point of realizing dreams. It is also infused with Bible quotes and the once-off, but now on-again relationship with God that the author has. The story of the eldest son and his siblings growing up with their undocumented parents and the traumas inflicted upon them, some at the hands of their own father, will shake you in a way that most other books won’t, or are incapable of doing. True stories like this really dig into your soul and they plant you right in the pages.
Don’t Tell Me There Ain’t No God by Gary McDougall is one out of a handful of books that I picked up and wasn’t able to easily put down. It’s not often that a book will grab my attention and focus to the point that I will sit and read it all in one near sitting. But this book made me do just that. The easy narrative flow makes it hard to want to escape it for any reason, even if it’s an important reason. Although our beliefs may not match up a hundred percent, what I found in this book was illuminating. Gary McDougall’s life story, or the parts that are within this book, made me see through his eyes and struggles. If you or someone you know is in need of reading a true story that will inspire and stay with you, Gary McDougall’s Don’t Tell Me There Ain’t No God is that story.