Book Review ~ Engaging Today’s Prodigal: Clear Thinking, New Approaches, and Reasons for Hope


Engaging Today’s Prodigal: Clear Thinking, New Approaches, and Reasons for Hope
Author: Carol Barnier
176 pages
Retail Price: $12.99

I heard about the opportunity to review this book and was very intrigued about what might be included…so I offered to review it – and am I glad I did!

This book consists of…

Part 1: Myths Debunked

  1. Perfect Parenting Makes for Perfect Children
  2. It’s My Fault – It Says So in the Bible
  3. I Can Rescue Him
  4. This Child Just Wants to Push My Buttons
  5. If I Can Say the Perfect Thing, My Child Will Finally “Get It!”
  6. If I Can Let Her Know How Badly She’s Hurting Us, She’ll Stop
  7. My Mistakes Will Scar Her Forever

Part 2: Dos and Don’ts
Do Advise, Don’t Badger
Do Focus on Boundaries, Not on Behavior
Do Create a Connecting Place
Don’t Start a Sentence with “The Bible Says…”
Do Sit Down and Listen
Don’t Miss the Courage in Your Prodigal
Do Love When Your Prodigal Is Most Unlovable
Do Create a Support System
Do Save Something for Your Non-Prodigals
Do Reach Out to Prodigals Who Aren’t Your Own
Don’t Pull Out a List of Expectations When Your Prodigal Returns
Do Not Lose Yourself during This Trial

Part Three: Holding Out Hope
The Long Walk Home
God, the Artist

Part Four: Bonus Section
For the Church
Stepping Off that Coattail Faith
Why Do We Believe That?
What a Nice Story
What Out for the Eww Effect
A Better Look at Mom and Dad
Whatever Happened to Sin?
Dismantling the Club
What Some Other Prodigals Have to Say

Scripture is all the way throughout this book – from beginning to end.

First I have to say that this book just about covers it all! And, it covers it BEAUTIFULLY! There is no judgement, on anyone – only open sharing of what people might be able to do.

If you look up prodigal on, this is what it says:

1. wastefully or recklessly extravagant: prodigal expenditure.
2. giving or yielding profusely; lavish (usually followed by of or with ): prodigal of smiles; prodigal with money.
3. lavishly abundant; profuse: nature’s prodigal resources.

4. a person who spends, or has spent, his or her money or substance with wasteful extravagance; spendthrift.

<a href=””>You need javascript enabled to see this giveaway</a>.One reason I was so interested in this book – is because I guess I could be considered a prodigal…I’m not exactly sure. This book talks of those who were once a part of the church but who have walked away from that faith for one reason or another. I am not that kind of prodigal as I didn’t get saved until I was 29 and I wasn’t raised in a Christian home. However, using the definition above and considering all the troubles within my family, I would be considered a prodigal.

While reading this book, I was taken back in time many, many times…thinking “Yes, if only…” – so many wonderfully helpful things are shared in this book! It is extremely easy to read and understand and does not make ANYONE (the prodigal or the parents) feel as if they are at fault – it only shares things that might help to “bring things back around” or if not that, to help the parents of the prodigal understand a little bit of what might be going on within their standoffish child.

It covers everything from the individuals to the church – what people think, do and say – how it makes us feel and what we can do about it. There are many times you may find yourself chuckling as you read too…nice when you are reading about such a “serious” topic.

I absolutely LOVED this book and would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone and everyone! Not only for those with a prodigal, but to those without (so it might help in the understanding that is needed).

(As a quick side note, I LOVED how the prodigal is referred to as both male and female throughout the book…never always one or the other. That can make it easy, or hard, to read a book of such a manner. GREAT attention to something so “simple”!)

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the Author in exchange for my honest review. No compensation was received. All opinions are my own.



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