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Publication Date: 6 Feb 2018
Publisher: SPCK Publishing
Page Count: 208
Author: Kate Bowler
ISBN-13: 9780281079285, 9780281079308

Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I've Loved

By Kate Bowler
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ISBN: 9780281079285
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ISBN: 9780281079308
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Summary
London-born Kate Bowler, a thirty-five year-old professor at the school of divinity at Duke, had
finally had a baby with her childhood sweetheart when she began to feel jabbing pains in her
stomach. She lost thirty pounds, guzzled antacid, and visited doctors for three months before
she was finally diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer.

As Kate navigates the aftermath of her diagnosis, she pulls the reader into her life and her
history – affectionately filled with a colourful retinue of friends, mega-church preachers,
parents, and doctors – and shares her irreverent, laser-sharp reflections on faith, friendship,
love, and death. She wonders why suffering makes her feel like a loser and explores the burden
of positivity. Trying to relish the time she still has with her son and husband, she realizes she
must cure her habit of ‘skipping to the end’ and planning the next move. An historian of the
American Prosperity Gospel (the creed of the megachurches that promises believers a cure for
tragedy, if they just want it badly enough) Kate finds that she craves these same 'outrageous
certainties'. Why is it so hard to surrender when she knows there are no spiritual guarantees?

In Everything Happens for Reason we encounter one of the talented, courageous few who - like
Paul Kalanithi - can articulate the grief we feel as we contemplate our own mortality.
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About the Author
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.
Press Reviews

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

“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

Everything Happens For a Reason By Kate Bowler