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Book Reviews

Women Without Children, Who Are They?: A Life Journey opens a door into the lives of women who have chosen to be childless or who have had childlessness thrust upon them. This small volume recounts the results of a study that investigates a diverse group of women without children. It explores the reasons why they are childless, along with their views about their lives and the reactions of others in society to their childless status. Through the use of semi-structured interviews, Shirley Walker understands the experiences of these women and brings these experiences to life for the reader.

The book contains extensive data that describe the background, current situation, attitudes, and struggles of the women who form the sample for this study. Walker discusses these data, providing an analysis that emphasizes key differences between women who chose to be childless and women who were childless for other reasons. Throughout the book, she provides opportunity for study participants to speak in their own voices, sharing their experiences in their own words and speaking "what they want America to know". Walker also provides recommendations for professionals and institutions that offer services to women on ways to become more inclusive and sensitive to the needs of this often-invisable group.

With sensitivity and clarity, Walker provides a forum where voices of childless women can be heard. As information for those living and working with childless women, this book provides knowledge and enhances understanding. Social workers and other helping professionals will gain suggestions to make their work more effective. Regardless of the reasons for not having children, childless women will find reaffirmation and support. Walker does a service by opening this previously neglected field. We are all the better for it.

Susan Daniewicz, PH.D, Social Work Program Director, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

Thank you Shirley for writing this book about childless women. I learned several things about myself. I really believe that the stress I occasionally feel about being childless does come from within. It may be triggered from the outside, but it is a pressure that I put on myself because in some ways I am a little different from my perception of the average.

Thank you for the message that I am complete in Christ. I really needed to hear that. "Do you have children?" is the inevitable question that I dread to hear. But this week, I answered, "Well, I am very close to my nieces. Laura calls me every Saturday and sometimes we talk for hours." From reading your book, I realize that many women are willing to talk about these things. We need to share our experiences with each other. Thank you, Shirley, for your book. May God bless you and bless your book!

Tamera Beck, Bellemead, New Jersey

As a young boy, I used to turn over rocks to see what might be hidden underneath. I would be greeted by all kinds of stuff that I had overlooked in my running around as a kid. In her book Women Without Children, Who Are They?: A Life Journey, Shirley turns over a rock for our culture and exposes a group of ladies who are often overlooked and often cast aside. Shirley's research takes a delicate issue and exposes the needs of these women. She not only reveals what others have gone through, but she reveals some of her own struggles and issues of being a woman without children. As a Pastor, I believe that this is a read that will enlighten and convict on how to properly help these ladies find their way in God's kingdom. Shirley does a great job of showing that a person's worth and completeness is not dependent upon ideas of others but upon their Creator.

Mark Westerfield, Pastor, Central Baptist Church, Round Rock, Texas

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