Sunday, February 5, 2017

Review: Love, Henri


Love, Henri: Letters on Love, Hope, Faith, and Vocation by Henri J.M. Nouwen, October 4, 2016. 351 pages. Published by Convergent Books. Source: Blogging for Books.
Seven million copies of his books in print! This collection of over 100 unpublished letters from the bestselling author of such spiritual classics as The Return of the Prodigal Son and The Wounded Healer offers deep spiritual insight into human experience, intimacy, brokeness, and mercy.

Over the course of his life, Henri Nouwen wrote thousands of letters to friends, acquaintances, parishioners, students, and readers of his work all around the world. He corresponded in English, Dutch, German, French, and Spanish, and took great care to store and archive the letters decade after decade. He believed that a thoughtful letter written in love could truly change someone's life. Many people looked to Nouwen as a long distance spiritual advisor.

Love, Henri consists of over a hundred letters that stretch from the earliest years of Henri's career up through his last 10 years at L'Arche Daybreak. Rich in spiritual insights the letters highlight a number themes that emerged in both Henri's work over the years, including vocation, solitude, prayer, suffering, and perseverance in difficult times. These deeply spiritual letters, sometimes poignant, sometimes funny, ulimately demonstrate the rich value of communicating with God through others.
First Sentence:
The letters begin in late 1973, just weeks before Henri's forty-second birthday.


Love, Henri proved to be an interesting read. It was definitely interesting, albeit somewhat weird, to read Henri J.M. Nouwen's letters that he wrote, on a broad scope of topics, to friends, parishioners, and the many people he came into contact.

  • A couple years ago, I was first introduced to Henri J.M. Nouwen's writing through his book The Return of the Prodigal Son. Which was such a powerful and incredible read; so when upon seeing another book of his I jumped at the opportunity to feature it here. While it was different, going from a book that talked about art and a parable to one on personal letters, it was refreshing to see his writing from a personal standpoint.
  • While I'm still reading Love, Henri, I really just wanted to talk about it now. As much as I am enjoying it, my thoughts are unlikely to change while reading it since it is a compilation of letters written from the 1970s till just before his death. even though it was weird at first to read such personal letters, it was also nice to see how much he cared for those he wrote to and the direction that he gave them in both spiritual and private matters. 
  • His writing was just so easy to read; kind of like reading a letter from a friend or diving into a book that you've read a million times. It's not forced, as it just comes across so naturally. At times, one could almost forget that the letter was not addressed to you. Especially the one's that dealt more with faith and spirituality. I for one am looking forward to learning more about him, Henri Nouwen, through his writing; as well as what was going on during the years covered.

Final Veridct: Love, Henri- Beautiful book that needs to read slowly so that one can apply his words of wisdom, and kindness, to one's own life. I'll be savoring this book for the next few weeks as I only want to read a couple pages each day of it.


A copy of this book was received in consideration for review. All thoughts are my own.

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