Top critical review
41 people found this helpful
A balanced opinion
on 21 January 2015
If you look at the breakdown of the reviews you will notice, as I did, there are a high number of 5 star reviews (many of which are only one line) and a collection of 1 stars which seem to be written by people who have not read the book but dislike the author. What I'm aiming to do in this review is strike a happy medium and give an unbiased opinion. I am a sceptic when it comes to unproven 'spiritual' matters, but at the same time I was interested in this book and why it evokes such extreme reactions – I was also in need of some guidance on assertiveness.
Firstly, the author does assert as fact that people with sensitive, gentle personality traits who find it difficult to be assertive are this way because we were sent from heaven where we lived a life of loving bliss, basically we're in shock from the harsh realities of earth life. This is stated as fact with no evidence to back it up, if this bothers you then it won't be the book for you as there is plenty more of that type to follow. Personally I gave a wry smile and carried on reading, because much as I doubt that theory her description of the 'earth angel' personality was so like me I felt the advice geared to this personality type would be worth reading. If you are familiar with the more widely accepted Myers-Briggs personality test (influenced by Jung) I identify as ISFJ and wonder how many of us 'earth angels' also do.
It is a comfort to read that one is not alone in hating conflict and violence, being naïve, thinking the best of others, people pleasing and finding it hard to be assertive. Virtue writes in a compassionate empathetic way about these traits which are seen as positive by her (although sadly not by today's modern competitive values) but makes no bones about the dark side of this – why we must learn to communicate honestly, and how we can do this with compassion and love, otherwise we are not being truthful. Assertiveness is described as stating your truth, which is a very helpful description to me, as like she describes I have previously confused it with aggression. The tips for communication are useful, and I have found that I can put them into practice, and so far so good.
One part of the book I did not enjoy was a section on how to deal with various personality types, it is very broad brushed, too much so to be helpful. It's also judgemental, categorising people by their negative traits. Personally I believe it is far more complex than that, and that none of us is any one thing, that we should reserve judgement which ironically she herself says earlier in the book, but along with telling us we are angels sent to earth this categorisation is written as fact with nothing to back it up.
For advice on assertiveness and communication I'd give this book a 5 in terms of how it helped me understand myself better and deal better with conflict. For stating as fact several unproven theories, I'd mark it as a 1. Overall I feel a 3 reflects best how I feel about this book.