Call of a Coward

Author: Marcia Moston
Genre: Non-fiction, Missions, Memoir
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages: 184

I love missionary stories and devour missions books every chance I get, so naturally I jumped at the chance to read this one.
However, I was disappointed with Call of a Coward. The author, Marcia Moston, was an average Christian housewife until her husband decided that they needed to move to Guatemala to manage an orphanage for a year. The bulk of the book was taken up solely with her accounts of how hard it was for her to cope with the situation and deal with moving from the USA to a third-world country, and how afraid she was of this and that. It was like the ministry they were there to do was playing second fiddle to the hardships they were suffering to do it. Throughout the book I kept thinking 'Okay, when are we going to move on and talk about something besides you and how hard it is to go without your chocolate?' Honestly, aside from a few small mentions of projects here and there, I didn't feel like I got any real information about the actual ministry they were there to do. It was all focused on the author's personal struggles.
But then, after they had moved back to the States and had been called to a church in Vermont, the author suddenly starts talking about how much she doesn't want to go to Vermont and how much she does want to go back to Guatemala. And I, the reader, am left thinking 'Really? When did this sudden love of Guatemala come about? Last I checked you had spent three chapters complaining about how miserable it was.'
Maybe I'm being a little harsh, but I really did feel like the entire book was 'all about me' from the author's perspective, and I really have no use for that kind of a book.

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for my review.


  1. Mary I'm so sorry this was the impression you got from my book. My intent wasn't to write a missionary story per se as much as it was to show how God can use the most unlikely and sometimes unwilling of us if we just take the next step. Although I think memoir is difficult to write and not sound like you are tooting your own horn, apparently that is what this sounded like to you. I will keep your response in mind next time!

    1. Hi, Marcia. I'm sorry as well if my review seems harsh. I tend to come across as more harsh than I intend, and I do understand that, as you mentioned, memoir is very difficult to write without sounding self-centered.
      But, as a fellow writer, I also know the importance of honest feedback from readers on the impression the book gave them. So, while again I apologize if I sound harsh, I at least hope I've provided some helpful information.


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