I rarely buy a book twice, but after reading the eBook version of All Things New I got myself a paperback as well, because I knew that I wanted to have this book on hand to reference as my children get older and the challenges of parenting change. That is how powerful All Things New is.
Following the structure of the Beatitudes, Cupp leads the reader through a deep examination of conscience that reveals how the wounds of childhood abuse can be healed and turned to offer a better guide to parenting than was given through example. Cupp also pointedly but compassionately calls out ways that survivors of abuse are tempted to methods that only numb their trauma and lead them to reenact the abuse they received on their own children. For anyone trying to break a cycle of abuse in their family, keep this book by your bed at night and take it with you to the confessional. Even if you were not directly abused—if you are the grandchild of abuse seeking to understand why your parent reacts the way they do, or perhaps you just have your own personally acquired trauma that you worry you’ll pass onto your kids—this book is a great resource for self-awareness and healing.
It also needs to be said that in an age where it seems like every nonfiction book is just a poorly written bid for the author to get a speaking engagement or sell the reader on their pay funnel, it is refreshing to read a book where the author’s ego doesn’t infringe on every other page. Cupp wisely realizes that she doesn’t need to give us her life story and make this book about her in order to help people. In her own wise words, she says,
“I don’t need to go into much detail to express that the way I was parented left me with few positive memories of growing up. I only need the shadow of language to express that my childhood was a time of helplessness…If you’ve picked this book up, you probably don’t need too many details from me. You too, know what it feels like to hurt the most at the hands of the people God meant to love you the most. (pg11)”
It should also be apparent that in addition to a refreshing humility, Cupp has given us a beautifully written nonfiction book. Nonfiction is a genre that prizes clarity over beauty of prose but Cupp proves that you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. I hope more nonfiction books take her cue.