Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Book Review: Alone But Not Lonely by Paul S. Brandt

Alone But Not Lonely: Reaching for Hope and Love as a Single Latter-day Saint by Paul S. Brandt, LCSW. Printed in 2008 by Walnut Springs Press in Sandy, UT. ISBN 978-1-93521-700-8. 247 pages. Retail Price: $17.95.

We all have loved ones--family members and close friends--who are single and searching for someone to love for forever. The singles we know are in all types of situations. They may have been searching for a spouse for just a few years or many years. They may be divorced or have lost a spouse. It is because there is someone in each one of our families or close circle of friends with special family needs that Paul S. Brandt's book, Alone But Not Lonely, is such a wonderful addition to the library of LDS books of help and encouragement for singles.

Alone But Not Lonely covers all aspects of loneliness and the difficulties of being single, especially in an LDS context. Brandt defines loneliness and answers the deep questions that most singles have about acceptance, love, faith, and hope. After ten chapters of instruction, encouragement, exercises, doctrine, and Brandt's "Four Weeks to More Joy and Love" program, Alone But Not Lonely culminates with seven empathetic essays written by LDS singles in unique situations.

Alone But Not Lonely is full of instruction, encouragement, and ideas for change. Based on his qualifications as a social worker, psychotherapist, marriage and family therapist, renowned speaker, and latter-day saint, Brandt is able to addresses the unique challenges of LDS singles in an encouraging, informative, understanding, and doctrinal-based way. Furthermore, in Alone But Not Lonely, Brandt is able to talk to his readers not as a therapist, a bishop, a father, or even a friend, but almost as if he were the voice of the readers themselves, reminding them what they believe, what hope there is to cling to, how to keep going day by day to find joy, and what they can change.

There is something powerful in a book like Alone But Not Lonely when its only weakness is that its page headers don't identify what chapter you're in. Paul Brandt's Alone But Not Lonely is an amazing find for anyone struggling with loneliness and the discouragements of being single.

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