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Reviewed by Mary DeKok Blowers for Readers' Favorite
Snake Oil by Becca Stevens is like an embrace for the soul, like a meditation in the sound of her voice. An audio book, read by the author, it is part memoir, part healing, and part inspirational all at once, sort of a trinity of books, three in one. Beginning with the story of her childhood, Stevens recalls the death of her preacher father in the act of serving others, and the man who stepped in in the guise of helping this family. Instead, he did things that prompted Stevens to search for healing throughout her life. Her childhood was not all tragic; there was the old man who would bring her sandwiches and fresh peaches to share as they sat outdoors and talked. There was outdoor play with siblings and neighbors, old-fashioned play, not like today with video games.
At some point in her adulthood, Becca Stevens confronted the man who had abused her, in an amazing act of mercy and guidance, only urging that he get some help. This was extremely healing to her and she would then go on to create a healing ministry using herbal preparations. Throughout the book, she speaks of plants with a reverence you have to hear to believe, as if they had souls. Seemingly, they communicate with her soul. Interspersed with the stories are recipes for healing oils you can make at home. They are the creation of Thistle Farms, making healing oils for women, which becomes a business to support shelters for women, who prepare the oils and balms to sell.
So Snake Oil comes full circle, from home remedies used in her childhood, to remedies used and made as therapy for women who need love and hope. It was healing just to listen to this book being read aloud. I urge all women to get this audio book.