Review of I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt... by W. Lee Warren
Updated: Aug 21, 2020
Warren digs deeply into the realities of doubting his faith, God, his life’s work, and his vision of an afterlife.
This book made me cry on an airplane. Repeatedly.
Warren’s life story, both personal and professional, and his push and pull between faith and science, was more complex and deep than I’d anticipated. His experiences as a neurosurgeon, in the war, with his divorce and his remarriage, his beloved blended family, and his unimaginable loss all inform his explorations of doubt, resilience, hope, and joy as related to his faith. Watching his up-and-down, sometimes wonderfully messy self-discovery take shape through this book was a beautiful thing. I wondered if his answers would be too easily reached or too pat, but Warren digs deeply into the realities of doubting his faith, God, his life’s work, and his vision of an afterlife.
In I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, Warren admits when he’s a mess, and instead of simply telling readers how to find their way out of tragedy and keep going, he shows us the zigzag of a route he himself took, admits that there are many opportunities to feel defeated, and notes that it’s easy to understand why doubt and rage and disbelief emerge in the face of enormous pain and tragedy.
There was just a little bit of repetition at times, but I read an advanced reader copy, so this may well have changed. I could immediately think of several people to give this book to.
I received an advance copy of this book from WaterBrook and Multnomah and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
What did you think?
Because it's also a doctor's memoir, I can't help comparing this to The Beauty in Breaking. The authors both provide honest reflections about their work's meaning in their lives, although the tones of the books are very different.