Top critical review
Important message, poor construction: a second edition should be better
Reviewed in the United States on May 6, 2019
The important points of Melinda 's book are:
1) Just to give money is not enough. It is a good point: for preceding generations,(and also here thanks to the American tax system that favors charity) many people gave away money without verifying how it was used. One example: when she was alive, nobody cared what Mother Theresa did with the donations she received. They should have. More donators today want to make sure that their money actually does some good.
2) Statistics are good enough to tell you there is a problem, but they don't tell you how to solve it. True: listening is an important weapon. This is mainly what the book is about: how to listen, and it is the best part of it. Making of this the only weapon we have to help people is a weakness of the book: empowering women helps but ignoring the damage caused by general corruption is a costly lack of candor (the reader who wants to know more should consult the corruption perception index on the web).
3) Individual stories and victories show well the path followed by Melinda in her work. Her tale of the discovery of the role of empowering women is excellent. I would have liked a chart showing the success of the groups she helped at the end of each chapter: there is one moment when statistics on results are helpful and convincing, even if we rejoice of the individual success stories.
This is an excellent book, it could be more convincing with little effort. I was surprised that (because I know and agree the world is much better than one or two generations ago) I had already heard most of the stories told by the book in the 60s, told then by the grandmothers of the women Melinda interviews today. Cultures that keep people back are passed on by one generation to the next. Why? Because we believe what we have been told in childhood. It is disconcerting to see Melinda sustained by her faith in a church who made women responsible for the original sin.