Review

One Perfect Word: One Word Can Make All the Difference

by Debbie Macomber

Prolific author Debbie Macomber, whose books have sold over 140 million copies, has repeatedly hit every major bestseller list and knows a thing or two about words and their power. In her newest work, she discusses the power of a single word. Telling her own story here, she shares with beloved readers how she came to develop the habit of choosing a single word at the beginning of every year as “her” word.

"It is no wonder that this passionate wordsmith reaches into the hearts of millions with her words. Macomber lives what she writes and writes what she lives."

Eyeing the various author autographs lining her stairwell wall, Macomber is reminded of the power of words. Calling them her mentors, the words of Mark Twain, Harper Lee, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway and Harriet Beecher Stowe inspire and challenge Macomber of her responsibility as both a fiction and, more recently, nonfiction writer.

She then tells a poignant story by another writer, Dr. Dennis Hensley, who shares how one seemingly insignificant word choice altered the life and future of one of his students named Sean. As Hensley graded his student’s paper, he wrote, “This is superb work, son. I congratulate you,” never realizing how his word selection of “son” would trigger a life-changing response in the man. Hensley learned that this young adult had always longed for a man to be proud of him…and his compliment ignited a fire in his heart and soul. Hensley shares how simply calling Sean “son” gave him a focus for his lifetime calling. Sean now works with other fatherless boys and girls as an inner-city teacher, changing hundreds of children’s lives because one man selected the right “word” of encouragement.

It is upon the premise of this example that one word can change a life that Macomber opens her text as she outlines her own history of capturing the power of focus on one word every year. Reminding her fans that every one of us is suffering from a constant onslaught of words every day, she suggests narrowing the field considerably by choosing one book of study for life (the Bible), memorizing single scripture verses, and taking it a step further by studying one word for an entire year. Citing what God said in Ecclesiastes 6:11, “The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone?” Macomber gets practical with readers, not merely poetic, as she offers wise and wonderful methodology for choosing that perfect word each new year.

Macomber considers her goals for the year as she prays and contemplates new word choices, but she also listens in prayer and journals about it too. Throughout this inspirational resource, she shares 14 different words she has journeyed along with over the years, combining portions of her prayer journals, personal anecdotes from her life, pithy sayings from other writers, and some get-practical steps for change. It is no wonder that this passionate wordsmith reaches into the hearts of millions with her words. Macomber lives what she writes and writes what she lives.

Reviewed by Michele Howe on January 18, 2012

One Perfect Word: One Word Can Make All the Difference
by Debbie Macomber