The Englewood Review of Books
Best Books of 2020
Hardback: IVP Books, 2020
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There are those folks, like author D.L. Mayfield, who emanate a both/and type of lived and learned experience. Just as she, a white, cisgender woman, lives with her family alongside poor and marginalized immigrant communities in Portland, Oregon, she recognizes the privilege and power that has always been hers. As such, her newest release, The Myth of the American Dream: Reflections on Affluence, Autonomy, Safety and Power is a haunting and holy collection of essays that begs readers to see, serve and love our neighbors as ourselves.
Early on, Mayfield extends an invitation to notice: “This is a book about paying attention. It’s about being fully alive, not just to the glories of electric green moss stubbornly growing between the cracks of pavement but to the systems and structures and policies that dull our imaginations for a world that truly has hope and good news and beauty for everyone” (7). I think about how wildly each of our realities has changed in such a short amount of time: whether big or small, it’s easy for me to see these surface-level obstructions – or one version of what Mayfield might call the electric green moss poking through the pavement, begging me pay attention – because it’s closest to me. Yet something more exists: once I begin to see past the cracks in the pavement to the bigger systems, structures and policies, I can’t not see how these bigger systems, structures and policies benefit some but not all.
- ERB Contributor Cara Meredith,
from our review of this book
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