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Words from The Book of Longings

Sue Monk Kidd The Book of Longings

This week I began reading the newest novel from Sue Monk Kidd entitled The Book of Longings. On the back reads an excerpt:

Back cover excerpt from The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

Are you intrigued? I was. At first I thought, how ludicrous to imagine a wife for Jesus. Jesus didn’t get married! But then I wondered, how do I know? I’m no historian, and I’m no Bible scholar. And if there’s one thing I take issue with in Christianity, it’s the marginalization of women. So my curiosity overpowered any repugnance I initially felt, and I opened the book. 

Without further ado, let’s dive into Wordy Wednesday. Three words, three cited sentences, three Oxford definitions, three new sentences. Here we go!


“She gazed at me with the tired old sorrow she felt from enduring such a fractious child” (28).

Adjective: (typically of children) irritable and quarrelsome.

Fractious children (and some adults) usually just need a good nap to improve their demeanor. 


“When I attempted to tell her about Jesus and the longing I’d felt to speak to him, I was seized by an inexplicable diffidence” (61).

Noun: modesty or shyness resulting from a lack of self-confidence.

With low self-esteem, a person exudes diffidence in a way that leads others to look down on the individual, further reducing his or her sense of worth. 


“Grabbing my wrist, he dragged me into the crowd, into their stares and spit and invective” (130).

Noun: insulting, abusive, or highly critical language.

Nowadays invective falls under the category of bullying, whereas when I was school-aged teachers told us “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” 

Enjoy using today’s words, and happy reading! 



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