Fragile and Flourishing, by Sana' K.C.N. Watts

therosepetals__'s review

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“I wasn't always this fragile. I wasn't always so easily broken. I wasn't always so needy. I wasn't always so dependent. I wasn't always so authentic, I wasn't always so real, I wasn't always so free. And I'll take freedom with fragility over slavery that looks like strength.”

I was already recommending this book after the first few pages. Watts has penned a beautifully-written, genre-bending book on the intersection of faith and mental health.

As a young adult Christian in ministry, I relate to aspects of her story. Depression and suicidal thoughts led me to find hope in Christ, but I also questioned why these thoughts continued after my conversion experience. Watts is brutally honest and courageously vulnerable in sharing her story of suicide ideation, anxiety and depression, faith, motherhood, ministry and so much more. I appreciate how she debunks myths in the Church surrounding mental health and raises awareness for faith communities. She always ties her reflections, experiences, and knowledge with Scripture. The book itself is very engaging with journal entries, symbols, charts, and poetry. My favourite poems were “Fragile” and “My Journey to Lament.” I honestly wanted to know more! Especially regarding her Caribbean heritage and her experiences as a Black Christian, as she only briefly touches on each. Nonetheless, I feel so honored that she would share her story with me, with the world. This book is a gift, an offering, an encouragement for our personal and collective healing.

bahareads's review

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emotional informative inspiring reflective sad fast-paced


Sana KCN Watts did the dang thing with Fragile and Flourishing. I was kept hooked from beginning to end. Watts writes a beautiful, raw memoir/poetry/theology/mental health work.
" my mental illness made the mundane meaningful
Straightening the sheets
Brushing my teeth
Toasting my waffles
Warming my son's bottle
Cleaning my home
Charging my phone
Are a declaration to death that I choose life
That there is abundance here more than strife
That I am certain that I will see the Lord's goodness in the
land of the living
And I see His goodness in all things
See, nothing is mundane to me anymore
Because everything is active faith"

I shed tears throughout Fragile and Flourishing. It's such a powerful story. Watt's vulnerability does a lot for the Christian community. She advocates for mental health awareness in the Christian community. Trigger warnings for anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. The flow of the book from poems, journal entries, symbols, and narratives helped the flow. As a reader, you won't get tired of reading Fragile and Flourishing. As a reader, you can feel that Watts has a beautiful spirit who is doing wonderful work for God's glory. It touched me to be more open and honest with my beliefs and struggles. I would love to read more from Watts in the future. She has Caribbean heritage, which she mentions briefly and that excited me even more. I would have loved to read more about her experiences in the church as a Black woman (especially after reading Carved in Ebony: Lessons from the Black Women Who Shape Us. ).

Thanks to the author for sharing her story with me, and allowing me to share it with yall!

thespinedown's review

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challenging hopeful informative inspiring medium-paced


kenzienoellereads's review

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challenging emotional reflective medium-paced