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Turning Points

Lion Books, Oxford, 2009
RRP $22.95

Reviewed by Bill Adams

Turning Points is a book of “stories to change your life” and it begins as the author tells the story of her own turning point.

Julia Ogilivie is Scottish, born into privilege and opportunity. She has connections with royalty and aristocracy (the Queen was a guest at her wedding) and she was driven by ambition in business that gained her many national awards.

Success in selling jewellery, inclusion on various charities, marriage and motherhood might seem enough, but the first-hand exposure to the tragic death of a child and seeing how some members of the human race faced daily suffering proved a turning point for her.

So what about other people’s turning points?

In Turning Points Ms Ogilvie interviewed many people including UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown about his own personal loss and singer Bob Geldof who was stunned into action after watching a TV documentary on starving children in Africa.

Those who appealed to me most were not celebrities but those who worked tirelessly in obscurity. But all showed great care and came to their new life via a turning point.

There is no doubt about Ms Ogilvie’s Christian faith but the others come from a variety of perspectives. That doesn’t bother her because in these stories actions are more important than words.

Ms Ogilvie believes that the people she interviewed all responded to something divine and profound in their inner selves.

Turning Points is an inspiration. There are so many stories of hate and violence in our world it is wonderful to read of those who have turned to their human brothers and sisters in active compassion.

Every person has a story and these are some of the best.