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30 review for The Worth of a Soul: From Muslim to Mormon

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    Interesting story... my favorite part was an analogy she made near the end that she had gone through life with tight fists - always hanging on to the little happiness, or joy, or peace that she could find. And it wasn't until she learned to open her hands - that she was able to release the hurt, the sorrow, the abuse, the disappointments, and to allow love to come in.... poignant lessons for me as well... Interesting story... my favorite part was an analogy she made near the end that she had gone through life with tight fists - always hanging on to the little happiness, or joy, or peace that she could find. And it wasn't until she learned to open her hands - that she was able to release the hurt, the sorrow, the abuse, the disappointments, and to allow love to come in.... poignant lessons for me as well...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Shanda

    The Worth of a Soul is the story of Ayse Hitchins, a Turkish woman whose life has been full of one difficult struggle after another. After being left suddenly at a boarding school for girls by her beloved father at age six or so, life begins to change dramatically for Ayse. As she grows and spends time around other girls, she realizes that her life at home and her mother are not normal. The abuses that Ayse and her family suffer at the hands of her mother spoke to me personally. The details of li The Worth of a Soul is the story of Ayse Hitchins, a Turkish woman whose life has been full of one difficult struggle after another. After being left suddenly at a boarding school for girls by her beloved father at age six or so, life begins to change dramatically for Ayse. As she grows and spends time around other girls, she realizes that her life at home and her mother are not normal. The abuses that Ayse and her family suffer at the hands of her mother spoke to me personally. The details of life in Turkey and the culture of its people were fascinating to read. The sudden changes that Ayse had to experience again and again throughout the younger years of her life made me appreciate the steadiness I’ve had even during my own struggles in life. I haven’t read a lot of memoirs and after reading The Worth of a Soul I decided I need to change that. I found the difference in Ayse’s life between the city of Istanbul and the far poorer cities of her very early childhood an interesting contrast considering they exist within just a few hours from each other yet are so completely different. Life in Turkey in the 1970s was so very different from city to city. Some aspects of life were barely comparable to life in the United States, from those barely surviving day to day to the popular political views and climate at the time. The first half of the book was told in a more distant and matter-of-fact tone, but that all changed once a certain meeting took place. I became aware of a change in the storytelling at that point. A warmth and feeling appeared that helped illustrate the turning point that those events were in Ayse’s life. While sudden change and struggle remained a constant in Ayse’s life, the determination, strength and faith that define her character carried her through circumstances that would have made many others give up in defeat. While the story did slow from time to time, my interest in people in general and Ayse’s story in particular kept me reading. If you are one who enjoys memoirs and stories of conversion and faith, then you will enjoy The Worth of a Soul.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lacey

    As the subtitle on the cover states, "From Muslim to Mormon," which is not the only the thing this book is about. You walk through Ayse's life as a child to adult while really experiencing her trials and how they were overcome. Your heart really aches with her as she goes through her childhood with a mentally troubled mother and finding out later on that her family history wasn't what she always thought. She also endured many trials trying to get an education and become something better than wha As the subtitle on the cover states, "From Muslim to Mormon," which is not the only the thing this book is about. You walk through Ayse's life as a child to adult while really experiencing her trials and how they were overcome. Your heart really aches with her as she goes through her childhood with a mentally troubled mother and finding out later on that her family history wasn't what she always thought. She also endured many trials trying to get an education and become something better than what her family had become. Her life really ends up taking a turn after going from Muslim, to Aetheist and by random chance then meeting a Canadian Mormon man that shows her a new path in life. "The fiery furnace of the Lord was at work, trying to create yet another masterpiece, and I had to humble myself, step back, and let it work." "She gently pulled me to lie on her chest, and she stroked my hair. I could hear her heartbeat. I felt no anger, no sorrow, no fear - only peace. The miracle of forgiveness had taken deep root in our souls."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennie

    An interesting biography of a woman's conversion to the LDS Church. It's billed as "From Muslim to Mormon" but Ayse was never really a Muslim; she lived in a muslim country but wasn't raised within any faith. Her familiarity with Islam came from the laws and culture that surrounded her not from any observance by her immediate family until she became a teen and by then she was in full rebellion against any kind of coercion. She went through some really difficult things and this book is as much ab An interesting biography of a woman's conversion to the LDS Church. It's billed as "From Muslim to Mormon" but Ayse was never really a Muslim; she lived in a muslim country but wasn't raised within any faith. Her familiarity with Islam came from the laws and culture that surrounded her not from any observance by her immediate family until she became a teen and by then she was in full rebellion against any kind of coercion. She went through some really difficult things and this book is as much about mental illness as about conversion.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karee

    I love reading about other peoples' life stories and how the gospel of Jesus Christ has influenced their lives making them someone better and more whole. I truly enjoyed this book. Reading about the changes in Ayse's life made me more accepting of my own "roller coaster ride." I'm also really glad they put pictures in the back of the book so we could put faces to the names of the people in the stories. I love reading about other peoples' life stories and how the gospel of Jesus Christ has influenced their lives making them someone better and more whole. I truly enjoyed this book. Reading about the changes in Ayse's life made me more accepting of my own "roller coaster ride." I'm also really glad they put pictures in the back of the book so we could put faces to the names of the people in the stories.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    I really don't know how to rate someone's life story. Am I rating her personal courage and determination or the way the story is written? Either way, this story touched my heart. From basically an orphan raised in a Muslim nation (Turkey), to a Canadian resident who helped translate the hymns and Book of Mormon into Turkish, it was an inspiring story of how the Gospel changes everything. Thank you for sharing your story, Ayse! I really don't know how to rate someone's life story. Am I rating her personal courage and determination or the way the story is written? Either way, this story touched my heart. From basically an orphan raised in a Muslim nation (Turkey), to a Canadian resident who helped translate the hymns and Book of Mormon into Turkish, it was an inspiring story of how the Gospel changes everything. Thank you for sharing your story, Ayse!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alisha

    This is more of a memoir but it was very fascinating and interesting learning about different culture and family life. This book really covers all spectrums: It has parental love, abuse, romance, struggle, death, depression, religion, forgiveness... It had some heavy parts and some really happy parts. I will say though, where she never was really a practicing Muslim, I don't know if I would have included the "From Muslim to Mormon" part, because though her conversion was quite a turning point, I This is more of a memoir but it was very fascinating and interesting learning about different culture and family life. This book really covers all spectrums: It has parental love, abuse, romance, struggle, death, depression, religion, forgiveness... It had some heavy parts and some really happy parts. I will say though, where she never was really a practicing Muslim, I don't know if I would have included the "From Muslim to Mormon" part, because though her conversion was quite a turning point, I never really viewed her as "Muslim" as I was reading it. Also, her obsession with communism was hard to relate to.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    (I listened to the audio version of this book.) I admire Hitchins ability to see and record her life so clearly. She lived through an amazing period of history in a part of the world I know so little about. The difference education made in her life is another example of its importance in changing lives for the better. It was also interesting to see how very different her life was moving from comfort to poverty. This is another memoir that shines a light on mental illness and it’s impact on child (I listened to the audio version of this book.) I admire Hitchins ability to see and record her life so clearly. She lived through an amazing period of history in a part of the world I know so little about. The difference education made in her life is another example of its importance in changing lives for the better. It was also interesting to see how very different her life was moving from comfort to poverty. This is another memoir that shines a light on mental illness and it’s impact on children. I was touched by her ability to finally forgive and how she was able to do it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    Really enjoyed this autobiographical work about Ayse Hitchins. She started in Turkey and eventually moved to Canada and traveled quite a bit in the United States. What I really appreciated was her sharing how the gospel of Jesus Christ has shaped and guided her life. Amazing experiences! It is so obvious the Lord has used Ayse in building the kingdom.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Robbins

    This is the true story of a woman who grew up in Turkey and went through a lot of challenges. As an adult, she met a man from Canada, was baptized, and married. I really enjoyed her story. Many of her challenges came because of mental illness (hers and others). I love that this can be talked about and overcome. This was a great message of hope!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    This is a story of lost and found, abuse and forgiveness, depression and joy, pain and redemption. It's so much more than a story of leaving one religion for another. Aysa is an extraordinary woman with a compelling story that is well worth reading. This is a story of lost and found, abuse and forgiveness, depression and joy, pain and redemption. It's so much more than a story of leaving one religion for another. Aysa is an extraordinary woman with a compelling story that is well worth reading.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dahlene

    This was a very interesting read. I learned a lot about the Muslim culture and customs and where she came from. Her journey was definitely guided by God. I'd recommend it to anyone who is a memeber of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was inspiring. This was a very interesting read. I learned a lot about the Muslim culture and customs and where she came from. Her journey was definitely guided by God. I'd recommend it to anyone who is a memeber of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was inspiring.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    An exhausting look at a young woman’s life. The ups and downs wore me out. I was appreciative of her insight into herself, pretty remarkable. It gave me an opportunity for introspection as well. I admire how she overcame trials and persevered when times were tough.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Dickson

    Inspiring. A real look at struggles of life.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Hardcastle

    Sad. But also an amazing example of how strong we are and if we have God by our side, we can accomplish anything.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Angulo

    Audiobook. It was a nice autobiography of sorts. It had a feel like Kite Runner. Drawn out and boring in many parts of the book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Stahl

    It took me a long time to get through this book even though it isn’t necessarily thick. Her life is very interesting to read about but I found I needed to take it in small chunks.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Leanne

    Nobody could make up the life the author has led on her path from Muslim to Christian and Turkey to Canada.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    A really interesting and inspiring life story.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ranee

    Such an incredible story - was rooting for her to make it the whole time!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amy McPherson

    Fascinating autobiographical! Probably 4.5 stars.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nancyann

    Wow, what a story! This is an autobiography/narrative of Ayse's life growing up in Turkey and eventually immigrating to Canada. I read it in like 2 days, because her story was so engaging. She had an intense childhood/growing up and overcame a lot in life. I really enjoyed it. Wow, what a story! This is an autobiography/narrative of Ayse's life growing up in Turkey and eventually immigrating to Canada. I read it in like 2 days, because her story was so engaging. She had an intense childhood/growing up and overcame a lot in life. I really enjoyed it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Patti

    Every once in awhile a book surfaces that is an extraordinary story of life survival. “The Worth of a Soul”, in my opinion, is the touching story of little Ayse, a young Turkish girl who’s life – as she states on page 1, “has been a series of events with abrupt beginnings and sudden changes.” A loving and devoted father does all he can to protect little Ayse from a dangerously mental ill mother. One day Ayse, is at home, the next her father puts her in a nearby boarding school for protection, a Every once in awhile a book surfaces that is an extraordinary story of life survival. “The Worth of a Soul”, in my opinion, is the touching story of little Ayse, a young Turkish girl who’s life – as she states on page 1, “has been a series of events with abrupt beginnings and sudden changes.” A loving and devoted father does all he can to protect little Ayse from a dangerously mental ill mother. One day Ayse, is at home, the next her father puts her in a nearby boarding school for protection, a life so difficult on so many levels for such a little girl. The only loves of her life: her devoted father, and her hunger for learning. Told in first person, we live with all Ayse endures. She was born sometime in 1963, recording the exact date at that point in time was not important in Turkey. The challenges she faces as she grows to maturity, and the difficulties her unusual family burdens her with, are a lot of baggage for a young one to continually bear. But Ayse does, and she survives in a heroic sense that brings her to an extraordinary adulthood. She is here on earth to do important work. She will struggle along the path. Adult Ayse has acquired a wealth of wisdom through education and experiences that we can only be in awe of. She not only finds her place in life, but learns to forgive those that made her young life so traumatic. This story would be especially poignant for those of the LDS faith. Ayse was a non-practicing Muslim; an admitted Communist in her college years; then eventually met a Canadian Mormon working on a project in Turkey. I love this journal entry Ayse includes on pg. 171: “ The gospel of Jesus Christ changes our lives forever. Each life touches another, and once we are touched, we are never the same.” I am a better person for reading this extraordinary story. A keeper in my personal library, and a definite recommend for several of my reading friends…

  24. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    (Genre:Non-fiction/autobiographical) This is the account of a young girl growing up in Turkey with an unstable mother but a loving father. Told from first person view point, the story starts with Ayse (around age 6) being dropped off at a boarding school within a 10 minute walk from her apartment. She is confused and alarmed and doesn't want her father to leave her there. They have just spent the day together and she has had no warning or preparation for this major life change. As time goes on a (Genre:Non-fiction/autobiographical) This is the account of a young girl growing up in Turkey with an unstable mother but a loving father. Told from first person view point, the story starts with Ayse (around age 6) being dropped off at a boarding school within a 10 minute walk from her apartment. She is confused and alarmed and doesn't want her father to leave her there. They have just spent the day together and she has had no warning or preparation for this major life change. As time goes on and we are introduced to her mother, her father's actions in separating her from home and mother become more clear. Ayse mother is mentally unstable and her father wants to shield her from the neglect and abuse happening at home. As the story progresses, we gain more insight and understanding into Ayse's life and challenges. The cover of this book states "From Muslim to Mormon" which is really a misnomer. Ayse grew up in a strongly Islamic society, but she and her family were never practicing Muslims. In fact, she didn't really belong to any religion. But her journey to become an LDS church member is fairly interesting. I would say that this book is less about religion and more about growing up in a dysfunctional family with mental illnes present. It is a story that ultimately focuses on overcoming obstacles and coming to terms with a difficult life and how one person found peace, hope, and happiness along the way. 3 stars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Meggen

    I enjoyed listening to this book while I drove to and from work. The narrator was terrible, BUT the quality of the story kept me with it. This is a story of Ayse Hitchens, a young Muslim girl raised in Turkey who converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Raise by an abusive adopted mother and a caring father, she endured far more than most of us can possibly imagine. Sharing her struggles of poverty, abuse, self-hatred, suicide attempts, loneliness, rejection, alcoholism, and I enjoyed listening to this book while I drove to and from work. The narrator was terrible, BUT the quality of the story kept me with it. This is a story of Ayse Hitchens, a young Muslim girl raised in Turkey who converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Raise by an abusive adopted mother and a caring father, she endured far more than most of us can possibly imagine. Sharing her struggles of poverty, abuse, self-hatred, suicide attempts, loneliness, rejection, alcoholism, and many years spent feeling rather lost, Ayse is both candid and heartfelt. I wish she would have shared a little more about her opportunity to translate the Book of Mormon and other Church materials into Turkish, but perhaps those things were too personal and sacred. Still, this is a story to learn from. I appreciated especially the lessons of forgiveness and love she shared, as well as her strong spirit and determination in everything she did. I recommend this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    I loved this book. I enjoyed reading it, it was a fascinating story, and I learned a lot. I admire so much what she has done with her life. She was open about many of her struggles and challenges, yet through it all, she kept working toward her goals and overcame so many obstacles. I was particularly touched by how she worked through so many of the issues with her parents and family - both adoptive and biological. On a personal note, I appreciated hearing of some of her challenges with adapting I loved this book. I enjoyed reading it, it was a fascinating story, and I learned a lot. I admire so much what she has done with her life. She was open about many of her struggles and challenges, yet through it all, she kept working toward her goals and overcame so many obstacles. I was particularly touched by how she worked through so many of the issues with her parents and family - both adoptive and biological. On a personal note, I appreciated hearing of some of her challenges with adapting to a new country, as we have a family member facing that right now - it gave me increased understanding of how that might feel. And last of all, it helped me to see how God is in the details of so much of our lives.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tenille

    Ayse grew up in Istanbul, adopted by her half-aunt, who has serious mental issues. Her father took great care of her and was very close to her. When she was still young, her parents seperated, which meant legally she had to go back to her birth parents who were poor. She knew that an education was the key to her living a life that was worth something. She started getting depressed in High School and in college sunk really low and almost ended her life more than once. This is her story of overcom Ayse grew up in Istanbul, adopted by her half-aunt, who has serious mental issues. Her father took great care of her and was very close to her. When she was still young, her parents seperated, which meant legally she had to go back to her birth parents who were poor. She knew that an education was the key to her living a life that was worth something. She started getting depressed in High School and in college sunk really low and almost ended her life more than once. This is her story of overcoming poverty, depression, feeling unloved and unhappy, and converting to the LDS church. Great story!!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Casey

    It was an emotional journey reading this book. Coming from a loving home, it is hard to imagine what her life was like. I think what was so appealing to me was that throughout the whole story, even when Ayse was retelling the dark parts of her life, there was always a peaceful/happy undercurrent to her narrative. She is now telling the story as a Latter Day Saint, so amidst the dark parts of her story she would say something like, " because of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I have come to forgive a It was an emotional journey reading this book. Coming from a loving home, it is hard to imagine what her life was like. I think what was so appealing to me was that throughout the whole story, even when Ayse was retelling the dark parts of her life, there was always a peaceful/happy undercurrent to her narrative. She is now telling the story as a Latter Day Saint, so amidst the dark parts of her story she would say something like, " because of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I have come to forgive and be at peace with that part of my life." It's a story of hardships and trials, but also one of forgiveness and love.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jolene

    I am about half way through it and it is an amazing story! Her stories of growing up and at first having wealth and then finding out that her real parts were very poor and she had to return to live with them. I love that the man whom she knew as "Dad" stayed with her poor family to keep watch over her and her brother. Even though they were the biological children of these two kids in the first place. Her "Dad" taught her o love of learning and that is what is helping her in her life so far. I kn I am about half way through it and it is an amazing story! Her stories of growing up and at first having wealth and then finding out that her real parts were very poor and she had to return to live with them. I love that the man whom she knew as "Dad" stayed with her poor family to keep watch over her and her brother. Even though they were the biological children of these two kids in the first place. Her "Dad" taught her o love of learning and that is what is helping her in her life so far. I know that she joins the LDS church, but I haven't gotten to that part at all. Right now she lives as a muslim.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Very interesting book recommended by a friend. It's the story of a Turkish girl, shunned by a Muslim family with a mentally ill mother. She lived in an orphanage for years, and later lived in depressed poverty and alcoholism. She left the Muslim faith and became an atheist with Marxist philosophy until she met a Mormon man, and the book tells about her life change when she married this man, moved to Canada and adopted a son. It was a complete life change and amazing journey from one extreme to a Very interesting book recommended by a friend. It's the story of a Turkish girl, shunned by a Muslim family with a mentally ill mother. She lived in an orphanage for years, and later lived in depressed poverty and alcoholism. She left the Muslim faith and became an atheist with Marxist philosophy until she met a Mormon man, and the book tells about her life change when she married this man, moved to Canada and adopted a son. It was a complete life change and amazing journey from one extreme to another. She has graduated from college twice with degrees in music and sociology, and plans to return to Turkey at some point for a reconciliation with her homeland.

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