The Penniless Millionaire
Author: Dorothy Martell
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
Reviewer: Ruth Howard
Our life experiences are important in shaping our characters and creating our destinies. In her book, The Penniless Millionaire, Dorothy Martell shares the unique encounters of what she terms her "peculiar but beautiful life", using her testimony as a platform to encourage readers to persevere despite their struggles, and to trust in God's unending faithfulness.
From the book's beginning, she introduces readers to the roller-coaster that is her life. She tells of the many different instances when God gave her, and persons close to her, visions and dreams about his purpose for her, explaining that while she is now able to make sense of her "exciting and sometimes inexplicable journey of God's amazing grace", it wasn't always clear what He was up to.
Martell shares about being pregnant at 15, and struggling to avoid the chasm of shame and guilt that wanted to swallow her up. She talks about her experience with migration, and how God used her time abroad as a testing ground to build her trust in Him and mature her faith.
She also shares about a topic that many people today can relate to: money troubles. Again, it was her willingness to obey God, even when he told her to give away her most valuable material possessions, that enabled her to overcome and find resolution for her financial problems.
Martell introduces her readers to a life fraught with struggle. She has had to deal with a sister who has an autistic child, the deaths of her elder brother and father in quick succession, attempted robberies, threats, persecution - she knows what it is like to grapple with failure, grief, disappointment and an unclear sense of purpose. Throughout the book, however, one point remains absolutely clear: Martell is firmly convinced that it was God who helped her to overcome.
The book is sprinkled with humorous anecdotes, which compensate for sometimes unengaging writing and an otherwise casual narrative. While the story is not told with a clearly structured timeline, Martell's purpose for writing this book remains definite: to encourage readers to believe in the power of a God who has amazingly transformed her life and allowed her to become the 'penniless millionaire'.