This is an odd book, but one I can’t help but kind of admire in a conceptual sense. The book is exactly what the title indicates. Hosier has compiled a list of 100 Christian women that impacted the 20th century in some significant way. Some of these women would only be known to Christians (and a lot I’d never even heard of) while others, like Flannery O’Connor or Mother Teresa would be known to a larger portion of readers. The blurbs on these women are sometimes only half a page; other times they’re five or six pages. The book is certainly diverse; the woman who wrote “Footprints” (you know, the whole “that was when I carried you” poem) is here and not as significant as maybe Hosier thinks and then you flip a page and there’s Diane frigging Sawyer. The book doesn’t get too deep; the piece on Aimee Semple McPherson doesn’t delve at all into the scandals that surrounded her ministry, for instance, and the piece on Flannery O’Connor is irritatingly short and superficial. The writing is also pretty bad; I mean, serviceable, but nothing more. But I do have to applaud the book as something of a volley across the bow of the most misogynistic branches of Christianity. As a celebration of the way that women have shaped and influenced the all too often male-dominated Christianity across the century, the book succeeds. But it’s weirdly focused, poorly written and a bit too broad. Anyway, I like the philosophy behind the book, but it’s poorly executed. Recommended against. 2 stars.
tl;dr – book has the admirable goal of highlighting women of intelligence, strength and influence in Christianity, but it falters in execution. 2 stars.