Painfully Honest by Kathy Brooks


The Story:

A beautiful thing has happened in the last few decades. . It has become increasingly popular and Instagram-worthy to travel to the developing spaces in our world and Help. This book describes the author’s painfully honest journey to learning how our HELP often ends up hurting because we are generally ignorant of the complexities within the developing countries or zones and because we have believed the single story about the people who live there. We also go in believing that we are the saviors in the situation.   Because of that, we begin with the wrong questions, if we ask questions at all.


In this book, the author, Kathy Brooks, shares how she, a social entrepreneur, came to terms with her own ignorance and savior mentality. She writes openly about her mistakes, which are partly hilarious and partly heart-stopping. These are the stories of a recovering Helper who arrived in Gonaives Haiti and built 2nd Story Goods, despite her many blunders.

It also is the narrative of great and gentle hope. It is an inspiring tale that is honest about personal faith and failures. She takes the reader through story after story of what happens when we learn to ask the right question and climb down off the self-imposed pedestal of rescuer and onto the path of becoming a true ally.

Hers is a journey of learning respect and discarding pity.

Customer Reviews

Based on 7 reviews Write a review

Customer Reviews

Based on 7 reviews
The kinda book that sticks with you.

A compelling story written so eloquently that you feel all the emotions so deeply it’s as if it’s your story. You will laugh and you will cry and you will think about the message and power of these essays for years to come. Buy a copy for yourself and one to giveaway. Trust me!

Natasha Jovin
A Must Read

This book is so many amazing things. Every page I read I wanted to share it with more people. Not only is it a quick read, but it’s short essay style makes it easy to take in a bit at a time if needed.

Kathy’s honesty and grace as she shares her stories and mistakes is powerfully strong, yet covered in grace, humility and love. The way she faces the white saviorism within her and makes a shift to change and do better, woosh. It is SO GOOD! We need more examples in life like this today.

This book will make you want to laugh, cry and most importantly it will challenge you into self reflection, especially if your default is to be a helper.

Kathy is incredible and I cannot wait to see what she writes next. I highly recommend this book! You won’t regret it!

Check yourself

This book will make you smile, cry, and check yourself. It is an honor to hear the thoughts and read the words of the brilliant, beautiful and painfully honest Kathy Brooks! Hands down a must read.

A raw page turner

This book is a vulnerable reflection over a lifetime of good intentions. It is a no-holds barred critical analysis of a self-professed do-gooder. It is delightful. It is exactly what the world needs right now. Kathy’s voice is kind, routinely offering grace to herself and those around her, with honesty over the impact of their behavior. It is also a great, easy read!

Mandy Thompson
Kathy tells it like it is.

An honest take on what struggling cultures really need from the Americans who come to help. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in entering other countries or cultures with a desire to serve and assist them. Find out what they really need and what you can really do for them.