Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Review: "Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter, & Me" by Lorilee Craker

"Part memoir and part Anne super-fan book, this book will interlace Anne's and Maud's stories with our own yarns, taking you from the red-dirt beaches of Prince Edward Island to the ginseng fields of Korea. Along the way, you may uncover truths about your own search for identity, finding yourself in places you hadn't thought to look." (p. xiii)

Lorilee Craker's book, "Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter, & Me:  What My Favorite Book Taught Me About Grace, Belonging, & The Orphan in Us All" is a rich, moving look at her own story of being adopted, adopting her daughter from Korea, and ultimately how "Anne of Green Gables" helped her discover her own sense of identity and belonging. She weaves together her story, her daughter's story, Anne's story, and author L.M. Montgomery's story, sharing poignantly how each adult faced their own sense of lostness and brokenness, and how she is using these experiences to help her daughter navigate these own feelings as well.
I truly enjoyed this book. Craker does a wonderful job of sharing the stories and weaving Anne's story throughout. I loved her chapters on friendship, marriage, and transitioning to motherhood. My favorite chapter was probably the very last one where she chronicles her last visit to Prince Edward Island. She shares a bit more deeply about about how PEI shaped Montgomery's life and how home and belonging can truly be found. I am eager to re-read the books and watch the movies after reading this memoir!

(I’ve received this complimentary book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Review: "Longing for Paris" by Sarah Mae

Longing for Paris
Sarah Mae's latest book, "Longing for Paris:  One Woman's Search for Joy, Beauty, and Adventure--Right Where She Is", focuses on that longing for something for more than life as usual. For Sarah, that something more comes in the form of Paris. She became fascinated by Paris as a child, listening to stories told by her grandmother and mother of the years they spent living there. "It is this longing for Paris that leads me to explore my deeper longings" (p. xxv). Sarah takes nine chapters to examine some of the deeper longings commonly felt by women. Things like slowing life down and enjoying the simple pleasures, beauty and fashion, marriage, motherhood, and the idea of home are all discussed with hints of Paris and French culture thrown in. Weaving Scripture throughout, Sarah does a fabulous job of exploring these longings. It's especially helpful to know that these longings are common and that we are not alone in feeling them!

The end of each chapter includes a brief section of further meditation thoughts and a Scripture for deeper pondering. She also includes a "An Invitation to Paris" with some tips on bringing a bit of Paris to our everyday lives. The book also includes a group discussion guide which would be perfect for a small group or book club to work through. This was a great read and I found myself resonating with much of what she shared. I particularly appreciated her thoughts on motherhood, especially a section on discipline and identifying love languages.

(I’ve received this complimentary book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Review: "For The Love" by Jen Hatmaker

"For the Love:  Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards" is the newest release by Jen Hatmaker. This is my third dive into a Hatmaker book, and each one keeps getting better. This collection of essays is divided into four separate sections:  yourself, your family, people around you, and faith and church. She's not afraid to tackle deeper issues like urging pastors to really examine their ministries and deeply care for themselves in the midst. On the flip side, there is a whole lot of light-hearted included as well. Laugh out loud moments abound, along with with tons of "I'm glad I'm not the only one!"

It's hard to describe this book because of the range of topics and voices scattered throughout. Humorous, witty, deep, and thought-provoking are all terms that come to mind. She speaks a lot to wives and mothers, but all women will benefit from the wisdom that shines through her writings. It's truly a fun book to read, yet still manages to challenge you in the process.

(I’ve received this complimentary book through the BookLook program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)

A Review: "The Lifegiving Parent" by Clay and Sally Clarkson

"The Lifegiving Parent" by Clay and Sally Clarkson completes the "Lifegiving" trilogy that also includes "The Lifeg...