Thursday, May 17, 2012

Daisy – The Newport Ladies Book Club by Josi S. Kilpack

This is one of four stand-alone books, by four different authors. You will be able to participate in a virtual book club that features recommendations and discussion guides.

The back cover says - Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. And no one knows that better than Daisy. Raising two kids as a divorced, single mom, Daisy has faced each and every one of the obstacles in her life with courage and determination.

Now with her oldest daughter ready to have a baby of her own, her youngest daughter ready to graduate from high school, and her new husband, Paul ready to embrace the life of an empty-nester, Daisy feels like she might finally be able to check motherhood off her list of things to do.

Except life often has a mind of its own. When, at the age of forty-six, Daisy suddenly finds herself facing a very different future than the one she had planned, and an uncomfortable evaluation of the past she thought she understood, she realizes that there is still some growing up she needs to do.

Looking for a distraction to escape the growing tension at home, Daisy joins the Newport Ladies Book Club, where she meets Paige, Athena, and Olivia – unlikely friends who offer encouragement and support when Daisy’s perfectly crafted life is turned upside-down.

Now for my review - This is a book that everyone should read just for fun even if you didn’t read Olivia. Of course, if you didn’t you will want to get it and read because it's a good book. No, you don’t have to read it to know what is going on in this book, but you probably will want to keep up with what is going on in all the women’s lives. They will become your best friends and you will want to know what each of them is doing.

Daisy is entertaining, and has many twists and turns. Just as you think you know what is going to happen to Daisy something new transpires. Her life is a roller coaster and surprises are around every corner. Believe me when I say that when you are positive you have the plot figured out, things will change. The ending was not what I expected. Daisy is an amazing character and a friend indeed. You really won’t want to miss this second book in the Newport Ladies Book Club series. I cried, I laughed. I even got angry with Daisy, as well as her children and mother. They were all real to me and many times they each deserved a good scolding.

The next book in the series, Paige will be out this coming August. I can hardly wait to read it because I know that Annette Lyon will have an endearing character for us to read about. I already like Paige because of her encounters with Olivia and Daisy. What a great group of ladies they have turned out to be. If I didn’t already belong to a book club I would organize one right away.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Christ’s Gifts to Women by Heather Moore and Angela Eschler

There is no better gift that a mother could receive this mother’s day than the book, “Christ’s Gifts to Women.” There are not enough words to describe how great this book is.

At times, we as faithful Latter-day Saint women struggle to understand exactly who Christ is in our lives. We fail to comprehend the gifts He offers us as we strive to overcome the challenges we face. He has overcome the world–He has given women great gifts that empower us and help us realize we are not alone.

Heather Moore and Angela Eschler have done exactly what the book cover says. They have written a book that weaves trials faced in our day with trials faced in Biblical days–and expounded on the timeless power Christ has given women to overcome them.

 As they spoke about the gift of mercy I realized that many of us fail to forgive and forget earlier mistakes in our lives and continue to wallow in the past. That goes against everything Christ taught. We all must realize that through Him, every struggle can be for our experience and our good. After reading this book I hope that I will allow myself to feel encircled in the arms of His love, and that I will feel safe.

 These two women reminded me that sometimes God calms the storm, and sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child helping me to understand His power. Without the gift of experience how would we learn? In permitting trials He allows a greater understanding of His purposes.

 Heather and Angela reminded us in this book that the Savior has power enough to heal us all in each and every aspect of our lives, if we but reach out to Him. The gift of wholeness can belong to each of us, but the Lord has His own timetable, and we must trust that the infinite healing will come and our trial will be lifted.

The past few years I spent my time nurturing my mother, and then my husband for many months. This book helped me to realize that as I did those nurturing acts of service to them the Savior lovingly nurtured me.

 I agee with these two women, that sometimes we find ourselves too caught up in our ever-busy lives to see Him and embrace the gifts He offers. When we are stressed, worried, overwhelmed, or even filled with self-recrimination, this is the time to include Him in our lives and take comfort in His love for us. I totally agree with them that we would do well to slow down a little . . .  and truly see the things that matter most.

 Heather and Angela helped me to realize that as we strive to draw closer to Christ, He will draw closer to us, magnify our efforts, and fill us with joy and peace. They helped me recognize the incredible rewards Christ has given each of God’s precious daughters, no matter the hardships we face.