Monday, August 01, 2011

Book Review- The Waiting Place

I was recently given the opportunity to review The Waiting Place, a collection of short stories by new author Eileen Button.  I'll be honest and say I've never reviewed a book before, although I've reviewed what amounted to dozens of reviews of books written by 13-year-olds.

I love books.  I love the smell of the library, and it is breaking my heart that Borders is closing its doors.  At any given point in my childhood you could easily find me curled up in a chair outside or even in a tree house reading a book.  I read and re-read the same book dozens of times if I love it enough, and I don't think I've ever met a book I didn't like in some way.

When The Waiting Place showed up in the mail, I felt pretty excited.  Touted to be a collection of stories on the author's take on waiting, I knew I would be able to easily relate to the words.  When the baby went down for her nap, I grabbed a cup full of chocolate chips and nestled under my covers.  

What captured me immediately was Button's honesty and authenticity.  It was so refreshing (and so relatable) to read about the struggles, joys, and disappointments of a working mom and pastor's wife who wasn't afraid to tell it like it is.  She didn't shy from the hard stuff, and she pointed to Christ without sounding trite or too perfect.  Too many Christian authors make that mistake, and it makes their work a little inaccessible.  Even though the main theme of the book is waiting, the author doesn't blast us with "patience is a virtue" cliches.  Cliches are cliche for a reason, and they certainly have their place, but they can be hard to listen to in the moment of an every day battle.  Instead, The Waiting Place is down-to-earth and encouraging, like a good chat with an old friend.

While I didn't agree with every point or perspective (she made a comment early in the book about not wanting to be "just a mom," worded in such a way that it made a knot in my stomach so tight it took about five more chapters to unravel) I think this book is a great read for any woman who knows she has somewhere she wants to go but can't quite get there yet.  Much of this book is focused not on family or child-rearing, but on creating a career and following a dream outside of the home, which is slightly unique in the Christian-book world.  I appreciated the encouragement in that realm and the dose of "keep it real" attitude the author's perspective had to offer.  It's also a good read for any woman who is married to a man who is in (or has been in) ministry, because a couple of the chapters focus on the author's pastor husband facing burn-out.  To be completely honest, I actually wish Button had focused more of her attention in this area, and I would love it if her next book dealt solely with supporting a family dealing with ministry burn-out.  

I enjoyed this book, but I'm even more excited about what the author come out with next.

1 comment:

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