I’ve signed up for the Jen Hatmaker book club since the Covid started … I decided to support her work with the subscription and give myself a treat in the mail once a month.

The first three months were books I’d already consumed, so I was pleased when a new to me read arrived! It’s a memoir of her life after widowhood in her early 30’s. Apparently she has a podcast called “Terrible, Thanks for Asking” and that kind of sums up her slightly snarky attitude. Which I liked.

It’s a great pandemic read…yes, crappy things happen. And, yes, we kind of want only good things to happen to us. Much of her story is the push and pull of joy and grief and how to love again after a devastating loss.

I am cheered by her feminist awakenings in the later chapters. I am hopeful younger women than I are reading and assimilating.

In the chapter “Greatness and Goodness” she talks about raising children, and not knowing what’s ahead of them or what awaits them.

“I thought about how we speak to our kids, and how I try to make sure they all know two important things about themselves and about other people: that there is greatness and goodness in all of us.

“It is a simple idea I got from a conversation with my friend Damon, who is an amazing dad. I hold our children’s faces in my hands and tell them they have greatness inside of them, and goodness, too. I remind them that greatness and goodness are two things they are meant to uncover in themselves and find in other people. I don’t know what to tell them about why life is so much harder for some people than it is for others because I just don’t know. I hope they grow up to be gentle with themselves and others.” p. 259

I found this uplifting, challenging, and necessary advice in these hard, divisive times. We could use some goodness, gentleness, and greatness.

4/5 stars – partly for the cover 🙂