In a word, this memoir is triggering in the best way. The author reflects on life in middle age, when things happen that remind us just how unstable life can be and all the anxious thoughts that follow those moments. She touches on big moments like 9/11 and the pandemic as well as personal moments like her son’s first seizure and epilepsy diagnosis as a teenager.
The writing isn’t quite chronological, but flows from one memory to another through themes and observations on life in the middle. It feels like sitting across from someone in a coffee shop. At the end of the book, I just wanted to hang out with Mary Laura in the best way. I wanted to say (and did on frequent occasion), “Me, too. I’ve had those thoughts and fears and it’s good to know I’m not alone.”
It was also a nice look into the next decade for me. This author is almost 10 years old and in a different season of life, and yet was still completely relatable in facing challenging times as well as giving me a peek into things to come. This is definitely a book I will be keeping on my shelf for reference and reminder. I would recommend this to women facing unexpected moments in their life or just approaching or living in the middle-age season.
This was the most recent book that came out earlier this year. Beth Moore, on a trip with her daughters to Italy, fell in love with the vineyard country. She continued her research into viticulture and the symbolism used in the Bible. She challenges the thought process that producing fruit in the Bible simply means baptizing others but is more about the health of all aspects of our lives.
The pruning chapter is so needed, especially in this climate. Even when obstacles seem to put a stop to everything, God is intimately there, working behind the scenes. The book ends with a lot of hope, encouragement, and challenge. Our responsibility to stay connected to The Vine in order to bear fruit in our lives.
There is no profanity or sexual content in this book. There is a chapter about the death of her dog which I had a hard time reading. It was quite graphic, but in the end, there was comfort and hope.
I loved the symbolism of viticulture and theology. Wasn’t quite sure how to decide whether we were dealing with manure or pestilence in certain points in life unless it was in hindsight. Those were the two chapters I felt the need to reread several times. Very encouraging book!