BOOK REVIEWS

Reviewed & Recommended by local Ashford Christian Women

 
LENT 2019

How do you like to prepare for Easter? 

Here are two suggestions from ACW Member, Caroline Old, of books that she has found helpful during the season of Lent.

Do you have any books that you would like to recommend? Let us know, and we can add your recommendations to this page!

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"THE WILDERNESS WITHIN YOU"

by Penelope Wilcock

 

"I first came across Penelope in my ‘Woman Alive' magazine.

 

I always come away from reading her articles with having had my eyes opened to new possibilities and thought provoking challenges. 

 

Penelope's Lenten journey with Jesus is pithy, personal and poignant. She asks questions about the ordinary everyday, and from the mundane gets miraculous replies"

Caroline Old, February 2019

"THE LIGHT OF GLORY"

Readings from John Donne for Lent and Easter week

Edited by Chrstopher L. Webber

"My husband, Kev, and I were coming home from touring Wales and decided to stop off at Hay-on-Wye and look at all the book shops there.

It was here that I found John Donne, whom I had never read before.

 

Webber has taken Donnes’ delights and brought them into today’s language for a rich and full bodied read over Lent, addressing many topics more relevant to us".

Caroline Old, February 2019

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ADVENT 2018

As Advent approaches, you may have mixed feelings about Christmas coming soon! 

How can we best balance the busyness of this time with our personal, spiritual preparation for this joyful season?

 

You may like to suggest some books or some practical ideas to share with the ACW community

 

Caroline Old, one of our ACW community members, suggests a couple of books below that she found helpful during Advent last year

"The Meaning is in the Waiting"
by Paula Gooder 

This book helps you spend time through Advent reflecting the qualities of Waiting upon and thinking about what happens whilst you wait..

 

Considering why God gives us opportunities to wait upon His grace and guidance 

                                                               

Caroline Old, November 2018

"Lighted Windows"
by Margaret Silf

Predominantly this book is about waiting for the promised child, which stirs the emotion of hope, like the ‘Little Match-girl’ who looks through window panes glimpsing life that’s so beautiful and different from her own.

 

So it is with our own lives that each window can be viewed differently..                                                               

 

Caroline Old, November 2018

MARCH 2018
"I thought there would be Cake"
by Katharine Welby-Roberts

My initial impression of Katherine Welby-Roberts’ book is how very honest she is about her struggle with mental illness and being comfortable in her own skin.

I found the thoughts and frequent personal anecdotes which she shares very comforting; to know that I am not the only woman who feels insecure, compares herself to others, and worries about what other people think.

Right from the start Katherine states that the book is a journey and opportunity to explore the reader’s hang-ups alongside her own and she sums it up perfectly when she says, “I am writing a book exploring self-worth, pondering what it would be to resign yourself to the fact that you are who you are, and even to enjoy it just a little”.

The book is an easy-read; with a Christian perspective on day-to-day personal struggles that we face in today’s world.

5/5 Stars!                                                                 

Holly Smith, March 2018

"Those Who Wait - Finding God in Disappointment, Doubt and Delay"
by Tanya Marlow

Tanya Marlow is a writer, speaker and broadcaster on faith and spirituality. However, after 10 years of ill health and many doctors’ appointments, she was eventually diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). She has spent many more years since her diagnosis waiting to get better. At the time of writing the book, Tanya had been housebound for seven years and says that in the hours she spends alone, she waits for recovery.

“Sometimes I wait for better health like an irritated adult … sometimes I wait like a preschool child on the way to the beach, yelling to God repeatedly, ”Are we there yet?”, whining and fidgeting when the answer comes back “Not yet”, infuriated by its vagueness. Often, I wait with peace – or resignation (it can be hard to distinguish between the two). Sometimes I wait with secret hope.”

I bought this book just because of the opening title: Those Who Wait. At the time I was desperately waiting for God to reveal his future plans for us, following my husband’s retirement. There seemed to be a delay in the proceedings and I’m not good at being patient!

The introduction alone gave me so much to think about and summed up the many frustrations and irritations I had in my waiting; it blessed me so much. The main body of the book is about four key people from the Bible and how they experienced needing to wait:

  • Sarah: Dealing with Disappointment – Waiting for Joy

  • Isaiah: Dealing with Delay – Waiting for Justice and Peace

  • John: Dealing with Doubt – Waiting for your life’s purpose

  • Mary: Dealing with Disgrace – Waiting for Jesus

 

Tanya writes the accounts of these biblical ‘greats’ in such a personal and creative way. It’s like listening to them talk about their lives across a table over a cup of coffee.  

If you are waiting, this is the book for you. It doesn’t matter what it is you are waiting for: a change of career, a change in health, a change in any circumstance you find yourself in – this book will resonate with you.  It works as an ‘easy read’ about a difficult process. It also works as a personal study book, with great follow-up questions and ideas at the end of each chapter.

Waiting can be a lonely experience. However, the gentleness of this book helps to reduce that sense of being alone and brings a realisation that God is with you in the waiting.

Jan Haywood, March 2018

See Jan's Blog (March 2018) for a song related to this review

"Resurrection Year"
by Sheridan Voysey

This is the story of an Australian couple, Sheridan and Merryn, sharing their experiences of childlessness. 

The book is in three parts; ten years of expectation and disappointment, followed by a year of transition from living in Australia to moving to England (with time spent on holiday in Italy and on “retreat” at L’Abri in the Swiss alps), followed by how they begin to build a new life in Oxford.

In the book you share their anguish and joy, as they journey through their wilderness days to find “resurrection”. Gradually, they begin to feel that through their pain, their lives will be filled with hope and joy, as they once again draw closer to God.

However, the book is more than just about infertility, it’s about broken dreams, tested faith, and the need for a new beginning.

It’s about taking a risk and starting again. 

It’s about holding onto God when you don’t understand him.

This is an honest challenging book which will give you hope, as you face disappointments.

 

Helen Wilson, March 2018

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