Book Nook

Can I Get An Amen?

So I’m strolling through Barnes & Noble looking for some good quick reads and I notice this one – the cover immediately got my attention.

Ellen Carlisle has found herself infertile, unemployed, divorced and living at home with her parents at 31.   Her ‘crazy Christian’ mother thinks all she has to do is pray and go to church to make it all better.  Her mother wants them to appear to be the epitome of a Christian family, but with a divorced daughter living at home, a gay son, a strained relationship with her other daughter and secrets of her own it’s hard keeping up appearances.  Although Ellen’s family is quite different from mine, I was able to relate.

When the last thing you want is the one thing you need, you’ve got to have a little faith….

After several years of trying to conceive, my husband and I recently found out that although not impossible, our only good option is IVF.  For the longest time I just didn’t want to know if there was a problem.  I kept telling myself “God knows what I can handle”.  In the story, Ellen’s husband ends up leaving her because she is infertile and he was not open to adoption.  I despised this character – what happened to ‘for better or worse’?  I am very fortunate that I married a man who I can count on.  Sure, we have our issues and it’s been a rocky road at times, but we are in this together for the long haul.

“…it’s after you think the dust has settled that life really gets to have its way with you.”

While discussing our disconcerting news with a close friend, I commented that I wondered if we would’ve had better luck at conceiving had we started earlier and she said something that I think rings true.  She basically said that there was a reason we found out now, that we had to live through some stuff and get to this point in order for us to handle it.  I feel the character in the book is the same way.  Ellen wasn’t looking to find love and definitely not where she found it.  She had to live through the tragedy of divorce and everything else to get to the place in her life where she could see things differently.

Being raised Catholic, I sometimes struggle with who I really am and what I believe.  Of course I believe in God and always have.  I like the reverence and tradition of mass in the Catholic church, but I always feel like a relationship with God is more personal.  I don’t think that you have to go to church every Sunday to be a good Christian.  In fact, I don’t think you have to be a Christian to be a good person and being a good person is much more important than what religion you practice.

“And though I still don’t know what I am, or how to define my beliefs, I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I am blessed.”

Some of the story was predictable but there were a few surprises too.  I was both entertained and amused.  I look forward to seeing what else Sarah Healy has to offer.

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