I had the opportunity to hear Jen Hatmaker at MOMCon – a MOPS convention – a couple years ago. Her speaking style is very similar to her writing style: Big, loud, “spicy,” Texan. She is a passionate speaker and has done amazing things to live out her beliefs. Her honesty, humor, and down-to-earth tone has created an enormous following of white, middle class, Christian moms. In other words, she is speaking to my demographic. While I’ve never envisioned us as BFFs, I appreciate Hatmaker’s voice to my peers: Love God, Love Others.
In her newest book, For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards, Jen Hatmaker combines her usual wit and conviction in a series of essays about life as a mom, Christian, and minister.
I’ll admit, I went into this book a bit skeptical. Her previous books have been built on short chapters and I just wasn’t sure I was ready for another blog-like series of essays. I was pleasantly surprised. Hatmaker’s signature wit was certainly present (and there were plenty of fluff chapters to keep the reader chuckling) but she also added a certain depth that I wasn’t expecting. The chapters on Christian culture, on raising kids, and on building grace for our communities were insightful and honest. In fact, I wish there were more of those. She was able to combine her own life experience into a broader story and had some necessary things to say about our expectations for the generation of kids we’re raising.
Hatmaker knows her audience and writes for them. This is not a universal book – it is written for women who enjoy a certain lifestyle (kids, gourmet food, wine). Perhaps it’s because I fit into this group, but I didn’t find it off-putting. I appreciate that Hatmaker knows who will read her book and writes for them. Her most powerful essays are effective because of this – she is speaking directly to her readers.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was encouraging and thoughtful. I caught glimpses of where Hatmaker could go as a writer and am hoping to see even more depth in her future books.
I am amazed at the number of women who want to be Jen’s best friend. Have you ever read an author with whom you instantly connect?
GIVEAWAY! I am giving away my copy of For the Love. Leave a comment telling me whether you are drawn to humor or inspirational books and I’ll randomly select a winner on Friday, August 28, 2015. (United States addresses only.)