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Momma's Enchanted Supper: Stories for the Long Evenings of Advent, A Memoir Hardcover – September, 1999

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Gifts of the Dark Wood: Seven Blessings for Soulful Skeptics (and Other Wanderers) by Eric Elnes
"Gifts of the Dark Wood" by Eric Elnes
In clear and lucid prose that combines the heart of a mystic, the soul of a poet, and the mind of a biblical scholar, Dr. Eric Elnes demystifies the seven gifts bestowed in the Dark Wood. Learn more | See author page

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Loyola Press repackages Carol DeChant's charming 2001 memoir, Momma's Enchanted Supper: Stories for the Long Evenings of Advent. DeChant organizes the humorous, poignant family vignettes according to the liturgical season of Advent, a period which "looks to past struggles while calling us to a grace-filled future."

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

DeChant offers an engaging assortment of heartwarming and heartrending stories culled from six generations of her family's history. The book is artfully designed as a literary Advent calendar, with each anecdote preceded by a brief quotation from one of the recommended Scripture readings for that date. Since this work is a direct outgrowth of DeChant's belief that people understand and interpret the ever-evolving Bible in light of their own unique experiences and histories, she also includes personal reflections pertaining to each story and its corresponding biblical passage. This delightfully wholesome collection of memories and meditations will appeal to readers seeking both entertainment and inspiration during the Christmas season. Margaret Flanagan

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Loyola Press; 1st edition (September 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0829412727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0829412727
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,877,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carol DeChant's articles have appeared in the Miami Herald and in Chicago's Tribune, Sun-Times, and Reader. She is also a frequent contributor to HuffingtonPost.com.

Her new book is "Great American Catholic Eulogies." The audio version recently won Best Audiobook of the Year at the 2012 Benjamin Franklin Awards Ceremony, (Independent Book Publishers Assn). The book offers a spectrum of American Catholic history through the lives of men and women of every era since the Revolution. Those memorialized made significant contributions in social, public, church or military service, or through art, music, literature, media, and sports. The book reintroduces these notable people to readers who may have forgotten--or never known--the extent of how Catholics have left their mark on America.

Her article on How to Write a Eulogy is at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carol-dechant/your-gift-of-a-eulog_b_834660.html

As founder of DeChant-Hughes & Associates, Inc., a national PR firm specializing in books and authors (now run by Kelly Hughes), Carol has always been involved in publishing.

"Momma's Enchanted Supper" is Carol's memoir of four generations of Iowans, each chapter springing from the Advent Scripture of the day. She also contributed essays to two collections: "Christmas Presence: Twelve Gifts That were More than They Seemed" and "Diamond Presence: Twelve Stories sof Finding God at the Old Ball Park." Her screenplay, "Pure Beholding," had a brief happy life as first place winner in a Texas screenwriting competition before dying peacefully, never produced.

Carol and her husband Stan Reinisch live in Ocean Ridge, FL; they spend hurricane season in Evanston, IL. Their ten grandchildren come and go.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Written from the heart by way of the funnybone, this witty, insightful memoir introduces us to a rich variety of family members through six generations. From the energetic, opinionated Momma of the title, to patient physician Dad, through grandparents and their run-ins with cereal magnates, aunts & uncles and their connection with Cold War heroes and villains, Carol Dechant's relatives combine Midwestern family values with comic antics and heartwrenching loss. Nudging readers in her Foreward to view "the stories you harbor in attics, scrapbooks and memory" as sacred, Carol Dechant leads us, chapter by chapter, on a journey that introduces us not only to her marvelous kinfolk--but acquaints us better with our own. Spiritual without being preachy, this book is lit from within. Read it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Buy a copy of this book for yourself and copies for friends and families. I've just finished reading the essay entitled "When Wisdom Spoke and We Saw Her Beauty". It's a beautifully written reminder that surface appearances usually belie the treasures underneath, in ourselves, others, and in our relationship with God. Carol Dechant's twining of the everyday with the divine reminds me of the genius of Madeleine L'Engle.
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By A Customer on October 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The stories told in this book are all right just as stories, but what do they have to do with Advent? Not much, it seems to me. I have read a lot of Advent meditation books, and most seem better than this. The problem I had with this book was that in the middle of each family story (one for each day in Advent), the author stuck a small Biblical section. This totally destroyed the flow of the family story. It got to the point that I read the Bible story first, and then the family memoir. The family memoirs seemed to have little correlation to the Bible stories they are supposed to illustrate.
The funniest family memoir was the one about when Nikita Khrushchev came to visit their family home. That was a hoot. Otherwise, they seemed kind of quirky and meaningless. If you can get this book out of the library, fine, but I could not really recommend buying this book as an Advent Bible meditation. The unusual title and the reviews caused me to buy it for our Lutheran church library. I would suggest Advent meditation books by Barbara Cawthorne Crafton or Walter Wangerin before I would recommend this one. They seem to offer more meat and deeper more mature, fully-realized, and better thought-out meanings than this one. The stories here don't seem to have a homey-ness that the title implies we will find. I was prepared to like it a lot more than I really did.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're looking for Advent reflections that help you prepare for Christmas and celebrate orthodox Catholicism, you should probably keep looking. A sample quote from the text: "After a priest told her unbaptized babies go to limbo...she thought about all those holy innocents and called his doctrine hogwash." In addition, the connection of the family stories to Advent is generally difficult to discern.
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