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The Waiting Place: Learning to Appreciate Life's Little Delays Paperback – June 6, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Eileen Button is a weekly columnist for The Flint Journal. Her commentaries have also appeared in multiple online and print publications, including Newsweek and Christianity Today. In addition, Eileen is an adjunct professor of Communication.  She lives with her family in a town where she is often stuck in a waiting place, such as a doctors' office, athletic field, school auditorium, and carpool loop.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849946255
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849946257
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #696,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eileen Button is a weekly columnist for The Flint Journal. Her commentaries have also appeared in multiple online and print publications, including Newsweek and Christianity Today. In addition, she is an adjunct professor of Communication at Mott Community College. She lives with her family in Davison, Michigan - a town where she is often stuck in waiting places such as doctors' offices, athletic fields, school auditoriums, and carpool loops. Regardless of the waiting place, she usually has a good book in one hand and a strong cup of coffee in the other.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By George Waters on May 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
Eileen Button is part preacher's wife, part English professor and part newspaper columnist, living in the suburbs of Michigan. The essays in her first book, "The Waiting Place," gently ask us to redefine the way we think of waiting; waiting for the mail, for children to grow up, for a sign from God. Throughout, she reminds us that, as John Lennon sang, life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

Waiting is not down time or lost time or wasted time; it's life. Whether she is describing her youthful longing for her father's approval while on a fishing trip, or her affection for her husband-to-be's clavicles, or her love of her grandmother's weathered but beautiful hands, Button's soulful prose illuminates her Christian faith with simple, often funny stories. ("Note to self: Next time you tape undergarments to your chest, use duct tape instead of masking tape").

As the wife of a preacher, she has a unique vantage point from which to view her local congregation ("...the divorced and dying. Grumpy and grateful. They have been blessed beyond measure; they have survived astonishing loss. They come because they always have. They come because they never have").

There are humorous observations ("We know the verse that reads 'The first will be last, and the last first,' but we race each other to the front of the potluck line and never notice the irony"). There are also glimpses into the more difficult side of a preacher's life; the seven-day-a-week demands of his congregation, the psychological stress of easing other people's burdens, burnout.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Julie Allman on May 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is what I do impulsively when I think to myself as I'm reading "so-and-so NEEDS to read this book. I needed to read this book." What could be better to say than this book meets a need? But not in the way that air or emergency surgery meets a need, this is more like beef roast after church. It's warm, filling, and the scents bring up memories of your own childhood, or grandma's house, or a bittersweet time when you didn't have enough. It invites you to trust, but not lightly. Nope, not lightly. Trust proven through pain, awkwardness and humor, longing, laughter, and hope, it's all here.

I'm neither an expert reviewer nor reader, but in one phrase, it's "Bombeck meets Buechner" :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Rayburn VINE VOICE on July 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
Waiting...waiting on family. Waiting on God. Waiting on a decision. We all have times when we must wait. Eileen Button has spent a lot of time waiting and she writes about it in her memoir, The Waiting Place. This is a collection of her own experiences told in a way that the reader enters the story and experiences it with the author.

By all of my normal standards, I wouldn't like this book much. Button is irreverent and bold. She talks about things most pastor's wives wouldn't. She uses words like "dang" without shame, and she's just plain edgy. Like I said, by my normal standards, I wouldn't be impressed. But that's exactly what I like about this book. The author is real and raw. She isn't pretentious or acting like she has it all together. She just puts it all out there and lets the reader like her, or not.

Unlike my experience with Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz where the entire memoir depicted Miller's big ego, Eileen Button's The Waiting Place is a gentler memoir, drawn from a place of humility. And it's artfully told. The first person present tense draws the read into the moment. And I love the poetic way that Button describes things. She has a way with words that few have. For example, she talks of her mother styling her hair and says the ringlets "hang like Hostess Ho Hos along the sides of our heads." She weaves humor and sadness together and grips the heart of the reader.

I had to laugh when she told the story of her weddings dress. Like the author, I bought my dress off the rack to save money and chose to wear 3 inch heals so I wouldn't have to pay for alterations. And like hers, mine was "pretty in an eighties kinda way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DaisyGirl on June 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
Eileen Button's The Waiting Place is, as the description provides, a collection of essays from her life experiences. Experiences that she had while she felt she was in a "waiting place". It begins with her childhood and works it's way to her present day life. Ms. Button includes the emotions she felt as the wife of a preacher, as the mother of a child born with health complications, and everything in-between.

While Ms. Button's book will most certainly appeal to many people, I must be honest and say it was not quite what I was expecting. I was hoping for a book that included strong Biblical encouragement that Ms. Button found while experiencing her "waiting places". But it did not--at least to the degree for which I was hoping.

It is a very real book. The publisher's description was accurate in saying it was written "with...heart-breaking candor". While I want a book that is "real"--that is written without curtains drawn to hide out the sadness of life--I also prefer books that encourage me and help me find the peace and strength from God that I need to endure life, to endure my "waiting places". Unfortunately, for me, I did not find that in this book. Her perspective on many aspects of life and relationships was not one I shared.

Regardless of my opinion, if you decide to read Ms. Button's book, I hope you enjoy it.

{Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com [...] book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 [...] : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."}
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