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The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir Paperback – Bargain Price, September 30, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Kenison writes so beautifully and clearly about what is most important in family life." (author of A Map of the World and Laura Rider's Masterpiece Jane Hamilton )
An honest, graceful book that every parent will appreciate. In the thick of challenging changes, emotional troughs, and tender realizations the reader will find comfort and guidance. Here is a fine writer, a dedicated mother, and a spiritual seeker speaking intimately to parents in search of wisdom." (author of Care of the Soul and Writing in the Sand Thomas Moore )
How I admire this mid-life mom, who writes with strong contemplative spirit and a heart wide open to change. Her memoir is a courageous and generous contribution to deepening American family life. (author of Body Eloquence Nancy Mellon )
"The Gift of an Ordinary Day is much more than a memoir of motherhood; it is an inspired and inspiring meditation on midlife. What Katrina Kenison gives mothers-her gift-is the promise of reinventing ourselves as our kids grow up and we grow older, and the assurance of an invitingly abundant landscape on the far side of parenthood." (author of Writing Motherhood Lisa Garrigues )
Top Customer Reviews
Although the prose is beautiful, it could be edited...that is the only fault I could find with this book.Read more ›
The book followed a tiresome and repetitive formula, something like:
My life isn't exactly what I thought it would be. My sons aren't what I thought they would be. My house isn't what I thought it would be. And then the message, which is repeated over and over, is to embrace life, to live in the moment, to appreciate what you have instead of what you hoped you would have.
That is a nice message. But it's as if the author has to learn it 40 times throughout the book, and we the reader are dragged along through every banal epiphany.
After reading the comments, it seems like this book does resonate with people who are going through the exact same thing as she is. I'm in a different place in my life, so perhaps that has something to do with my dislike for the book.
She also comes across as being pretty self-absorbed and selfish. She makes huge decisions despite her entire family's protest in the name of self-growth. It seems like a problem of "wherever you go, there you are" to me. As in, she can change locations and homes as often as she wants, but she's still going to be herself. Which as far as I can tell, would be exhausting. I would want a break from it, too.
The language in the book is painstakingly crafted, like poetry. I am struggling to describe my reaction to it. Ironically, in trying to parse so carefully here in this review, I notice myself falling into the author's writing style...feel the feeling, but then--this is important-- polish it, buff it up, and make it presentable, even pleasant.
Let's just say I prefer down-to-earth, honest, realism. I felt like the author's flowery, poetic, carefully selected language was like a six-foot electric fence between me, the reader, and her real feelings.
And as a down-to-earth mother of two teenage boys myself, my BS detector was going wild. It happened throughout, but here's an illustrative example: the part about the two teenage boys arguing about who gets the chaise lounge every day after lunch because it's the best place to read? Um...yeah.
At book's end, the author says, "Pondering my own life required solitude." I must admit that statement puts me off. A married woman, a mother, in solitude? While "pondering life?" For months and years? Yikes.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was about the life of a mother. The good , the bad and the ugly. In addition, it is also about life. I found the book to be reminiscent of my own life as a mother. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Snow Brenner
Katrina Kenison has written a very poignant story with beautiful language. I read The Gift of an Ordinary Day several years ago with my Bol club and loved every page. Read morePublished 1 month ago by HappyMom
This book does a remarkable job of describing what it is like to be a mother, wife, and employee for a baby boomer generation. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Pauline J.
Loved this book. Bittersweet, made me laugh, made me cry. Will buy several more to give as gifts.Published 4 months ago by Robin Darscg
Was ok, interesting but not for everyone. However, if you have two sons, it's a must-read!Published 6 months ago by Gail Terhaar