Top positive review
7 people found this helpful
Interesting behind the scenes look at one of America's largest families
on October 30, 2009
I first heard of the Duggars a few years ago on the Today show and was impressed by their seemingly polite and mature children. I didn't really give it much more thought and they made several more appearances on the show so that I finally became familiar with their name, but never really had an interest in watching any of their specials. I heard a lot of people talk about them (in person or on the internet) and while some of it was good, most of it was negative. Recently, I watched one of their shows and I was amazed at the patience of Michelle while dealing with her little ones and I was inspired. I didn't start watching the show, but I thought about it whenever my children (2 and younger) were driving me crazy! Very recently I have begun to watch the repeated episodes as well as the new ones and I became more and more interested in this family, so I decided to buy the book. (So after that rather long introduction, my review...)
It was a very easy read; it only took me two nights to read it. It was also very engaging, and easily kept my interest. It did have a lot of information not seen in the show, in particular how Michelle and Jim Bob met and the first years of their marriage. They seem like genuine, honest, and faith filled people and the book is very inspiring for those with one child or many. Even if you don't have any children, but you have a strong faith in God, I think this would be a pleasurable read as it is as much about faith in God as it is in their lives' stories. The two are completely intertwined and you simply can't have one without the other.
I particularly enjoyed finding out many "facts" that I had heard about them, were simply not true. For instance, the biggest lie that I had thought was true was that Michelle stopped breastfeeding at six months so that she could become pregnant again. She usually breastfeeds exclusively until she gets pregnant again and her milk supply goes down. Another silly lie, all the children have to wear the same clothes. While they admit that when they go on a trip they try to have the children wear the same color shirt, it is only for the purpose of being able to keep track of everyone easier, something that most larger (and some smaller) families do. Also, it is helpful to wear similar colors the same day for laundry purposes. They are not rich, they always buy used and save up for items so that they can pay in cash and not have any debt, something I think most people should think about doing.
While the book was very interesting, I did have a little trouble with the organization. The book was mostly told in chronological order, but they also had sections (such as disciplining the little ones, preparing the older children for adult life, homeschooling, and organization) toward the end, yet they were mention numerous times throughout. It was almost like they were trying to put two books (their biographies and their tips and advice) together in one. It was a little distracting at times. The only other problem I had, was that they used the first person narrative to tell the story, which is nice, as it is more personal, unfortunately their were two people telling this story so they would say: I (Michelle)... or I (Jim Bob)... and sometimes I had to go back to reread to see who was talking. I almost wished they used two different type fonts to distinguish who was speaking. While these things were distracting or bothersome at times, I still thoroughly enjoyed the book and I know that they don't pretend to be professional writers so I can forgive them for it.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys watching their TV shows or even those just following them with the Today show. I would also recommend it to anyone with a family and a strong faith, as you will find helpful information about dealing with children, the house, homeschooling, scheduling and how to find ways to live your life more faithfully. I wouldn't recommend this book to those who are only looking for recipes and tips, because while this book includes them, the bulk of the book is really the Duggers life story so far. Also, their website includes some of that stuff that you could check out for free.