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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.
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on December 10, 2009
This book is a very fast read due to the large margins, large type,and large spaces. However, this doesn't mean that it is unenjoyable or a that it is a drawback.

I think we can often see the people on TV as somehow more perfect then ourselves. This book breaks this image of the Duggers. They do share what they've learned and done right. They also show where they've messed up and failed. They tell about where they came from and the growth they've been through. I very much appreciate this.

While you can find many recipes that are also on their website, you can also find many helpful tips to make your life easier. I especially liked their system for organizing boxes for moving. She also shared how she found that this system made it easier for other applications as well, like storing items only used at certain times of the year or being able to weed out items you no longer need.

Watching the Duggers can sometimes make a person think they could never be debt free like the Duggers. Or it can make them think that the Duggers much just be wealthy or many other things. But this isn't the case. When you read the book, you see that they aren't wealthy but have used some very wise tips and lessons they've learned to become and stay debt free. They work hard and sacrifice what they want this second and instead save for what they need. At this time, it is a very good lesson for people to learn.

I greatly enjoyed this book.

There is one concern I would pass on that others have also mentioned. There is one aspect of the writing style which can be awkward. They will use I (Jim Bob) or I (Michelle) when talking. This isn't a deal breaking thing but can come off as awkward until you get used to it.

I would recommend this book whether you are quiverfull like the Duggers, a parent in need of advice, a fangirl/boy of the Duggers, or just enjoy some wholesome reading about an interesting family.
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on May 3, 2011
I bought this book just for fun because I like the Duggar family. I wanted to see what, if any, parenting tips they had. I had no idea how great this book and their story was going to be. They take you through their life from dating to present and give you tips on how they live along the way. But, it isn't just a personal history lesson. They explain why they made the decisions that they did. I found it to be very inspirational- almost akin to a devotional. They teach you to rely on God to meet your needs even in the most minute ways. (I'm thinking of the the time one of the kids prayed for a pink blanket and one turned up in a car that Jim Bob bought for the car lot.) But, they also teach to be hard workers and steady plodders.
I learned a lot about living a good life, relying on God, and how doing the right thing works out in the end. I am so glad I bought this book. It changed the way I view my Christian walk. It is as much a book on finances as parenting. Maybe more so, or maybe that is just what was on my mind when I read it. They are also a ton of practical tips on everything.

I recommend this book to everyone. It should be required reading for newlyweds! :)
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on November 4, 2016
Inspiring and informative for Christian families who are looking for tips to help in daily life while raising your children.
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on February 3, 2009
I want to forewarn potential readers that there are several recipes and answers to e-mails sprinkled throughout the reading. I had to stop reading the story to read the recipe or the e-mail and then continue reading the story again. I still LOVE the book and do not want to donate this one to my local library like my other books.

This family has grown in so many ways. Not just the obvious way - having children. Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar have grown spiritually throughout their lives together. They used this faith as a foundation to raise their family on. They love one another so much and support one another in every venture. They are very smart by establishing a "no debt" policy. They show how they have done this throughout the years. It's amazing! I would HIGHLY recommend this book to those who need reassurance that all things are possible through God.
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on January 14, 2014
I gave this a four because most people that purchase this book have done so because theyare familiar with the tv program. I found the material somewhat repetitious..but enjoyed it. I like seeing what works for others in their homes and try to implement them in my home. For instance, they recommended the Maxwell's Managing their Chores. I purchased it and found it helpful. I have purchased another Duggar book that was much more detailed and helpful. It helped to see that Michelle is not supermom but a mom who has learned to work through the same struggles all moms of young children experience.
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on March 1, 2015
I wanted a lot of technical information and resources to understand how it was possible. I love the Lord so i'm not surprised to see His hand move in their lives. How they honored Him with their lifestyle and faith shows that it is not simple nor easy but that He will always take care of us and bring us through. I am going to use the resources to try and help children with my grandchildren. Thank you beyond what I can express. God bless you for your book.
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on June 1, 2014
Excellent reading. A wonderful insight into how they have succeeded into raising a wonderful family. You know we don't raise children we raise children to become self sufficient adults ready to take on the world and Jim Bob and Michelle have done that. There is a lot of lessons that we all as parents can take from this book and implement with our families. I could not put the book down and read it in 2 sessions but of course I am sure I will pick it up and read again and perhaps again for encouragement in raising my family.
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on December 19, 2013
The story of the Duggar family is inspirational. You can just feel the love they have for God and family as you read the pages of this book. I have always wanted a large family and have been blessed through foster care with many children, although we do not take more than 4 children at a time we have shared our home and the love of Christ with almost 200 foster children over the last 13 years. I already use some of the same techniques as Michelle Duggar but learned so much more from this book. My hearts desire is to one day meet this wonderful family.
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on December 31, 2012
I enjoyed this read simply because I enjoy the Duggars. There is little in the book that someone who has seen the majority of their shows hadn't already seen or been able to piece together. There is a lot more detail about their business/financial history in this book. If you want your primary reading to be about their current(ish) day-to-day lives, read their second book, A Love that Multiplies.

On a side note, the format is a little frustrating as a Kindle user. I love the pictures, quotes, stories, and recipes, but they break the text up awkwardly on the Kindle. It makes me wish I had purchased a paper copy rather than a digital one.
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