I belong to a neighborhood book club, and we often read books by LDS authors (although we read plenty of others as well). The book for this month is called, “Band of Sisters,” by Annette Lyon. From the Deseret Book site, here is the description:
When the war on terror calls their husbands to duty, five LDS women are left behind to fight battles of their own: Kim, newlywed and pregnant, frightened of what the future might bring. Brenda, struggling to manage three unruly boys and a crippling bout of depression. Jessie, secretly grappling with mixed feelings about her emotionally abusive husband. Marianne, wrestling with a rebellious teenage daughter. And Nora, the seasoned Army wife with perfect hair, an immaculate home — and an ill-tempered mother dying of cancer.
Knowing the separation of deployment is extremely difficult, Nora gathers the wives every week to share lunches and burdens. In good company, they worry over safety in the field and stability at home and offer one another counsel and comfort. But as their personal crises build, each woman faces the risks of forming deep bonds of trust. And when tragedy strikes, they must confront the painful realities of war that pull families apart and bring friends together as sisters.
Overall review: Read it if you are an LDS woman ready for a good cry.
Now for my more specific review ***Spoiler alert both for anyone who hasn’t read the book, and for my insights I will probably share on book club night***
Very minor negatives: The book was a quick and easy read without a lot of elevated language-, and obviously (very obviously) written for a Utah LDS audience (all the way down to discussing city parks and restaurants only in Utah County).
Positives of the books and good messages: You can contribute.
The five women in the book start out each with their own insecurities and recognizing how different they are from the women that surround them. They each feel like they either can’t really be themselves or they don’t have much to contribute to the other wives, but in the end, they see that they really are needed and important. I love how that teaches us that we can be of service to others even if we feel different than they are.
Take of the masks.
Maybe it’s just because of my rant a little while ago on here “To All LDS Women,” but the point really was there: Take off the “masks” that we use to hide who we really are. If we’re pretending to be something we’re not, we need to stop, and by stopping, we can actually help others around us feel more comfortable with themselves.
Unless you have gone through it, you don’t know what it’s like.
I also enjoyed reading about what it is really like to be a wife of a deployed military member. Through the book, the women talk about how nobody else really “gets it”–what it’s like to be going through what they are. I admit that I am one of those who never even thought there was something to “get” before I read this. It opened my eyes to how the trials faced by these women really are different than any others I may have faced.
Personal point of view.
Lastly, I think my favorite part of the book was how each chapter was written from a different woman’s point of view. It was interesting to really see the life and trials of each woman through her own eyes. And I LOVED that those with little children face the same things I go through each day–the messes, the craziness, all of it. It made me feel a little bit more normal 🙂
Have you read this book? Have you read any similar books? What did you think?