January Book Reviews

The Paris Wife

Ernest Hemingway is a well-known author. His books are often listed with the classics and his book, The Old Man and The Sea has even been on High School required reading lists. But even more fascinating than his books, is his life.

Hemingway is known for having four marriages, three of which failed. He’s also known for his drinking habit, his love of boxing and bull fighting, and his love/hate relationship with war.

One of his books, A Moveable Feast, is a memoir of his time in Paris before he made it big with his writing. He was married to his first wife, Hadley Richardson. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain takes the details from A Moveable Feast and asks, “What was life like for Hadley during those years?”

The result is a beautiful, but heartbreaking story of Hemingway’s first marriage from the point of view of Hadley. This story captures Hemingway the writer as he struggles to see success with his writing through the eyes of his wife, who has her own struggles trying to support her husband in a world where marriage is frowned upon, and fashion is everything.

As Hemingway begins to sell his writing, Hadley worries she will no longer be enough for Ernest. For a wife who’s given up everything she knows and is comfortable with in order to support her husband and make him the center of her world, she begins wondering what will happen to her.

But Hadley makes the choice to find herself again and discovers she has more strength than she ever thought. After her marriage ends, she is able to heal and move on and find her own success.

This book is a beautiful tribute to Hemingway’s first wife and if you enjoy anything about the life of Ernest, whether it’s his writing, or his life, I think you’ll enjoy this book.

Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets

I was a little overwhelmed when I finished reading this book because I could see a better picture of why prayer is so important. But the magnitude of things in the world that need praying for kept coming to mind and it was overwhelming.

But while I was reading it, I was encouraged. Encouraged to take a look at my prayer life and see where I can improve, where I can apply the new things I learned, and how I could make my prayer time more effective. And I’ve started putting those things into practice. I feel a little bit like I’m bumbling around, a little unsteady on my new prayer legs, but I feel better about my prayer life. Like my prayers are actually making a difference, like I’m not just being heard, but I’m asking for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. And that feels good.

As for the book itself, it was a little dry in places. Some of the chapters seemed really long and I often I would get halfway through the chapter and start counting pages because my eyes were starting to glaze over and I was rereading sentences. But that was only sometimes.

There were some really good stories in there that I enjoyed reading that really brought the point across that the author was trying to make. There were also some humorous bits too, which was nice to stumble on every now and then and breathed new life into my willingness to continue reading.

I gave this book four stars because the information contained inside is fantastic. I learned a lot. But it was a little dry and took me a little longer to read. However, I would recommend it if you’re wanting to learn more about intercessory prayer because there are a lot of Bible verses to back up what he says, that he includes in the books and he explains it in a very logical way.

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