Monday, May 5, 2014

Quivering Daughters

Quivering Daughters: Hope and Healing for the Daughters of Patriarchy, by Hilary McFarland

I purchased the ebook via the author's website.

My review:

McFarland writes to an audience that most mainstream people do not even really know exists. While the popularity of the Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar family on TLC means that the average American has at least heard of the homeschooling, fundamentalist-Christian, Quiverfull lifestyle, few realize what day to day life for a child in such a setting can be like. Fewer still are aware of the ramifications of such environments for the spiritual state and self-image of the children, and particularly of the female children, long into adulthood.

It is to these daughters that Hilary McFarland writes. She is careful to remind her readers that she does not presume to address minor children, and instead focuses exclusively on the grown female children of fundamentalist-Christian patriarchal families, with an emphasis on those from large families.

Even well-meaning parents who strive to lead godly families can cause pain. When true biblical principles are mixed in with the misguided teachings of extreme Quiverfull and patriarchal leaders, the pain can be deep, destructive, and lasting. McFarland exposes spiritual abuse within the church and the family unit for what it is, and she contrasts it with the healthy church and family structures mandated in the Bible.

Her tone is kind and full of compassion, encouragement, and grace, which will be sorely needed by the women for whom she writes.

The organizational structure is loose, as is the voice. The compartmentalization of the author's current persona and her past as "Luna" can also be confusing and disconcerting. Still, these characteristics lend validity to McFarland's admission that she herself had to write and journal through her own healing process, and provides one example to her readers of how this may be done.

Highly recommended for adult children of families that emphasized parental control and children's unquestioning submission.

Stars: 4.5

Friday, May 2, 2014

Spring Fever

Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews (read by Kathleen McInerney)

I borrowed the audiobook on CD from my local public library.

My review:

Annajane is attending her ex-husband's wedding, which she realizes is a little unorthodox, but then so is her whole relationship with Mason, his daughter, and his whole soda-pop-empire family. Her relationship with Mason's new bride, Celia, is more along the lines of expectation; the two women put on smiles but can barely stand each other. When a last-second accident postpones the wedding, the white cotton gloves come off.

Andrews' dialogue is as snappy and laugh-out-loud funny as in her other books, and there are enough family secrets and twists and turns to satisfy any small-town gossip. Unfortunately, Mason's actions stretch credulity at several points in the narrative. Celia starts out deliciously complex but by the end is reduced to little more than a stock character. Still, Spring Fever will be a good choice for those who love skeletons in closets and feminine characters with strong spines.

Stars: 3.5

Runability: 5