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Monday, November 9, 2009

* Mothering Heights: A Novel Approach for Christian Mothers *

PhotobucketMothering Heights: A Novel Approach for Christian Mothers
by Keitha Smith and Susan Brereton.

Retail Value: $15.00

Book summary: This encouraging book uses the charm of timeless literary works and the wisdom of the Bible to reconsider what is seen today as a classic role. Using selected quotes from novels including Sense and Sensibility, Treasure Island, and Great Expectations, the authors offer encouragement and exhortation to women of all walks of life who struggle and strive to be intentional in their parenting choices.

Author Bios:

Susan Brereton is a former New Zealand resident currently living in England. She is a wife, mother of five children, and an interior designer. For many years, Susan has run a Bible study for mothers of preschool children, and has had a long association with the Navigators and Moms-in-Touch.

Keitha Smith lives in New Zealand with her husband and two children, including one with special needs. With a background in training and education, Keitha leads the women’s ministry group at her church and serves on the local school’s board of trustees.
Check out Keitha's fictional Mother's Prayer Blog ,The Jonah Tree. Also visit www.MotheringHeights.org.

A sample chapter is available for review on the Mothering Heights website.

*Disclosure: Mama Buzz and reviewers received a complimentary of Mothering Heights for review purposes

Mothering Heights by Keitha Smith and Susan Crereton has found it's niche on my bookshelf of favorite motherhood books. This is a book that contains though-provoking chapters. Chapters that give me so much food for thought, I could ponder one chapter for several days. I really appreciate that in a book.

The concept that Mothering Heights is built on is intriguing to an avid reader like me. Keitha and Susan took classics such as Pride and Prejudice, Portrait of a Lady, A Room with a View, and Great Expectations and built each of their chapters around the book. Using quotes from the book, they spun their chapter around each thought provoking theme.

For instance, Great Expectations set the stage for a discussion on what our own expectations as mothers are, as well as meeting the expectations of those around us, as we parent our children. My favorite chapter, based on the novel A Room with a View, centered around servanthood, which essentially, is another name for motherhood.

In addition to using quotes from the book, each chapter is also rounded out with verses, which only adds to the depth of the written words.

For those who are not avid readers, and who have not enjoyed classics through the years, this book may be too much for them. It isn't easy reading, though that is not necessarily a drawback. Sometimes we need books that will give us food for thought, and Mothering Heights provides that. 

Mel's Thoughts:
Mothering Heights could not have come at a better time for me.   Written by Keitha Smith and Susan Brereton, it is full of tidbits of wisdom and encouragement for all moms out there, whether stay-at-home moms or moms who work outside the home.  It is a book that really lays everything out on the line, including the misconceptions we had about motherhood before we had children, the expectations we face every day as mothers, and our role as mothers, with our children, within our individual families. 

The chapters in this book are titled after classic novels, such as Great Expectations, Pride and Prejudice, etc.  Just to quote from the book, These have been chosen not only because they succintly summarize the flavor of the chapter content, but also because, in a way, the notion of traditional motherhood has been relegated to that of a classic: something that once was commonplace but now is regarded as somewhat outmoded.  Yet just as some books remain timeless and very popular, there are aspects of being a mother that transcend time and culture because they are of God and God's truth.  Also included in each chapter are quotes from the different literary works that just go along with the chapter content or enhance the content.  At the end of each chapter are discussion questions for the reader to consider or that would make great discussion in a Bible study group/mothers' group.

Lately, I've often commented to my husband how, with all of the advice and topics covered in the world today, it almost feels like you have to be this Stepford wife, or else you're told your kids could grow up to be sociopaths or have behavioral issues, or whatever.  I felt myself relating to not only the authors and topics they covered, but to the other women in the book, whose thoughts they incorporated into each chapter.  There was one portion of the book that was dedicated to giving the reader inspirational examples of Biblical motherhood from the Bible.  Examples like Sarah, Rebekah, Mary, Hannah, and even Mordecai, who although he wasn't a mother, was still a parent.  It was easy to get the gist of much of the book, that clearly, God's expectations are the only ones that truly matter in this life, especially when it comes to being a mother.

I loved the chapter on Sense and Sensibility.  I think I loved it because I love lists.:)  Truly, though, it offered lists of suggestions on Your Relationship With God, Your Relationship With Your Husband, Parenting, Your Health and Well-Being, Managing Your Household, and Finances.  They weren't musts, but suggestions.

The role of Mother is very simply a servant role....and while we are bombarded with all kinds of media, advice, and tips on the subject, it always comes back to what God expects of us, as individuals and what He deems best for our own families....it's not about what the family next door is doing, and it's not even about what your mother did.  It's what is best for your family.  I recommend this book to any mother-to-be and every mother out there.....it is something I will probably keep going back to, especially on those tough days, when I see no light at the end of the tunnel.:)  You can get a copy of Mothering Heights for $12.00 on the Judson Press site. 


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