Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Book Review: Life Lessons From Mothers of Faith

As most of you know, I was privileged to have a story about my mother included in Gary Toyn's new compilation, Life Lessons From Mothers of Faith.  Of course, that makes my review a bit biased, so I'm telling you up front so you'll be aware.  Honestly, though, even though I am part of the book, I would have loved it even if I wasn't.

There are so many wonderful stories of mothers from a lot of easily recognizable names.  There's a great story from Josh Romney about his mother Ann.  There's stories from Steve Young, Jimmer Fredette, and Peter Vidmar.  But more than the names are the the mothers behind these names.  None of them are presented as a perfect woman but all of them influenced a child in a way that left a lasting impression.  There were some women who overcame incredibly difficult circumstances like being left in an orphanage and told she would never be adopted because she was a bad girl and others who just did the best they could with what they had.  That's what I loved best about this book---it's about real women who have become mothers and are doing their best at it no matter what their own upbringing was.  There's no guilt feelings when you read this book---only mostly warm fuzzy feelings and respect for the women we read about.

I love the fact that we can celebrate ordinary women who aren't exactly doing out-of-the-ordinary things during their motherhood, but who touch the people around them in extraordinary ways.  I like that we can talk about the fact that there are times when we aren't close to our children but we still want the best for them.  I like that we can talk about how hard it is to be a mother and how badly most of us want to do a good job at being a mother.  I like hearing stories about women who are like me, and women who aren't, because there are just some things about motherhood that are universal.

Life Lessons From Mothers of Faith has beautiful pictures in it (except mine.  They chose to put in a horrible picture of me, so if you buy it put a post-it over my picture, okay?  Promise?)  It is just beautifully done from the first page to the last page.  If you are looking for a Mother's Day gift, then really, you don't have to look any further.  I highly recommend it. 

Here is the back copy:   

We all have stories to tell. And some of our most lifechanging experiences happen with our mothers, often during everyday moments. Life Lessons from Mothers of Faith will delight you with touching true stories that highlight the almost magical way faithful mothers teach powerful lessons. These inspirational tributes from the children of Mormon moms from all walks of life underscore the sacred bond between mother and child. This is family history in the richest sense of the word simple yet influential tales that will have you laughing, crying, and thinking. Rich with unforgettable recollections, engaging anecdotes, and timeless wisdom, these are stories mothers can truly relate to, gain insight from, and feel honored by unique tributes that remind latter-day moms that their children are actually paying attention. Featuring Latter-day Saint sons' and daughters' recollections of their famous and not-so-famous mothers, this engaging celebration of unforgettable moments and immeasurable gifts will show any mother how it's often the little things that make the biggest difference in a child's life. Mothers of Faith contains more than seventy inspiring tributes, including stories from or about: Julie B. Beck, Steve Young, Silvia H. Allred, Jim Matheson, Ann Romney, Ruth Hale, Jason Chaffetz, Janice Kapp Perry, Doug Wright, Liz Lemon Swindle, J. Willard Marriott, Jr., Harry Reid, Sharlene Wells Hawkes, Gary Herbert, Greg Olsen, Susan Easton Black, Jimmer Fredette, and dozens more.


Debra Erfert said...

I'm so glad you were included in this compilation. You are an inspirational mother. And if I had a mother to buy it for, I would not put a post-it note over your picture. I think you're beautiful.

Nice review.

Janice Sperry said...

Now I know what to get my Mother-in-law for mother's day. I'd get it for my mom but she probably already has it. :)

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Thank you Debra. :)

Janice, you're right, your mom probably already has it. But I know your mother-in-law would love it. :)

Jon Spell said...

I think I might get this, based on your review alone, even if it is a little biased. ;)

Out of curiosity, how does compensation get done on compilation books? Do you split royalties (possibly unevenly) with the editor? Do you get a flat amount for contributing a story and then hope for good press/karma for your other books?

Debra Erfert said...

I don't know about Julie's, Jon, but I had a short story accepted this month for a compilation based on the Young Women's Values being put together by Walnut Springs Press, but was told the only "compensation" would be a free copy of the book. I'm okay with that considering it took me all of two hours to write and edit that short story. Mostly, I wanted to get my name in front of that editor again, since I have two full manuscripts on submission to her at the moment. How did you put it? Good karma? Yep!

Marsha Ward said...

Jon Spell, in my experience, contributors get a free book, although I haven't received my promised copy of this one yet. I broke down and bought one so I could cradle it in my arms. It's so big you have to do that, anyway! I love what the book designer did with our essays. Yes, my mother is represented. As I look back on her life, I gain new appreciation for the growth I can see from my earliest memories until the end of her life. She's a good example to me. I hope I've achieved enough measurable growth to honor her teachings as well as enhance my life and those around me.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Jon, my compensation was a complimentary copy of the book and the joy of seeing my mom's story there. It was totally worth it to me. :)

Marsha, I had to go down to corporate and get my copy. I was contacted about it, though. Maybe check your spam and see if your email is there.