Yesterday, I mentioned that until very recently, I hadn't read a fiction-for-Mama book in over twenty years. I used to inhale fiction until, inexplicably, when I had cancer, I no longer had any inclination to crack a volume that wasn't a non-fiction book, unless I was previewing for or reading with a child.
Someone suggested yesterday that fiction requires an emotional investment. Indeed. And I'm just so emotionally invested so many places that investing in fictional books (or even movies, for that matter, much to my husband's chagrin) doesn't come easily for me.
I sort of got hoodwinked into this one.
Theresa Fisher approached me and asked if she could run an ad for her new book. All of the sponsors on my blog offer something I think will benefit my readers. I don't offer sponsorship unless I think I'm passing along information you can use. In order to have Theresa as a sponsor, I had to read her book. The whole thing. No way around it. I was going to have to immerse myself in the lives of these characters until the very end.
I read the introduction standing in my kitchen, stirring dinner. Without reading further, I emailed Theresa and told her I'd love to have her! Then, I got up early one morning and read the rest. Children awakened. I waved them in the direction of the kitchen. I may or may not have finally caved and let them watch Doc McStuffins. I finished before our 10:00 rosary walk.
It was a sweet, gentle story of Joyce Barrett, who spends a year as a postulant, thinking that God was calling her to become a nun. When she discerns that she's not called to the convent, she leaves and goes back to the ordinary world. She is plunked down in rural Indiana in a big, Irish Catholic homeschooling family. I felt myself pulled into the comfortable familiarity of a wholesome Catholic story as her life was woven together with threads of parish life, family life, and life at the family-run pub.
The book is lovely and easily one I can hand to my teenaged daughter. It's a simple story, but the themes resonated long after I finished it and the characters were ones I found myself caring to know. Honestly, I fought the urge to call Theresa and beg her to just tell me the story she's planning for a sequel.
I know this book isn't destined to be the next great classic. I also know that it had all the elements of a lovely, Christian novel that I noted in the Grace Livingston Hill book I read next. For me, the fact that its characters are earnestly, wholeheartedly Catholic made it all the better. Furthermore, Joy in the Ordinary is a story that's entirely plausible. It didn't require the same stretch of willful suspension of disbelief that the GLH book required. And the children in Joy in the Ordinary were entirely believable. I felt like these were folks who could easily live next door. I wish they did:-).
The paperback is available at Amazon. The Kindle version is a well-worth-it bargain. It's only 99 cents! For 99 cents, you can have a three -cups -of-tea-morning, where you let the children watch a cartoon or two, and click your Kindle closed with a happy sigh. Go ahead, do it!
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Theresa Fisher is a happily married wife and homeschooling mother. With six children at home, she and her husband enjoy an extraordinary ordinary life of lovable chaos. Mrs. Fisher enjoys writing and knitting, keeping up with the family blog, and drinking coffee. She dreams of owning a self-sustaining hobby farm someday. Meanwhile, she's trying to keep a tomato plant alive. Joy in the Ordinary is her first novel.
Go visit her blook blog or her family blog. Leave her a comment and let her know you were there. Come back here and let me know you "met" her. You'll be eligible to win an autographed copy of Joy in the Ordinary.