Thursday, March 17, 2011

Book Review -- Becoming Flame - Uncommon Mother-Daughter Wisdom by Isabel Anders

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers (March 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608992667
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608992669


"As it is written, 'Our God is a consuming fire' (Heb. 12:29); so we also must kindle the divine fire in ourselves through tears and hard work."

Amma Syncletica, fourth century.

What could be more natural and timely than ...

Spiritual wisdom drawn from a woman's world; word paintings expressed in the poetry of mother-daughter dialogue?

Home and hearth lessons in eternal truth, firmly grounded in day-to-day experience?

Small scenarios of inquiry and response, deep questioning and fledgling faith, that reverberate with quiet insight?

Dialogues that reflect modern levels of questioning; knots of paradox that require a woman's patient attention and inner care to tease out true, gentle wisdom?

A poetic exploration of the large and the small issues of women's life-nested, braided, interwoven, never fully unraveled-in precise language that retains the mystery but awakens the soul?

Enter into the world of Becoming Flame: Uncommon Mother-Daughter Wisdom

Dialogues with questions at the end for individual and group study.

My Review:

I have found the perfect gift for Mother's Day -- the book, "Becoming Flame - Uncommon Mother-Daughter Wisdom" by Isabel Anders. This book is a collection of wise dialogue between mother and daughter, with the mother passing along wisdom she has gained over the years and from previous flames onto her daughter.  Anders writes on how generations of women continue to pass along the flame of wisdom they have acquired from other women in their lives.

This was a quick read, and included study groups questions at the end, which can be discussed with your mother or daughter, or other women in your life.  Or, you can ponder these questions yourself.

My favorite dialogue between mother and daughter was:

The Daughter recounted, "When I was on the path today, there were large stones blocking my way.  I feared I could go no further."

The Mother asked, "Were there no others who could help?"

"No," the Daughter told her.  "I was alone, and I feared the rocks at my feet would prevent me from completing my Task."

"But you are mistaken," said her Mother.  "Rather than being barriers, the stones were your task."

Overall, this is a great book for mother's to read and think about how her daughter and future generations will be impacted, just by the decisions she makes.  We have to realize that our decisions and doings in life will live on in the lives of our offspring.

About the Author:

Isabel Anders has produced or contributed to a number of inspirational books on a variety of subjects, including Soul Moments (Cowley), Simple Blessings for Sacred Moments (Liguori), and The Faces of Friendship (Wipf & Stock); narrated devotional CDs, Soul Openings and Soul Openings 2; and authored the 2008 calendar, Seasons for the Soul (Tide-Mark Press).

Madeleine L'Engle, Newbery Award-winning author (for A Wrinkle in Time), contributed an introduction to Isabel's first book, Awaiting the Child: An Advent Journal (Cowley). Isabel edited the 2009 book 40-Day Journey with Madeleine L'Engle (Augsburg Fortress).

Isabel is Managing Editor of Synthesis Publications, which publishes resources based on the Revised Common Lectionary; she is also a Contributing Editor to Understanding the Sunday Scriptures, Years A, B, and C (Read Mark Press).

Disclosure:  I was given a copy of this book by the author, in order to write an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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