Friday, August 26, 2011
Book Review: She Makes It Look Easy by Marybeth Whalen/5 Stars
Ariel Baxter has just moved into the neighborhood of her dreams. The chaos of domestic life and the loneliness of motherhood, however, moved with her. Then she meets her neighbor, Justine Miller. Justine ushers Ariel into a world of clutter-free houses, fresh-baked bread, homemade crafts, neighborhood playdates, and organization techniques designed to make marriage better and parenting manageable.
Soon Ariel realizes there is hope for peace, friendship, and clean kitchen counters. But when rumors start to circulate about Justine’s real home life, Ariel must choose whether to believe the best about the friend she admires or consider the possibility that “perfection” isn’t always what it seems to be.
A novel for every woman who has looked at another woman’s life and said, “I want what she has,” She Makes It Look Easy reminds us of the danger of pedestals and the beauty of authentic friendship.
Let me start this review with one word...superb. The writing, the storyline, everything. There's probably no telling how many times this story has played out in it's entirety in real life, which in and of itself, is quite scary among Christian circles. It's a story that will always stick out in mind as a gentle reminder that "the grass is not always greener on the other side."
I couldn't help but think of myself standing in front of a mirror and finding Ariel's reflection looking back at me. There were so many similarities between us that I felt like the only thing different about us was our first name. Like Ariel, I feel like I'm constantly making mental checklists to get things done, and often forgetting about the little things but remembering the important things. And also like Ariel, I've had those thoughts of inadequacy because I don't always have the cleanest house, or I've forgotten to put my makeup on, or I didn't have enough time to make dinner from scratch. In spite of my imperfections, though, I'm thankful that I have a husband who loves me wholly and completely. Ariel's husband did, too...it just seemed to take him a little longer to show it.
And Justine...whew! That girl just needed to slow down! Well, that and a few other things which I won't mention, lest I spoil the story for anyone. I couldn't help but feel pity for her, and wonder how she could possibly be happy with her life. It didn't take me long to realize how truly unhappy she really was. In the end, her Southern Living facade came down quicker than a house of cards, and she had no one to blame but herself.
Suffice it to say that Marybeth Whalen's books will always be on my radar! I can't believe this book has been under my nose for weeks now, and it took me *that* long to pick it up and read it. And trust me when I say...this is one of those books that will have you saying "just one more chapter and then, I'll go to sleep." Yeah, right. :o)
**Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review.