Book Review: “Of Mess & Moxie”

I have to admit when the book club choose this book I was not thrilled simply because of the religious background of the author. I was concerned about it being preachy and unrelatable to real life.

I was wrong.

Hatmaker speaks about true life and is extremely relatable as a mother, a woman, and as a creative individual. There are moments that are preachy and feel like she is on her soapbox, but those moments do not make up the majority of this book.

A phrase she uses often throughout the book (which I think would be a killer hashtag) is “Mama tried.” This really communicates the essence of this book. Hatmaker’s mission, I feel, is to not stress yourself out as a mother, a wife, etc. its ok to not always operate at 110% all of the time.

I was not sold on this book, I’ll admit, till Chapter 8. Although she is definitely on her soapbox throughout this chapter. She speaks the truth. In this chapter she stresses the importance of love in the religious spectrum.

“You can love someone with a different ideology, different religious conviction, different sexual identity, ideas, background, ethnicity, opinions, different anything. You can love someone society condemns. You can love someone the church condemns. You have no other responsibility than to represent Jesus well, which should leave that person feeling absurdly loved, welcomed, cherished. There is no other end game. You are not anyone’s savior; you are a sister. Love is a genuine solution (…) the solution to almost everything that is broken.”

Yaaaaassss. Girl.

She continues this soapbox in Chapter 12 and I am here for it. Can we make this a PSA?

Her book includes brief “how to” sections which, although humorous, I was not a fan after about the second one. They became predictable. However, there are some recipes that I’d be down to try. Specifically “Aunt Carol’s Crunchy Salad” on page 157 which includes ramen noodles and a vinaigrette that has brown sugar AND Tabasco. Intrigue.

Chapter 17: Bonus Mom really spoke to me. It reinforced the “It takes a village” mantra and encouraged women to depend on those women (some mothers, some not) to help raise our children into well-rounded individuals. Its definitely a chapter I want my closest girlfriends to read and I hope that we can become that tribe for each other and each other’s children.

All in all, it was a good read (or listen – Hatmaker read it on Audible). I don’t think it will be a staple in my library, but a good book to pass along in my Free Little Library and maybe the next reader will get more out of it than me.

  • My hope is to read one book a month and review it here. #newyearsresolutions

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