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19 September 2009

Book Review: The Gift of An Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir

Title: The Gift of An Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir
Author: Katrina Kenison
Publisher: Springboard Press, Hachette Book Group
Published: September 7, 2009
ISBN-10: 0446409480:
Hardcover: 320 pages
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The Gift of An Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison is a beautiful, poignant memoir of a mother facing mid-life and the reality that in a few short years she will have an empty nest. Katrina's son Henry is 17 and beginning the process of choosing the college that is the right fit for him. Her younger son Jack is entering High School, in a new town and the challenges that come with moving, beginning High School, and just being a teenager. Through all of this Katrina herself is wondering who she is, as she is no longer employed, her family has temporarily moved back in with her parents while they build a new home, and her role of mother has once again been redefined.

The novel is not only a beautiful memoir, but also offers up sage advice from Kension's life and numerous quotes she has collected over the years. Kenison writes an excellent and insightful memoir of coming of age, of Henry's turning into an adult, Jack entering the world of High School, but also herself. She weaves together three years of emotions, friendships, hardships, battles won and lost, lesson learned, and above all unwavering, unconditional love.

This novel touched me deeply on several fronts, as I am a mid-life mother of 3 teenage boys, and my oldest like Henry, will be searching and visiting colleges. Will my son tour my Alma mater, like Henry did? Kenison, through her experiences has helped me see these years as neither painful nor bittersweet, rather years to be savored and enjoyed. Every moment is precious and in the everyday, in the ordinary, we can and will find happiness. Throughout the novel Kenison shows by example how one must let go in order to move forward. In her learning to simplify and enjoy the ordinary events, she has shown me, gently, how I can be a better mother, that now is a time for my children to be gently guided on the path to discovering who they are and who they want to become. It is also through this very path that I too will emerge changed.

I highly recommend this book to any parent, but especially those whose children are approaching or already in the teen years.

My gratitude to Hachette Book Group for sending me a copy to review.


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12 comments:

Reviewer11 said...

Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest :D Have a wonderful weekend. :D

Dorkys Ramos said...

Thank you for the review! I actually just finished reading and hosting a book club for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society so I'm currently on the search for the next good book to read.

LiveLaughLoveCj said...

Jennifer this sounds like a book for me, from your description and encouragement that it is a worthwhile read, this too will be added to my wish list of books.

Thank you for bringing to all of our attentions!
A good read is a necessary thing.

Andrea Proulx said...

Oh, Jennifer, this book just sounds so touching. It seems like a fantastic read for any parent. Thank you for a great review.

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

It hurts my heart to even think about it but our oldest will be a senior next year and our middle son will start high school and youngest will be in eighth grade...how does time fly by so fast? Sounds like a great book!

And BTW, Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

Summer said...

Visiting from Sits, and I have to say, I love this review. I will definitely store it away for when my kids are older.

Right now I need a memoir of how a mom gets through these years where her 4 year old kid never ever stops talking or whining. =)

Tami said...

Missed you girlie!

kalea_kane said...

This looks absolutely lovely. :)

Jennifer-Eighty MPH Mom said...

Oh boy...this sounds like just the book for me. My son is away at college and my daughter is 13. I am already fearing the empty nest. This sounds like a beautifully written book, and one that sweeps you in. I have to read this!

Thank you for sharing this with us - and all of the books you share. It helps so much to introduce me to books I may have otherwise not known about.

HODGEPODGESPV said...

good job.

Teddyree said...

Wonderful review, I think I'd enjoy this one. I'm also a 40 something mum of 2 teenage boys, 1 finished school and 1 in senior.

Jennifer said...

This seems like a story I'd like to read. I put it on my list-- thanks. =)