What We’re Reading — July 2019

Anne here, bringing you our monthly What We're Reading post from Andrea's house, where five of the wenches have been holding a writing retreat. And I'm running late because my new book, MARRY IN SECRET came out yesterday and I was all over the place trying to promote it.

And His Lovely Wife

From Mary Jo:  I discovered Connie Schultz some years back while listening to NPR's Diane Rehm show.  A journalist and Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Connie was promoting her first book, …and His Lovely Wife, a memoir of how she met her second husband, Sherrod Brown (he sent a fan email to her at her newspaper comparing her writing to Barbara Kingsolver.  Swoon!  What female writer could resist that???)

At any rate, they married, combined families–and then Sherrod Brown, at the time an Ohio Congressman, decided to run for Senator. He was a real long shot, but like a good wife, Connie took a leave of absence from her newspaper and helped her husband on the campaign trail–and wherever they appeared, she was introduced as "…and his lovely wife."  Connie saw the humor in that, and she was so warm and funny that I bought her memoir.

LifeHappensLater I bought a collection of her newspaper columns, Life HappensIt's described as about: kids, dogs, politics, men, women, and how it all works, except when it doesn't." <G>  I enjoyed the book then, and I recently came across it on the bookshelf and am enjoying it all over again.

Her columns run about two pages each and they make delightful tidbits that can be wise, funny, heart warming, heart rending, and deeply insightful.  A favorite of mine is called "The real gift of giving unto others," and it's about her mother, who married young, worked hard, never achieved her dream of becoming a nurse, but who was one of God's gifts to the world.

Connie said her mother's one cautionary note to her daughters about marriage was "Don't marry him until you see how he treats the waitress."  She goes on to quote her mother as saying, "Everyone has a name.  Everyone has someone one who loves them.  Everyone deserves to feel that they matter."

Connie gives examples of how her mother lived her philosophy, and ends by saying, "She never held elective office, was never a company president or in charge of anyone other than her daughters.  But, when she died, more than eight hundred people showed up for her calling hours."  That woman had a life worth living, and this is a book worth reading.

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