BE SURE TO WATCH THE INTERVIEW
I will interviewing author, Jennie Goutet, live on Google Hangouts this Thursday at 12:00 noon in Missouri and 7:00 p.m. Paris France time. This link will take you to the event page: https://plus.google.com/events/c4b9juggnp5c4dgcbeg5fta92mc
The interview will also be recorded and available for watching on my blog or YouTube channel at this link: https://www.youtube.com/user/runningrod4
I suppose I should start a review by telling about the book, but I will start this one by telling how I found this book. I came across the A Lady in France blog, which is really more than a blog – it’s a whole website. I was surfing for Christian authors and almost left the page after scanning the homepage because… well, it looked like a total chick site. I have always thought I was French and the French connection is the only thing that kept me on the site. As I skimmed the about Jennie page, I noticed she wrote, “I’m depressed but filled with hope.” That seemed like an odd thing to say and it caught my attention.
As I explored deeper into her site, I was intrigued by the eclectic nature of her varied topics. She was a Christian without being preachy. I saw her book over to the left of the site and despite the flowers on the cover screaming “chick” book, I clicked the free sample button on “A Lady in France.”
From the moment I started reading the first page I was impressed. Not so much with the story (I hadn’t read enough to know the story yet) but with the way this lady described things. I felt like I was in France with her, walking down the cement lane listening to the birds chirping, smelling the burning leaves and chipping the flaked paint off the gate at her house. I hate being cold and I wanted to grab my gloves as she described living in a big drafty cold house in the wintertime in France.
It only took five pages of the first chapter for me to know that the “Lady” from France could write. Now, I’m an aspiring author myself and knew enough to understand that reading good writing improves writing skills. I have desperately wanted to improve my descriptive writing abilities and thought this “chick” book would be a good way for me to develop my descriptive writing talents.
She was offering to send a PDF copy to anyone who might be willing to read it and provide a review. Since I’m a fairly fast reader, I selfishly accepted her offer thinking I would skim the book, concentrate on the descriptive parts and write a review. That was on a Friday, and sure enough, I woke up Saturday morning to a pleasant email from the Lady in France and a PDF of her book. God must have wanted me to read her book because despite the long list of books on my reading list, I glanced at her email and started reading her book on my small phone screen while lying in bed. Two chapters later my weekend plans were shot.
Reading “A Lady in France” not only impacted my weekend plans, it strengthened my faith in God and inspired me to be a more caring person. The book is broken into three parts and I read part one Saturday morning, part two Saturday night and then part three after church on Sunday afternoon. I squeezed in a few meetings, a three mile run and trip to see Captain America at the theater, but I just couldn’t stop myself from jumping back into the book and gobbling up every word of her story with each moment of free time available.
Thanks to Jennie, last weekend I spent time in France, Asia, New York City, and Africa, all in the comfort from my home in Branson, Missouri. I sincerely felt like I was right there with her living her life, seeing what she saw and feeling what she felt. She showed the guiding hand of God throughout her story without coming across preachy. She has so many exciting adventures and good times, but she doesn’t shy away from sharing the heartaches, mistakes and setbacks we will all face at some point in our lives.
The book goes through the challenges of growing up as a single lady while traveling the globe and then explores her search for significance as she becomes a Christian, joins a church, finds a husband and starts a family. These may all seem like normal simple tasks, but most of us struggle mightily in our search for significance, and Jennie bears her soul as she wonderfully explains these events in a fascinating way. Her story and the way she tells it will give a reader hope and faith to keep trying… keep striving… keep believing.
All through the book, Jennie’s life quickly flips from independence to anxiety, with a lot of vanity and insecurity thrown in. She was a very prideful person yet could be totally overcome with depression. These are things most of us never talk about, especially guys, but I found myself enthralled with her story as she explained her feelings and the challenges in her life.
There may be other memoirs out there that cover these topics as well and as interesting as Jennie does, but I have not read them. It is a very worthwhile read. She has written a serious book about serious topics in a way that will cut into the innermost depths of your soul. But Jennie did it in a very pleasurable and encouraging way that will make you think about your life and where you are headed.
As you can tell, I didn’t just like the book, I loved it! Except for the Bible, I have never read a book that deals with love, drinking, sex, death, God, addiction, ambition, pride, lust, and several other important topics in such an honest and interesting way. I will be giving a copy to each of my daughters and believe any teenager or young woman growing up today or even an middle age man, would be wise to read “A Lady in France” and think about the wonderful way in which God helped Jennie dealt with some of the important issues of life.
To learn more about Jennie or purchase a copy of “A Lady in France” you can go to http://aladyinfrance.com/
Check out her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/aladyinfrance