Friday, December 13, 2013

Review: Pope Awesome

On August 6, 1999, my high school sweetheart and I were married in a twenty-minute Presbyterian ceremony that I had insisted must be scrubbed of all references to Jesus.  We were young and secular.  We had a dual income and two dogs that stood in for the kids we swore we were never going to have.
So begins Cari Donaldson’s story of her marriage, and her faith journey.  As I read the words of her novel I sometimes found myself wondering what words of wisdom this teacher might have been imparting to her students as she wandered forward in her life, from New Age to Buddhism to Hinduism to Islam to Judaism, and then finally to that day of her husband’s thirtieth birthday, when he so casually said to her while driving: “A couple of rugrats wouldn’t be so bad.”
And her stomach dropped.
Shortly after came her husband’s transfer from the Midwest to the South and a new home in Mississippi, and all the friendly neighbors who were always dropping by with food and gifts and that “So, have you found a church yet?” question.  Cari goes through much hiding from them and the topic before she finally feels compelled to give them an answer, and so begins the next section of her book, which she titled: I Step into a Church Again and Do Not Burst into Flames.
And the book gets even more interesting (and funny) from there.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and strongly recommend it for women to read, especially Catholic women who look at large families and wonder --- sometimes aloud: “Are these all yours?”  Why do I bring that topic up, in this story about a woman and her husband who favored abortion as a “choice” alternative, and vowed to have no kids?  Well, I guess you’ll have to read the book.   
The only part of this book that I, a guy, found a bit boring were the thoughts and details and trials (and screaming) about her going through labor --- too much information!  But I think that most women will love those parts.
You can read about Cari and her continuing travails at her website:


  1. Thank you so much for the kind review! I've wondered if male readers' eyes glazed over during the birth stories. Thank you for humorously and honestly answering the question.
    God bless!
    Cari Donaldson

    1. Why thank you for taking the time to drop over here, Cari. I just finished wrapping the book I read, giving it as a Christmas present to my (soon-to-be-former) neighbors, who are moving with their two girls (and future child) to a bigger home across town. I know she will greatly appreciate your writings.

      You are a special lady, and I do so especially appreciate people who THINK about things, including matters of faith. I'll probably drop by your website from time to time, to check out your wisdom (or foibles), until then: Do Not Be Anxious. (tee-hee).