Thursday, November 06, 2014

Throwback Thursday: October 2008

I introduced Throwback Thursday to motivate me to look back through the records I've kept about my reading as well as posts to this blog. I may share reviews that were previously posted or write a review for a book that I read a long time ago. I might also share a previous post with some commentary bringing it up to date or describing how my opinion has changed since the original posting. Let's see what happens.

Although I read in excess of 145 books every year, I rarely take the time to write reviews. I'm trying to remedy that. I've actually said that before. In fact, in October 2008, I announced that I was intending to post more often to Reading in Texas and I did follow through with several book reviews that month, but that's as far as it went. For today, I want to share with you this review of a book that remains a personal favorite, even six years later.

Book Cover: Full of Grace by Dorothea Benton Frank Full of Grace by Dorothea Benton Frank

My Review from 2008

Full of Grace was surprising in many ways. Having read several books by Dorothea Benton Frank, I was sure I would like this one as well. I did, but not the way that I expected.

The book starts with a rather mundane accounting of Grace's day-to-day life. She's living with her boyfriend, Michael, who is a research physician. On holidays, she visits her family—but without Michael who isn't welcome at her parent's home. Part of the reason is because he's using stem cells in his research and their Catholic doctrine condemns it. But the primary reason is that he's not Italian; he's Irish, of all things.

I was lulled along, getting to know the Russos through Grace's visits with them—the conflicts being played out over a dinner table loaded with holiday goodies. Then, the family has to face two crises. First, Nonna falls and breaks her hip. In considerable pain, she refuses to cooperate with her therapists and demands to go home, expecting Grace's mother to care for her around the clock. Then, Michael is diagnosed with a virulent form of cancer and Grace needs her family's support as never before.

My favorite character in this book is Father John. I'd like to meet him in real life. In one scene, discussing en vitro fertilization, he says, “I think that the Church's major area of concern has always been that children are begotten not made. Is it right to make children in a laboratory setting just because we can?” And also, “The trick is not to rationalize your decisions knowing that they displease God.”

I was only looking for a good story, but along with that, I got some wise spiritual guidance. A good deal in my book.


  1. 145 books a year is amazing and wonderful. Wow!!

    I would never be able to read that may books.

    ENJOY your week.

  2. Thanks. My goal in 2014 is 150 books. I'm currently at 139, so I'm pretty sure I'll exceed the goal.