UPDATE: Don't take my word about how great this book is. Go here (Girl Talk Review) and here (my sweet friend's review).
For starters, Stepping Heavenward is a book for the ladies and this blog has more male readers/writers. :)
Stepping Heavenward is a historical fiction that is a quaint and wonderful read for women. Elizabeth Prentiss (author of the hymn, "More Love to Thee, O Christ") tells the story of one woman's life beginning with her first journal entry on her 16th birthday (1831). It takes you nearly to the woman's death through all of her journal entries. You will laugh. You will cry. :) The gal is feisty, reminding me of a Christian version of Anne in Anne of Green Gables. She struggles with controlling her thoughts, temper, moods, but you see her mature in inner beauty as she journeys through life from a single gal to courtship, from marriage to motherhood. The book is rich with theology and you especially catch a glimpse of a mother's heart for her husband and children through the most devastating of trials while keeping a firm faith in the steadfast promises of God. At times, she wrestles with assurance of salvation and you see a very honest depiction of her soul's turmoil. You learn some tips about mothering on the way. Readers will also feel as if they have been let in on valuable secrets that this mother shares from her wisdom towards the end of her journey looking back. "If only I had known this..." statements become your precious knowledge for the taking, except you got to learn from just reading about the trial instead of participating in it. Does that make sense?
I've heard that some gals don't like this book because the main character is so incredibly moody and up and down. I find it humorous and telling though, an honest expression of what many of us gals deal with in taming our wild emotions and passions as we grow in maturity, ever so slowly it seems.
There are many quotes I could share, but I will just choose one. This is one example of what you might read that provides insight or keen observation, although the entire book doesn't read this way. Some of it is just plain humorous.
"People ask me how it happens that my children are all so promptly obedient and so happy. As if it chanced that some parents have such children or chanced that some have not! I am afraid it is only too true, as someone has remarked, that 'this is the age of obedient parents!' What then will be the future of their children? How can they yield to God who have never been taught to yield to human authority?"
Elizabeth Elliot has a blurb on the back that also encourages men to read it who want to better understand the wives they live with. However, I know Dustin strives to understand me, but I'm doubting he'll be plopping down on the couch to read this book any time soon and that's fine with me (although I did read him several good quotes from it)! Enjoy, ladies. :)