Pope Awesome and Other Stories

Pope Awesome and Other Stories

Pope-AwesomePope Awesome and Other Stories

One of the nice perks of my husband being the producer of a Catholic radio show is that he gets copies of Catholic books. And sometimes those books make their way home and I get to read them.

Cari Donaldson’s book is a conversion story: “how one person went from New Age, childless feminist to pro-life Catholic mother of many.” I’m a sucker for conversion stories. Perhaps because they show so clearly the workings of grace in people’s lives. Perhaps… oh heck, I can’t think of any other perhapses, though I know I had something in mind when I began writing this sentence.

It’s also a birth story. Or lots of birth stories. How all six kids were born, but also how a love for Christ was born. How trust in God was born. And how that openness to life was born.

Anyway, Cari is also a funny storyteller. I read most of the prologue to my kids this afternoon– Bella had been eying the book’s cover art and let me know she was curious– and they loved it. “Read more!” Ben and Bella demanded. And as a mother of six she’s also a member of the “are they all yours?” parents club. Her stories about life with a big family are familiar and fun. I loved the bit about surviving the zombie apocalypse with the bit and pieces of stuff in her minivan. Thought about that again this morning as I scooped up handfuls of peanuts and wondered if maybe I should just leave them there.

I wish my brain were awake enough to write coherent awesome things about the book, but let this suffice: I read the whole thing in a couple of days. I kept locking myself in the bathroom to read just a bit more, ignoring the sounds of screaming, sobbing kids. And really that’s maybe the best way to read this book because I’m pretty sure it replicated some of the conditions of its writing. (By which I don’t mean to imply shoddy workmanship, quite the opposite, this is fine storytelling. Just that I’m in awe that Cari was able to write a whole book while I can barely punch out a feeble review.)

Anyway, I have been quoting the book at Dom ever since I finished it. I’m sure he’s starting to get tired of, “Cari Donaldson says…”

And with that I’m going to close my computer and go to bed because the baby might not sleep through the night a second time.

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  • Thank you so much for this review. I have to tell you, you’re absolutely spot on with your guess about my writing schedule. One day, my editor asked me to describe my writing process to him, and he was horrified when I said, “Oh, I get 20 minutes here, then maybe 15 over there, then a mad 45 minutes at the end of the day before I fall into bed.”

    So I think you’re on to something. Reading the book in small, stolen pieces while your kids pound at the door pretty much approximates how it was created.