October 26, 2012

"Sparkly Green Earrings" [Book Review]


Melanie Shankle, author of the largely popular Big Mama blog, extends her voice beyond the blog world with her debut book, Sparkly Green Earrings. In her tale of life, motherhood, and letting go, Melanie’s stories reach into the heart of every woman, whether she is already a mother, about to be one, or dreams of one day becoming one.

Melanie has written the type of book that makes you feel like you’re sitting next to your best friend, sipping on coffee and sharing about life. She’s warm. She’s inviting. She’s hilarious. And you will catch yourself more than once exclaiming, “Me too!”

Sparkly Green Earrings, in a way, reads like Chicken Soup for the Soul. It lacks an “official” storyline, but is filled with many candid, good (and not-so-good) experiences from Melanie’s life. Each story lends its own encouragement to a different woman. One woman reading this may wonder if she’ll ever make it through the newborn days, another woman may think she’ll never survive a loss or heartbreak, and yet Melanie shows us all that she’s been there, and she made it out in one piece.

To Moms

You will relive the early days in vivid color. You will be taken back to the sleepless nights, the never-ending diapers, the “what in the world did we get ourselves into” days like they were yesterday. In the process you may shed a few tears missing those snuggly, soft, sweet-scented early days (but mostly they will be tears of thankfulness you survived).

To Moms-to-Be

Her honesty about what’s ahead may frighten you, but her insight at how fleeting the time is will hopefully inspire you to not rush a single moment, to soak it all in.

Throughout the book I laughed, and I laughed in fear of my child’s years to come. Yet I found answers to things in my own life I couldn’t explain before. I found hope and peace. It is one thing to read a “how to” book on Motherhood (and there are plenty out there), but why Sparkly Green Earrings stands out is because it’s real, it’s personal, and it’s been done.

Her trials and mistakes aren’t hidden, but neither are her triumphs, showing all of us that we, too, are going to get through this. When I finished, Melanie had me in tears wishing her story didn’t end (oh but it doesn’t – she still keeps up with her blog . . . and we all said Amen).

This book is worth giving yourself time to relax, unwind, and laugh like you haven’t done in a long time. There is definitely a story of hope here for every woman.

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