Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Book Review — Whatever Is Lovely - Design For An Elegant Spirit

My rating = 2 stars

After reading the following description of Whatever Is Lovely by Marsha Maurer, I was anxious to start reading —

"When Marsha Maurer writes that a woman often spends more time selecting a pair of shoes than considering the spiritual virtues she wishes to shape, she characterizes the challenges women face in fashioning their best selves.  Tapping the explosion in media make-overs of homes, gardens, wardrobes, and relationships, Whatever is Lovely weaves all these threads of a woman’s self for a total make-over - within any woman’s reach.  This is a book of style for the spirit, to infuse everyday living with passion, imagination, and joy; with simplicity, balance, and peace.  Marsha Maurer's personal stories, Bible passages, and quotations inspire the reader to cultivate beauty, grace, and harmony as she fashions the individual she dreams of becoming. With humor and eloquence, the author identifies timeless principles of spiritual design and offers life-changing suggestions for creating a singular elegance in God’s image. Whatever is Lovely offers transformation within and without."

The biblical-themed title of the book from Phillipians 4:8, the summary quoted above, and the books' introduction, whetted my appetite for a book very different than the one I found myself reading. I was expecting a book that focused much more on th spirtual than the temporal aspects of elegance. Instead I found endless descriptions of lace, pearls, vintage tables, candlelight, perfumed body cream, mouthwatering food, and bracelets that jingle as you sleep. The book is organized in several mini-chapters based on topic, such as balance, economy, and passion. But the examples Maurer gives for almost all of her topics are temporal prettiness. Most all of the chapters describe how the topic relates to women on a spiritual level, but Maurer touches on these things very briefly and superficially, and then returns to her flowery descriptions of home decor fashion. For example, her chapter on faith was a brief two pages, and immediately followed by four pages on the virtues of delicious food. Overall, I found the exhaustive descriptions of fashion very annoying, and was still left searching for the spiritual substance the book's descriptions had promised.

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