New Books Celebrate Women
Reviewed By Laurie Williams Sowby

Several new books in the LDS market hold special appeal for women and would make welcome Mother’s Day gifts. Some combine art, prose, and music in delightful packages, while others offer words of wit and wisdom. 

My Dear Sisters – Inspiration for Women from Gordon B. Hinckley is exactly what the title suggests. There is inspiration not only in words but also in page after page of lovely artwork by nearly 30 Latter-day Saint artists. (The works, artists, and their web sites are listed on the last page.) The words of the late prophet are augmented by a handful of quotes by his dear wife, Marjorie Pay Hinckley. All touch on things that matter for women, including education, talents, service, motherhood, wisdom, and divine potential.

“You are fifty percent of the Church membership,” President Hinckley is quoted on the opening page, “and you are mothers of the other fifty percent. No one can dismiss you lightly.” The words that follow address women of all ages and at various stages of life and demonstrate his well-known love and respect for women. They are thoughts that lift, ennoble, and encourage. (Covenant, 76 pages in hardcover, $16.95)

In the same vein is Blessed are the Children , which also features lovely artwork, accompanied by insightful quotes and thoughts on children from poetry and literature. It’s a delightful volume that would appeal to anyone who appreciates children. Although the pages lack numbers to make it difficult to match up the artworks with the artists listed at the back, the durable pages will enable long enjoyment of this gift book. (Covenant, hardcover, $15.95)   Another beauty of a book is A Mother’s Touch , subtitled “A Tribute to the Influence and Love of Mothers.” Full-color reproductions of fine artwork fill its pages, interspersed with brief prose and quotes appropriate to the topic. (Covenant, 95 pages in hard cover, $15.95.) And while you’re enjoying the beautiful art, you can listen to soothing music on a companion CD of the same title ($9.95) featuring talented LDS composers and artists, including Marshall McDonald, Dustin Gledhill, David Glen Hatch, Lyndsi Housekeeper, Joshua Creek, Janice Kapp Perry, Mark Geslison and Geoff Groberg.  

Women who may not be mothers or wives will especially appreciate Mary Ellen Edmunds’ MEE Speaks (But Does She Have Anything to Say?) Using her initials as a play on words, the author employs stories and personal experience as she advises a blend of good sense, good humor, and good works in dealing with life’s challenges. Topics in this take-along-size book include friendship, saying goodbye, finding purpose in our pain, and peace amidst suffering. The reader feels a sense of sitting in the audience as Edmunds speaks, and laughs and cries right along with her. (Deseret Book, 193 pages in soft cover, $12.95)


Need a smile? Counting Blessings: Wit and Wisdom for Women is a small book that fills the bill if you’re looking for some respite and refreshment amid everyday stuff. This little gem by Arizona author Kerry Blair is a light-hearted look at ourselves as women, Mormons, mothers, doers, and do-gooders. Although she’s published fiction for years, this collection of short essays – each three to five pages – is her first. It’s a delightful read and the perfect companion to take a break with during a busy day. (Covenant, 139 pages in soft cover, $11.95.) It’s also available as an audio book on CD.


In a more serious vein is Finding the Angel Within , by Pamela H. Hansen, a Utah woman who lost a lot of weight after she started walking, then ran a marathon, then told her story in Running with Angels . She’s not advocating running marathons; her approach in this follow-up book is to encourage women toward realistic, healthy living as they rely on a loving Heavenly Father and the Atonement of His Son to heal a mortal and imperfect body.

She offers not just her own experience with loss and newfound faith, but also shares the experiences of others who have opened up to her after reading her first book. The comforting overall message is, “You’re not alone.” (Deseret Book, 143 pages in soft cover, $14.95.)

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