Monday, July 27, 2009
Robin Jones Gunn's Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes ~ Reviewed
Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes
By Robin Jones Gunn
Published by Multnomah
A multi-tasking mama, Summer Finley has found ways to handle whatever life throws her with grace and a grin. Until now. An “abnormal” medical test result sends Summer into an emotional tailspin and prompts her to fulfill a life-long dream of meeting her best friend and pen pal since fourth grade, Noelle Van Zandt, face-to-face.
Their blissful week together in the Netherlands finds Summer and Noelle floating down a canal in Amsterdam, visiting Corrie ten Boom’s Hiding Place, sipping decadent Dutch cocoa in Delft, and bobbing merrily along through a sea of brilliant, spring-fresh tulips. Each day takes them further from midlife anxiety and closer to trusting God in deeper ways.
As their week of adventure comes to an end, the two friends find they needed to be together more than either of them realized.
I could totally relate to the premise of this book. When Noelle says to Summer, take my hand and I’ll show you the sites of my town. I thought back to when I visited Lea, my high school BFF, for the first time in Toronto, Canada. We had gone to school together and after graduation she moved to Canada. We didn’t have the speed of email, back then but I really enjoyed her letters. When it was time for me to visit her she took me by the hand and showed me the lovely sites of her new home. Lea showed me amazing Castles, lovely flowers, took me on my first subway ride ever, had me eat special treats only found in Canada and had my face splashed by the breath taking waters of Niagara Falls.
Toronto was strikingly clean for such a big city. We shopped through the Eaton Center which is the biggest mall I’d ever seen, and found time to talk about how the Lord was moving in our lives.
I envisioned myself standing with Summer as she looked out the window and thought this,” It was as if God had invited the shy new day to come and spread her beauty over this corner of His world, and she was being obedient but at the same time was embarrassed to be put in the spotlight of the rising sun.”
My husband and I met while working on the stage version of “The Hiding Place.” I was cast in the part of Betsy, Corrie ten Boom’s sister. When Robin Jones Gunn took me to the very place where Corrie ten Boom’s family hid the Jews, it was an extremely special part of the book for me.
I loved the way Robin Jones Gunn described how to look at art. Robin tells of all the art museums they explored, and the art inside, like that of Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh, Noelle says, “Appreciation of beauty isn’t work. All you have to do is look. Open your eyes, your mind, and your heart. Take in whatever it is you see. Let the painting do all the work. Just listen with your eyes, and the painting will tell you its story.” Wow, I’m going to try that!
I totally agreed with the author when she said this,” God somehow touched people, places and moments, and the everyday became glimpses of heaven here on earth.” I’ve experienced this!
I felt like I was viewing the sites along with the character Summer as Robin took my hand and said follow me through the pages of her book. That’s why I love the Sisterchick series. What I especially love about this series is that every now and then Robin tosses out treasures from heaven for me to ponder and get a hold of in my heart. Just when everything in the book is full of fun, friendship and exploration, the author has one of the characters in her book discover a truth from the word that would pierce my heart and make me think along with the character. Robin has a special gift for doing this in her writing, which makes her stories so rich.
I totally enjoyed the pictures at the end of this book where Robin shares her real life trip to visit her friend in Holland. That was the icing on the cake for me.
I don’t know how Robin does this, but I feel like I’ve experienced this amazing town with her and learned many valuable lessons along the way. Thank you Robin, for writing such delightful books were I can make believe I’ve gone traveling with you and learn so much without leaving my home.
Reviewed by: Nora St. Laurent
Book Club Servant Leader