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Catholic Review of: Style, Sex and Substance

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Hallie Lord
Rachel Balducci
Danielle Bean

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This item received 4 stars overall. (07/24/2012)

Orthodoxy: Completely orthodox.
Reading Level: Intermediate

 Patricia PotterBy Patricia Potter (VA) - See all my reviews


Feminine Genius at It's Best

Evaluator Comments

    I’ve been hearing great things about Style, Sex, & Substance and was overjoyed when my copy of the book finally arrived.  It’s even better than I’d hoped for, and I was already expecting to be impressed by the contributors included. 

    The wonderfully unique personalities and voices of these ten women discussing their experiences of life, love, friendship, marriage, faith discernment, womanhood, family life and God are refreshing, enriching, and unabashedly honest. 

     Personal stories, excellent suggestions, and reflection questions drew me into the book, engaging me on a much deeper level than I imagined on the most essential aspects of the lives of modern Catholic women.

     These ten writers show the many ways in which Catholic women can and do live out their feminine genius as intellectuals, entrepreneurs, wives, mothers, domestic divas, prayer warriors, and friends.  If you’re in the habit of reading the National Catholic Register, Catholic Digest,  and/or keep up with popular Catholic blogs, then you’ll likely recognize some of these spectacular women. 

     I found myself soaking up words of wisdom and humor in each chapter.  I came across some writers I’m not as familiar with whose books I definitely plan to check out now that I’ve gotten a glimpse of who they are and how they write.      

     As someone who loves children and has served as the “other mother” for many kids over the years as teacher, nanny, tutor, babysitter, camp instructor, I can really identify with what Simcha Fisher has to say about women’s vocation: “That is the job that women have, whether we have given birth or not: to be a mother to the whole world.  God knows the whole world needs us.” (p. 137) 

     Chances are very good that you’ll find yourself described somewhere in these pages and will be inspired and challenged in creative ways to become all that God intends you to be.  This isn’t a recipe book for perfection, but more a guidebook for those who have embraced the call to holiness in the midst of their daily lives.  One suggestion by Karen Edmisten can be used by every one of us: “Whether you’re single, married, or discerning a call to religious life, deliriously happy or a confused mess, offer it up to God.  Give him every moment.” (p. 44)

     You’ll definitely be glad you read Style, Sex, & Substance, and like me, you’ll likely think of a number of friends who would also enjoy it.  


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