I’ve never read Jen Hatmaker before and still don’t really know who she is compared to her legion of fans. I’ve long been familiar with her name and knew she was a blogger and author; I’ve recently learned she is also a speaker and television personality. For the Love: Fight for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards held a spot on my Amazon Wish list and I received a copy as a Christmas present through work.
As my first experience reading Hatmaker, I thoroughly enjoyed the book which is a collection of essays. She is humorous, insightful, and witty. For the Love opens strong with a chapter I found most meaningful, “Worst Beam Ever”; this chapter challenges the notion of realistically achieving work-life balance. Personally, after reading this chapter, I feel as though someone has personally lifted me off the hook and allowing me to breathe easier.
Hatmaker’s essays cover quite a bit of ground with topics related to the aforementioned work-life balance, marriage, parenting, difficult people, friendships and the Church. I think the only time this book loses steam, in my opinion, is the essays entitled “Thank You Notes” which the author readily concedes is an imitation of Jimmy Fallon. They’re intended to serve as comic relief throughout the book, but tend to fall flat.
I’ve been told every woman should read For the Love and I’m inclined to agree. It’s not the best thing I’ve ever read but it quite good and definitely served as a balm to my heart given the current season I’m in. Hatmaker seems like the kind of boisterous, big-hearted friend many of us wish we had. Reading her writing feels as though receiving a heartfelt, funny letter (or email) from a treasured friend.