What's made of chocolate but contains neither sugar nor fat, and doesn't engender guilt by its consumption? Chocolate for a Woman's Blessings, the latest tasty offering in the series of "Chocolate" anthologies confected by Kay Allenbaugh.
of the "Chicken Soup" series, Chocolate for a Woman's Blessings
presents 77 real-life snapshots with a twist: every contributing author
is female, and their stories illuminate issues vital to women's lives.
Relationships with parents, men and children; coping with illness, rejection,
grief and loss; honoring traditions and cultivating new ones -- these
represent but a smattering of themes.
Organized into categories
such as "Turning Up Your Light," "Our Favorite Furry Ones" and "Dancing
With Angels," the anecdotes present an array as diverse as a Whitman's
Sampler. Some made me laugh until my sides ached. Others sent me dashing
for the tissues. A few left me feeling ambivalent, though I suspect that
happened because I never experienced those situations (divorce, for example),
rather than any perceived lack of merit in the stories themselves.
lies the power of the "Chocolate" series or, for that matter, any written
work that evokes intimate kinship with the reader. Through depictions
of the most devastating tragedies and soaring triumphs -- and events at
many levels in between -- Chocolate for a Woman's Blessings
reinforces the message that we are not alone. Other women bearing similar
burdens survived, perhaps suffering bruised bodies, frayed emotions and
tattered spirits in the process. In Chocolate for a Woman's Blessings,
they emerge to share their hard-won lessons. Only one word describes the
level of encouragement this book offers: priceless.
Daughter, wife, mother
or sister -- you cannot err by indulging yourself in this type of "chocolate."
And, men, trust me when I tell you it makes the perfect gift for the special
woman in your life. It provides emotional satisfaction, it won't cause
her to bewail her post-holiday figure -- and I guarantee you'll earn major
get any better than this.
(Originally published in Crescent Blues. Reprinted with permission.)