Monday, January 14, 2013

Book Review: Breaking Through: Catholic Women Speak for Themselves

Welcome back to Stuart's Study. Christmas is now over officially. It lasted longer than normal with Epiphany falling on a Sunday this year, but we are finally in the first stretch of Ordinary Time. This patch of Ordinary Time will be extremely short, only five weeks, with the fifth week only having three days of Ordinary Time. What do you plan on reading for this four-and-a-half weeks? My new readers might want to browse some of my past book reviews to see if any of those books appeal to them. I personally haven't decided yet, but I am adding one more book to the list for your consideration. It is called Breaking Through: Catholic Women Speak for Themselves and is edited by Helen M. Alvare.

Upon receiving this book, I was confused as to why Our Sunday Visitor asked me to review this book, but God must have wanted me to learn a little bit more about the fairer sex, and I certainly did reading this book. There are ten chapters in this book, with two written by the editor Helen M. Alvare and eight by other notable Catholic women. Topics include contraception, dating, careers, single motherhood, and many others.

The most interesting chapter to me was Chapter 3: Sex, Mating, and the Marriage "Market" by Elise Italiano. This chapter is aimed at the single Catholic woman, and though I am no longer on the "market," I remember what it was like to be looking for the one and wondering if she even existed. She does by the way. From my own personal experience, I have seen that there are many more single Catholic women who care about their faith than single Catholic men. I say that because most Catholic men who truly care about their faith are probably on the path to priesthood. I can only imagine how helpless some of these women must feel looking for Mr. Right. A blog that might be of some benefit to all you single Catholic girls out there is appropriately called Single Catholic Girl.

This was a tough book for me to rate as a man as I am definitely not the intended audience. Some of the essays/stories to read even a man could relate to on some level. Other essays, I just found myself wanting to get through them. I can see the merit in a book of this nature, as these are women who are true Catholics and who follow the Church's teachings. I believe any Catholic woman will get something from at least one essay in this book but all might not necessarily apply to her. For this reason, I give it somewhere between 3 to 3.5 out of 5 stars. I'd probably borrow it from a friend or the library.