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Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes: Sisterchicks #8    by Robin Jones Gunn order for
Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes
by Robin Jones Gunn
Order:  USA  Can
Multnomah, 2009 (2009)
Paperback, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Leslie McKee

As St. Augustine stated, 'The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.' Until now, Summer Finley has only read about places. Her dream is to travel to Holland to meet Noelle, her pen pal and friend of forty years. After receiving abnormal results on a mammogram, Summer determines that this is the perfect time to go. She decides to forget her possible medical issues and just enjoy herself. When Noelle tells Summer, 'You are afraid of what you don't know and what you can't see', she has no idea how accurate she is.

Summer takes in the beauty of Holland (including tulips, windmills, churches and wooden shoes). Noelle takes Summer to the 'spiritual community' established by Hannah, Noelle's sister--in-law, as well as the house of Corrie ten Boom (whose family helped Jews during World War II and who was the only member of her family to survive a Nazi death camp). Summer is amazed to see so many people relying on God for strength to get through their situations. It makes Summer realize that her need for control makes it difficult for her to trust God.

Summer and Noelle's friendship becomes even stronger when they decide to trust each other with a secret. Summer tells of her mammogram and upcoming biopsy. Noelle shares the details of her nonexistent relationship with her father. Apparently, the trip was for both their benefits. Summer and Noelle acknowledge that 'Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without His unfolding grace ... The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.'

Friendship, which is a gift from God, and spiritual introspection are dominant themes. God's peace and beauty are apparent throughout. Though I have never been to Holland, Gunn's descriptions are so vivid that I could easily envision every sight, smell and taste. There is a lot of focus on the 23rd Psalm and how it states that we 'walk through the valley'. We are not to stop, sit, give up or get stuck - God directs us to keep going. That is an important reminder for everyone. A reader's guide and personal photos from the author are included.

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