The thing I love most about books is how you can step into another person's life or mind and go a few miles down life's road with them. When I finished Miss Brenda and the Loveladies I felt that I had been through so much with these women and love their stories.
The book is about a sassy redhead, Miss Brenda, who saw a need and stepped boldly into it, helping female ex-cons learn how to transition into a clean life and experience the grace and forgiveness only available through Jesus.
It was a quick read, but it did have some pretty graphic stories in it-- stories of the women who lived life on the streets, tangled up in drugs, alcohol, and prostitution. Some of their stories were tough to read...(if you're really sensitive to that, there's a few places in the book where it can get pretty heart-wrenching) but it was amazing to see how completely a life given to Christ can change.
I think the biggest take away I got from this book is that many, many times it looked like (well, it would have from my point of view, if I was Miss Brenda) that maybe this wasn't where the Lord wanted her. So many obstacles, so many problems, so many people against her and the Loveladies, I would have had some pretty serious doubts as to if it should continue. But I love how she followed what she knew in her heart to be the Lord's calling and push through... and how Brenda slowly began to realize that this home was maybe more to help her than to help the women.
After reading, I looked up the Lovelady Center online to see how they are doing now and am blown away with how the Lord has blessed and grown her original idea. EVERYBODY thought this was crazy, everyone thought it would fail, everything was against her and the women, but Brenda had the tenacity to push through, and I love that she did. Today the Lovelady center serves over 450 women a day at its new location, and thousands of lives have been changed as a result.
I received this book for free, but would I have bought it at the store?
(pretty helpful, huh?)
I was definitely drawn in by the cover (I choose this book from a list of other delicious books available to me). Then the back cover drew me in a bit more.
The book itself was well written and I love that it wasn't just from Brenda's point of view but also from the point of view of quite a few of the ladies too. There were ladies who failed the program, and ended up using drugs again or back in prison, but reading about the change to so many of the women who were so tired and lost in life was amazing.
The price of the hardback book would have probably deterred me originally, because I'm on a tight (read: next to non-existent) book budget, unfortunately, but I would have missed out on a good book. Shay, Suga-Suga, Brenda and the other Lovelady people have a tiny part of my heart now and I'm so thankful for the continuing work they are doing to help others.
You can pre-order the book and read more here: