Imagine if the wildly popular TV series “Sex & the City” were a book, only the main characters were morally-conscience Roman Catholics. That’s what “Style, Sex, & Substance” reminds me of. (Not that I’ve ever watched the show, of course.)
Ten women bloggers offer hilarious, heartwarming, real life reflections on topics ranging from identity and discipleship, style and beauty, marriage and motherhood, in fresh, candid, conversation as they each seek to answer the question: What does it mean to be an authentically Catholic woman?
What does she look like? What does she wear? How is her sex life? Does she have to be married with a house full of kids? Does she work outside the home? Does she have lots of friends? How does she present herself to the world and influence modern culture? Perhaps some of these questions seem superficial, but a reading of this book proves otherwise. The answers, the authors show, profoundly affect our self image.
It turns out most of the women had a vision of who the authentic Catholic woman is, and felt they didn’t measure up. More surprising, many of the women admitted that they didn’t think they were feminine enough. (Enough for what? I think in retrospect.) If you can relate to these feelings, you would benefit from reading this book.
Learn how Jennifer Fulwiler “fell out of her minivan and found herself”—a particularly funny story. And how a cute dress inspired a complete 180 conversion for editor Hallie Lord. Personally, my favorite essay is Danielle Bean’s “We Said Yes.” Her exceptionally well written personal narrative on the joys and struggles of marriage had me laughing throughout and tearing up at the end. You must read about what happened when her husband suggested she “get her hair done.” Enough said.
Clichés or not, it is no small feat striving for holiness in a fast-paced world where women are expected to juggle many tasks. I recommend this book for any Catholic woman, married or single, who has wondered who she is and if she is living up to some kind of standard she has set for herself.
Did I mention there’s a chapter for single ladies? Anna Mitchell offers up an honest portrait of the chaste single life. “Style, Sex, & Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter” is an entertaining, enlightening read. It will encourage you to look within and discover your unique, authentically Catholic womanhood.
Book Trailer: Style, Sex & Substance
— Sarah Drew is a Customer Service Representative for CCL in Cincinnati.