Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

When a Woman Takes an Axe to a Wall by Allegra Bennett... A Review

Women are strong, resilient, and able to handle many of life's problems that come their way. We are nurturers and care givers. We can handle a cheese souffle or a dinner party for forty, so what's so different about fixing a light switch?! In When a Woman Takes an Axe to a Wall, author and renovating woman Allegra Bennett shares with us stories about women not afraid to "slip into overalls and strap on tool belts in the making of their perfect space and, in that, the renovation of their state of mind." What these stories show us is that when a woman takes on the four walls around her, she not only repairs her own home, but her own soul.

When a Woman Takes an Axe to a Wall is a collection of inspiring stories from women who have taken a journey of self-discovery to "uncover the foundation of her real self" by overcoming their fears, apprehensions or lack of knowledge by picking up that power drill, or stripping off the wallpaper, maybe by simply asking how to do something with the results being a renovation of their spirits as they renovate their homes.

Author Allegra Bennett's renovation of spirit started after divorcing and getting the house in the process. Her ex didn't even fight for it, which Allegra soon discovered was because it was WORK. HomeownHERship is hard, but as she learned how to fix things, she began to feel empowered and good about herself. She shared what she learned with other women in the same or similar circumstances in a 90 second weekly home radio program. She found that there were a lot of women who were taking on the challenge of fixing up their homes themselves, either because of the desire or more often out of necessity. Women shared with her their challenges and successes. And it is out of these stories that When a Woman Takes an Axe to a Wall was born. Also her magazine, Renovating Woman: the do it herself magazine, which is published 4 times a year, AND the Renovating Woman Website, where Allegra answers questions and offer tools, tricks and tips.

I enjoyed reading through When a Woman Takes an Axe to a Wall. The stories were short, anecdotal, and affirming that as women, no matter what our experience, we are all capable of taking care of things ourselves and not have to wait for the "Knight in Shining Armor". Some of the stories were fun - as in a few ghosts that wanted a little input into the renovations. There was a nice flow to the stories, and even though the book is geared towards the single or divorced woman, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone thinking about picking up that hammer for the first time - because reading about these fearless women will give you the motivation to do your own repairs!

I want to thank Shana of Writers Lair Books for sending a review copy to me!


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