It’s February 6th, so it’s book club day!! The book I picked is is Everything Beautiful in Its Time: Seasons of Love and Loss by Jenna Bush Hager.
I am so excited to talk with you all about the book.
Many of you will recognize the author, “Jenna Bush Hager is an American news personality, author, and journalist. She is currently the co-host of Today with Hoda & Jenna, the fourth hour of NBC’s morning news program Today. Hager and her twin sister, Barbara, are the daughters of the 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush.”
Here is what Amazon had to say about the book:
“To the world, George and Barbara Bush were America’s powerful president and influential first lady. To Jenna Bush Hager, they were her beloved Gampy and Ganny, who taught her about respect, humility, kindness, and living a life of passion and meaning—timeless lessons that continue to guide her.
In Midland, Texas, Jenna’s maternal grandparents, Harold and Jenna Welch—Pa and Grammee—a home builder and homemaker, lived a quieter life outside the national spotlight. Yet their influence was no less indelible to their granddaughter. Throughout Jenna’s childhood and adolescence, the Welches taught her the name of every star in the sky, the way a dove uses her voice—teaching her to appreciate the beauty in the smallest things.
Now the mother of three young children, Jenna pays homage to her grandparents in this collection of heartwarming, intimate personal essays. Filled with love, laughter, and unforgettable stories, Everything Beautiful in Its Time captures the joyous and bittersweet nature of life itself. Jenna reflects on the single year in which she and her family lost Barbara and George H. W. Bush, and Jenna Welch. With the light, self-deprecating charm of the bestselling Sisters First—cowritten with her twin sister, Barbara—Jenna reveals how they navigated this difficult period with grace, faith, and nostalgic humor, uplifted by their grandparents’ sage advice and incomparable spirits.
In this moving book, Jenna remembers the past, cherishes the present, and prepares for the future—providing a wealth of anecdotes and lessons for her own children and all of us. Poignant and humorous, intimate and sincere, Everything Beautiful in Its Time is a warm and wonderful celebration of the enduring power of family and an exploration of the things that truly matter most.
“As long as I’m alive, my grandparents will not be forgotten. . . . I hear their voices in the letters they sent me and in my memories. They offer comfort, support, and guidance, and I will listen to them always.”
I have to say, I loved the book. I think it is a beautiful tribute to the family that comes before us that shape our lives. I myself had a mom that was the champion of the underdog. If there was someone who needed help, my mom was the helper.
I can so relate to the carefree days of summer with lots of cousins. For me, it wasn’t cousins but nieces and nephews who came and stayed at the farm throughout the summer. While the Bush family vacationed on the shores, me and my nieces and nephews walked the field path to the creek on their farm. Ours wasn’t nearly as glamorous but it had the same carefree feel that Jenna described in her book.
I think books like this are so important for us to all step back and see that people in the limelight are human just like us. Jenna outrightly admits that she struggles to put a balance between being the mom, wife, daughter, and granddaughter. I love seeing her human.
For me, I could totally relate to Jenna. I’ve lost important people and my Ruby dog all within a 6-month time frame. It was easy for me to shed a tear as I felt some of the same feelings she had. Admittedly, I had to get a tissue a couple of times during the book.
Being a grandma now, I could also better see the importance and impact a grandparent can make on a grandchild. Reading made me want to that person in my grandchildren’s lives and it made me want to try being an even better grandma.
So…now a few questions for all of you…
Jenna’s grandparents all had words and house rules to live by. What are two or three rules you try to live by? How do you pass these onto your family?
Jenna’s maternal grandmother, Jenna Welch, always told her to “read widely”. What are your favorite books to read? Why? How often do you stray from what you normally read? (For me, this book was out of my “normal”)
In the chapter “I Learned a Lot from Our Lunch”, Jenna reflects on a meaningful conversation reporter Timothy Naftali had with her grandmother, Barbara Bush, on transgender rights. Have you ever had a conversation that changed your thinking about something? Tell us about it.
Feel free to leave a comment about one of the questions- or just pick anything from the book that struck you as interesting. I’d love to hear your opinion.
All in all, I loved the book. Readers gave the book 4.8 stars. I’m stretching myself and giving it a full 5 stars. That rarely happens!! How many stars do you give the book?
For those of you who missed the book, here is a video that promos the book.
If you didn’t try the book before but want to now, you can find the book HERE on Amazon. You can find an ebook, book, and audiobook options there.