Book Club Day: Everything Beautiful in its Time

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.

Jenna Bush Hager Highlights Grandparents' Words of Wisdom

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.

11 thoughts on “Book Club Day: Everything Beautiful in its Time”

  1. I bought the book as soon as you announced book club! I also loved it! I feel like I learned so much about the Bush family. Once again I was left with the feeling that I wished I could have known the former First Lady, Barbara Bush. Loved the house rules! Since my husband and son both have ADHD, our big house rule was probably “only handle it once”. In other words…don’t just set something down…just put where it’s supposed to be!

    One of my favorite parts of the book is when we hear about the tantrum that her daughter threw while shopping in NY. And…the flower girl story from her sister’s wedding! Hilarious!

    This book also took me out of my normal reading genre. I’m more of a romance type of reader. I just love a book that I don’t need to analyze a whole lot and I love a happy ending! I just started a different type of book that a friend sent to me. It’s called “The Sewing Machine”. It’s more of a historical fiction.

    Thanks for this recommendation! I loved this book!

    1. Would you be willing to share the name of the author who wrote The Sewing Machine? It sounds interesting. Thanks for thinking about this.

      1. Th pe author is Natalie Fergie. I haven’t read enough of it to know how good it is, but my friend liked it and mailed it to me. She liked it!

  2. I got this book from the local library and read it over this past week. I liked this book very much. Regardless of anyone’s politics, I liked the Bush family very much during the presidency of both Bushes. I read of similar traits of Barbara Bush previously, but liked hearing them again. I had a relative that was acquainted with Jenna Welch, so it was nice to learn more about her.

    I guess I don’t think of rules to live by, but more character traits. The three that come to mind are: honesty, caring for others, and hard working. The best way to pass these on is through example.

    I don’t know that I can pick a favorite part, but do like the reading of the relationships of one generation to another. Like you, I recalled spending time with my grandparents and the variety of things I learned from them. For example, one grandmother taught me to crochet, and the other let me know it was ok to step into the chicken house. I also remember many good times with the cousins whether at the in town grandmother’s or at the grandparents on the farm.

    I tend to read a lot of popular fiction, those with “real” people that share their struggles and joys. I also read memoirs fairly often; I think this would be classified as that. One out of my usual style I’m reading on currently is non-fiction called “Liquid Rules.” It is non-fiction about the many liquids that pass through our lives. I would call it simplified science;; it written in an interesting way relating one liquid to another.

  3. Nikki DeRamus Moshier

    Thank you for the review. It piqued my interest and lo, and behold, our library has it so I will check it out. I adore Jenna on the Today show. My normal book reading has changed in the last few years. I used to always read murder/mystery type books. I am using a lot of different sources to find interesting books, like Mrs. Darcy’s reading list and Book Bub. So non fiction and fiction alike now.

  4. I ordered the book as soon as you posted about it. I to probably wouldn’t have chosen it, but am so glad I did. I loved it, and I try to teach my granddaughters some of the normal things because they aren’t learning them at home. I’m going to make a list for the back of the door, loved that idea, and such common practices to know and learn!! I loved it!! Thank you for the recommendation !!

  5. Patty McDonald in Sounthern California

    I haven’t read this book but plan to now. Mystery’s are my favorite read but I did just finish a book about two sisters in France during WWII called the Nightingale. Excellent read. My mom and her family were in German occupied Belgium and my dad was an English soldier captured at Dunkirk. This book describes their remembrances of the war better than any other WWII fiction I’ve read. When WWII started, my granny was 57 . She hid British and American soldiers from the Germans and worked with the Belgium underground. The Nightingale tells it like it was during that time.

    1. Patty, you must be so proud of your family. I know I sure would be. It takes strong people to fight for what is right!! Thank them for their kindness to humanity.

  6. I’m still on the library waiting list to read this one. I was hoping I’d get a copy early but that didn’t happen. I mix Mysteries, my favorite, with other books. Recently I thoroughly enjoyed Dan Crenshawbook’s book Fortitude. It was refreshing to read practical, common sense thoughts.

  7. Loved this book! You were right about crying hard in parts, laughing hard in others. Such strong women in various stages of life in different times of history. As a grandmother now, I can relate to how much those sweet grandchildren are cherished. What a tribute to those women that their granddaughters recognize and appreciate their influence. Great book, thank you!

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