Friday, June 25, 2010

Dance With Them - Book Giveaway!

Thirty Stumbling Mothers Share Glimpses of Grace

That is the subtitle to Kathryn Soper’s new anthology. Her first, The Mother in Me (published last year) was a stunning collection of personal writings by LDS women about growing into motherhood. The sequel, Dance with Them, is equally poignant and moving, but can be enjoyed independent of the first. So far, it has been my favorite mothering book of the year.

I reviewed Dance with Them for Meridian last month. It's a compilation of essays and poetry written by women who, as Soper puts it, “get up every morning to attempt the multi-faceted balancing act we call mothering - particularly, the mothering of school-age children.” While The Mother in Me focused on mothers with children ages 0-5, Dance with Them is written for mothers with school-age children.


The cover photo was taken by my friend Michelle. If you haven't discovered her blog, you must! Her photography is eye-candy. And her writing? Equally delicious.

Here's a brief excerpt from Soper's book, taken from Sharlee Mullins Glenn's essay, Dance With Them.

“When they push, you pull. Move with them. Make it a dance, not a tug-a-war. A dance isn’t about power or control. A dance is about trust, connection, cooperation, flexibility, and fun. A dance is about two people moving together, however awkwardly, trying to make things work, trying to create something beautiful, something symbiotic. For beginners, the movement is often clunky and halting. Toes get stepped on, people stumble and slip, sometimes they even fall. But then, hopefully, they laugh (or cry), help each other up, and start again."


So - you're in luck! I'm giving away a copy of Dance with Them, courtesy of Kathryn Soper (Thanks Kathy!)

Just read my review on Meridian then post a comment here telling me what sparked your interest or why you'd like a copy of your own. I'll choose a winner (out of the blog-hat) by next Friday evening.

I can promise you - the book will not disappoint. Especially for mothers with a literary heart.

Kathryn Soper is the editor of Segullah (I've blogged about them before) - a literary journal for LDS women.

I'm attending their first-ever writing retreat tomorrow. I've been looking forward to it for months (while simultaneously preparing myself to get ripped to shreds!) These women are great writers and I've submitted several poems for review with their poetry editor. I will also be reading a short nonfiction piece for feedback. Nothing like putting the old heart and pen out there for everyone to see. Truth hurts, right? But it's all for the cause of progress. If I survive the beat-down, I'll post about it next week.


  1. This sounds like a fabulous read and a great reminder of what's important. I couldn't agree with you more about the ebb of the next phase...starting school, etc...I would love to read this book!

  2. It does sound like something I need to read! I have two toddlers and I appreciate the idea of a "Dance" rather than a "battle." Time does go by way too fast and I like that she recognizes that motherhood is sometimes awkward at first as we learn to be better, but that it can still be a beautiful experience.

    tarapwin @

  3. First comes the breaking down, but next is the building up... and you'll be even better for it. Best of luck!

  4. I'm just entering this school age stage with our oldest. Friends assure me it's wonderful while I feel fearful of ever letting go of the baby and toddler and preschool stage. (I'm not past it yet, thank goodness) "Dance With Them" sounds like a wonderful read.
    C. Olsen

  5. cath i luv reading your blog and your insights & thanks for the book recommendations i am going ot check them out! i doubt you will get the "beat down" you are will rock it! can't wait to hear how it goes *cami

  6. Thank you for writing such a thoughtful review. My oldest daughter is turning 9 next week, and someone pointed out to me that I am now halfway done with parenting her at home. Talk about being scared!! Especially when I think about what the next 9 years will likely be like compared to the first 9. Not enough time! I would love to read this book. I feel like I could use all the help and inspiration I can get!

  7. KR - so nice to have you reading. Looks like you're taking a hiatus for now - I completely undertsand. Once your twins are on the go, there's a whole new type of motion and energy to attend to. Thanks for your comment.

    Tara - Loved your word choice - battle. It's too easy to look at parenting that way. Soper's book is such a contrasting perspective. I think you'll really enjoy it. Checked out your blog - so sorry your mother (i believe it's your mother?) is dealing with cancer. I wish her, you and your family the very best. My mother is fighting her second brain tumor. It's tough. Blessings!

    Michelle - It was a gentle breakdown - but excellent. I'll write more about it later. Thanks for commenting!

    C. - I too am glad we have toddler years still ahead! Dance with Them is good prep for these future years. Thanks so much for taking time to read.

    Cam - thanks my dear - it was just the right kind of beat-down. Perfect for me. And wow - was I inspired by some of the women there! Thanks for commenting!

    Heather - how nice to have you reading! Hadn't thought of 9 as half way. But you're right - time is flying! Thanks for your comment. I love the mid-west too. You have a darling family!

  8. Thanks for sharing this with us. I can't wait to read this book.

  9. Wow, this looks like such a great collection of mothers and their thoughts. I love the comment about how each mother has her own style and rhythm. I am not sure what style I have with our little one, but would love to read about others styles. I loved the part about it being a dance where "Toes get stepped on, people stumble and slip, sometimes they even fall. But then, hopefully, they laugh (or cry), help each other up, and start again." It points out so much to think about.

  10. cath i read your review but i couldn't find a place to comment so i wanted to say i luved it and i am looking forward to reading these books, i actually tried to see if they were available on podcast with itunes but no luck! what i luved about your review and what interest me is the truth of it all. we all have struggles. we all have challenges. yet, sometimes i feel like i am alone in them. i luv relating, conversing, and growing from other women. i luv it when we drop our guards, we don't feel threatened or jealous and we simply just choose to understand and respect each other. it reminded me of your post about saying "yes" more...i had that moment a couple months ago when i realized i was saying "yes" to everyone around me except for my kids & cameron. life is a dance and i am excited to watch my girls boogie down, take turns leading, and actually enjoy the music.

  11. I found your blog through the Mormon Women Project - since my blog is called 5 Under 5 I couldn't help but stop and read your entry. I loved your perspective.

    I loved The Mother in Me and have been wanting to read this book as well especially since my kids are right at this stage. As much as I love being a mom, sometimes I need a little reminder/inspiration about the importance of mothering.

  12. Chocolate - thanks for reading. you have darling boys!

    Nelsons - Emily - is this you? Although our kids are still on the younger side, I felt Soper's book was a great prep manual for the school ages years. you would enjoy it.

    Cami - "I love it when we drop our guards" - you're so wise. it is so good for mothers to see each other grappling with real struggles. it's too easy to compare rather than support and celebrate each other. you would LOVE this book!

    Courtney - WOW!! I haven't found anyone else yet with five under five (even though yours are growing!) Triplets!! I would love to hear how you managed the newborn days. One more would have amped up the challenge significantly. I'll have to check in on your blog regularly. You seem like you handle your circumstances with lots of gratitude. Thanks so much for leaving a comment.

  13. Yes, it is me. I think you are completely right about it still being a great prep manual for when they get older.


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