Reading Time: 3 minutes

Jodie McCarthy | 98five blogger

I was in the middle of severe grief due to miscarriages, and I found this book called Bittersweet. I don’t recall what made me pick it up. Whether it was the picture of the crumbled chocolate on the front or the subtitle: ‘thoughts on change, grace and learning the hard way’.

Either way, it found its way home with me. As I read it, often with tears in my eyes, I was so grateful for this author Shauna Niequist. She managed to articulate her own pain in such a way that she gave me words to express mine.

I remember one blustery day taking the book with me as we drove to the beach to watch the storm come in. Mr and I sat in the car with the rain lashing on our windows while I read him a section. Turning to him with tears rolling down my cheeks, I told him ‘this is how I feel’.

I have bought every one of Shauna’s books since then, and I am so grateful for this woman who is willing to talk about the hard along with the good, the dark as well as the light.

Her latest book Present over Perfect has been a revelation and revolution for me, and for many around me who have read it. So I am very excited to have it as our next book club book.

This book club is a little different as it’s hosted online across three blogs, with me posting on Mondays, author and friend of 98five Elaine Fraser on Wednesdays and fellow 98five blogger Amanda Viviers on Fridays, with a discussion question after each post.


If you would like to join or follow the journey of Amanda’s, Jodie’s and Elaine’s book club, make sure to check back at 98five.com every Monday, Wednesday and Friday or view their schedule here.


Once more, Shauna has given this book has an amazing subtitle: ‘leaving behind frantic for a simpler more soulful way of living.’

*Sigh* Just reading that makes me breathe out.

As Shauna says in the introduction:

My prayer is that this book will be a thousand invitations, springing up from every page, calling you to leave behind the heavy weight of comparison, competition, and exhaustion, and to re-craft a life marked by meaning, connection and unconditional love.

We hope you can get a copy of the book and join us for this journey in Present over Perfect.


ONLINE USE_Jodie McCarthy profile photoJodie is a full-time mum, part-time writer and some-time poet. She is fascinated by language, word origins, and meaning, and has always found comfort in writing. After a life as a professional woman, she is slowing adjusting to the joys and struggles of being a stay-at-home mum. Her blog is her slice of sanity in her life as mother. Jodie is passionate about encouraging women in their everyday, whether it’s mundane, challenging, painful or thrilling. She lives in Perth with her husband and two daughters. onlyhalfwaythere.net | Follow Jodie on Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest


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