Oct 30, 2006

Book Review: Scrap Everything by Leslie Gould

I had the pleasure of recently reading a lovely novel called Scrap Everythingby Leslie Gould. I am a finicky reader - I avoid anything that would be rated more than PG if it were a movie. This book not only fit my "PG-rated" views but was also an engrossing, inspirational story.

Elise Shelton and her husband Ted and her two sons move to a small town in Oregon where her husband grew up. Shortly after arriving, she met the owner of the local scrapbook store, Rebekah Graham. Elise and Rebekah were not sure they liked each other to begin with but their paths kept crossing in more and more personal ways.

Elise was not a scrapbooker, but Ted convinced her to go to the store on a crop night in an effort to meet other local women. That is where she met Rebekah.

Shortly after arriving, Ted, an anesthesiologist and a local Army Reserve Unit member, gets called to go to Germany for three months. Elise is not happy to be left alone with her two rambunctious teenage sons in a town she doesn't want to be in left to rely on a father-in-law she would rather avoid. Rebekah steps in to help her, at first out of polite kindness but later out of pure friendship.

I loved how Elise sorts the photos of her boys during some troubled times with them and is reminded by the photos that they were once sweet, loving children. I believe that is one of the benefits of scrapbooking. Sometimes we forget how much we love and appreciate our families - especially when they aren't doing things that you can love or appreciate at that moment. Elise never really dives any farther into scrapbooking than just sorting photos, though.

Around the time Ted leaves for Germany, Rebekah's family is faced with a health crisis that had been brewing with her daughter, Pepper. In the midst of all this, Ted decides to go onto Iraq with his unit and will be gone much longer than anticipated. The Grahams and the Sheltons find themselves thrust together to provide mutual support for the turmoil each family is in at the time. Through all this, Rebekah wonders about her scrapbook shop and whether or not she can afford to keep it open given their finances and her time.

Through faith, compassion and friendship, these two women go from polite acquaintances to deeper friends than either one ever expected to become. I really enjoyed reading Scrap Everything - it was an engaging story with an upbeat message about the challenges of life.

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