Shauna Niequist’s book, Bittersweet, has the subtitle, “thoughts on change, grace and learning the hard way”. It is a good summary of the contents. Shauna is Bill & Lynne Hybels’ daughter and she is very comfortable sharing details of her personal and family life. She wrote the book after experiencing a series of significant changes which included having a baby, changing jobs and moving house. Not all these changes were welcomed or expected and some involved a great deal of grief.

Shauna is an extravert with a great deal of creative energy and zest for life so she brings a unique perspective to the effect these changes had on her walk with God and how she experienced his grace in the midst of this difficult time. Often she found his grace informally through getting together with family and friends but at other times more formally through church gatherings and seeing a therapist.

Towards the latter part of the book Shauna does get slightly repetitive in her descriptions of the dinner parties she held and while these occasions were obviously deeply healing for her they were a bit loss on me.

Nevertheless overall I found this an excellent read and greatly encouraging. It gave me fresh insights into the ways God uses pain and disappointment to shape and model us into the people he wants us to be.