Monday, November 15, 2010

Book Review: The Reluctant Entertainer

The Reluctant Entertainer
Every Woman's Guide to Simple and Gracious Hospitality
By Sandy Coughlin

I really appreciated Sandy Coughlin's The Reluctant Entertainer. This book is just as much about the heart and purpose of hospitality as it is about tips and recipes to use when entertaining. Coughlin emphasizes that true hospitality should focus on connecting deeply with others, and not on having the fanciest table setting or most delicious meal prepared. I felt like she did a great job of encouraging women in every walk of life, whether single, a busy mom with kids running around, or an empty nester, to open their lives up and reach out to others. I truly appreciated the tips she gave for having a nice gathering, but not stressing over perfection. She also addresses entertaining fears that I could definitely relate to: what to serve, how clean my house is, how to keep the conversation going, etc. Again, I was reminded that hospitality is not about me, but is all about making my guests welcome and at ease. As someone who loves the idea of opening my home to others, but sometimes lacks the initiative to actually make it happen, I feel like I probably need to read this book at least every other year to be reminded of these truths and encouraged to open my home even when life is somewhat chaotic. I would definitely recommend this book as a general guide to practical entertaining and the heart of hospitality.

I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

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