Book Review: Holy Hot Mess by Mary Katherine Backstrom

Can this be a post of honesty and maybe a little TMI and a book review all at once? The last few days have been rough. I’ve come down with a bug of some sort, I’ve missed two days of work during one of the most inopportune weeks, and I’ve also been PMSing. If you know me – at all – you know that I get emotional when I’m not well and well, let’s add some unruly hormones into the mix and we have a real Lindsey disaster.

My house is a mess. My body is a mess. My life, frankly, at this moment in time is a mess. I’m not a stranger to messes. I’ve shared stories on Facebook and social media about my gaffes and blunders, usually with a side of laughter, so when I find a book written by an author who is fiercely transparent about her messes, passionate about a God who loves her, and actively seeking his fingerprint in the messy parts of life, well, I’m going to dive right in to her book.

Mary Katherine Backstrom wrote Holy Hot Mess with humor and heart and a tone of vulnerability and relatability. I started it on a whim – I’ve had a NetGalley ARC sitting on my Kindle for a month or two – and thought why not? Before I even got to the end, I had ordered a hard cover copy. It should arrive this week and I’ll need to pull out my actual real life sticky notes and highlighters – digital markup just isn’t the same.

Within the first few chapters, I had laughed and cried and snorted diet pepsi up my nose. Because this book feels authentic in a way I really connected to. If you’ve ever felt a bit on the outsides, craving acceptance or grace or normalcy, you’ve got to read this book – and remind yourself that we didn’t come off an assembly line like perfect Stepford wives, all the same, all flawless in the eyes of society. I devoured this beautiful creation of a book in one evening.

MK, my new best friend, reminds us that even in our day to day messes, there is a purpose and a plan. She may not be to everyone’s tastes – she has a distinctive voice (but if you don’t love her, you’re wrong), she comes across a little crude (if you’re a stuffy old biddy), and well, quite honestly, she doesn’t have it all together. I may not agree with all the “theology” behind her words, but I completely understand her heart and this book was an absolute sweet and refreshing balm to my soul. It’s beautifully written, a compilation of personal experiences almost crafted as parables, reflecting us back to our Creator.

I received a complimentary copy of this title via NetGalley with thanks to Worthy Publishing. Opinions expressed are entirely my own .

Holy Hot Mess published August 3, 2021 and should be available through all major booksellers. I purchased my hard cover through Indigo.

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