Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Book Review: Beautiful Mess
When I signed up to review books at Thomas Nelson, I had a few ideas in mind of what I would like to review. Honestly a book about business, even the music business, did not appeal.
However, when I saw that Beautiful Mess: The Story of Diamond Rio was up for review, I jumped at it. You see, I live in Nashville. I happen to go to church with the lead singer of the band and his amazing family. I babysat his children before his oldest daughter could drive (actually, my first introduction to him was when he and his wife, who I knew fairly well, walked into their house from an awards show and I stuck out my hand and said "I'm Lora. I've been watching your kids for the last few hours." :-)
So with that personal history, and knowing that the band had some rocky times right about the time I was getting to know them...I decided to pick this as my first review.
A Beautiful Mess is written in an engaging and story-like narrative. From the first word I was drawn into the story of Diamond Rio--a story I thought I knew quite a bit of. In the first few chapters we are introduced to the band from the beginning of their story. Time is also taken out for biographical chapters of each of the band members. I honestly found that part to be a little tedious, and perhaps not placed well in the flow of the book, but each of the band member's story is important to the story as a whole. All in all, I would have kept the biographical information in the book.
Some of the other statistics in the book that dealt with the band and their career were a little too much for me personally, but I can understand and appreciate that true fans of the band would want all of that information and the extra insight it provides.
Overall, the book kept my attention and was well-written. I would recommend it first for true-blue fans of Diamond Rio, as it is centered on the band. However, it's also a wonderful story of how God can work in the messes we make out of our lives--and how He is working through every situation, threading each piece carefully into the next. And because of that, I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to read about how God can work in ordinary lives and make them extraordinary.