cover image Preparing, Adjusting, and Loving the Empty Nest

Preparing, Adjusting, and Loving the Empty Nest

Michele Howe. Hendrickson, $14.95 trade paper (140p) ISBN 978-1-61970-883-9

Howe (Empty Nest, What’s Next?), who reviews for PW, offers a companion piece to an earlier work on parenting children who are leaving home. Howe tackles the topic in an organized way, the title telegraphing the main divisions in her approach. Her tone is informal and candid; she is more than ready to confess shortcomings that paradoxically make her perspective more credible. She relates information about a painful period of parenting her own daughter that stirs the reader’s heart and demonstrates that her wisdom is hard-won. She discusses practical skills that prepare the ground for a child’s departure and build confidence and trust: budgeting, involving other family members, seeking forgiveness, listening. The work’s real strength is that it does not counsel praying problems away. Rather, Howe is honest about the difficulties parents experience when their children’s choices are disappointing or dangerous. This book will work best for evangelical Christians who find counsel in the Bible and have well-established prayer lives. (Aug.)