where the writers are
A Rumor of Angels; The Wish & The Wonder
Date of Review: 
Jane Swanson-Nystrom
The Covenant Companion

Gail Perry Johnston, member of Hope Center Covenant Church in Pleasant Hill, California, has produced two resources for people facing very different stages of life. A RUMOR OF ANGELS (which Johnston wrote with her sister Jill Perry Rabideau) addresses the end of life. Divided into three sections—living, dying, and letting go—the book provides words of comfort and inspiration to those who are dying and to their loved ones. It includes quotations from the canon of western literature—William Blake, John Donne, Emily Dickinson—as well as from contemporary sources—Anne Lamott, Andrew Greeley, parents whose children have cancer, and Johnston’s own pastor, Dean Honnette.

In THE WISH & THE WONDER, Johnston has provided a similar resource for expectant parents. Beginning with the desire to have a child and continuing through to the delivery, the book includes advice, experiences, and quips from parents, proverbs, and pundits. There are some unlikely sources here, but George Patton’s words on courage are certainly appropriate in a discussion on labor. Johnston presents a nice balance of inspirational citations and down-to-earth advice. Barbara Walters on parenthood: “It is tough. If you just want a wonderful little creature to love, get a puppy.”