“Starbucks-drinking, Levi-wearing, word-loving, munchkin-rearing, artsy-fartsy, faith-filled friends” is how the authors describe themselves in the introduction to this book. In their guileless prose, they prove that it is possible to be both deeply religious and totally approachable.
These women, friends for close to twenty years, have merged their love of writing into a combination cookbook, journal, and note passed to a best friend. In alternating chapters (denoted by a high heel for Sally and a lace-decorated high top for Cheri) they open their hearts. Full of pep and vinegar, they lovingly enjoy their families in all their branches, and, first and foremost, worship their God. They express the important place their ever-present faith holds in each of their lives, as they go about being young wives and mothers. They love life and, in spite of its many challenges, they hold tight to that faith, and to the friendship that sustains each of them.
Both authors are graduates of Wheaton. Sally is a columnist for Adoption TODAY Magazine, has had work published in other periodicals, is the author of Girl Talk … God Talk: What My Friends Have Taught Me About Prayer, and is expanding her repertoire to include a young adult book called “Cutting Herself Short.” While Walk With Me is the first book for Cheri, she writes for many publications and has a work in progress titled “The Gifts of Depression: Embracing the Grace in Brokenness.”
In one of Cheri’s chapters, she tells of going to Sally’s home for a visit after they haven’t seen each other for a few days. Walking up to the door, the movement the weeping willows make is “a hushed waltz of worship.” “Her home’s heart washes over me,” Cheri writes, as she is welcomed by her friend’s hospitality.
While visiting, Cheri notices a poem she wrote for Sally hanging on a wall. In it, Cheri refers to her friend as “My therapist, my sister / My favorite font.” Sally writes in “Canning Poem,” a poem to her children, wishing “I could / save / your laughter / in a / Ball Jar / to / open / when / I miss / you.” Her “Death by Chocolate” recipe could fulfill a chocolate quota for a year, and death would never be so sweet.
The religion is ever-present, with Biblical references throughout. To readers who do not share such a staunch religious base, it could be somewhat overpowering. If those references were cut, Walk With Me would satisfy a more secular audience. As it is, the details of the lives of these two friends will surely find a home with other women living similar lives, surrounded by their faith, their families, and their friends.