Inspired Every Day:
Essays and Stories on Finding
Extraordinary Grace in Ordinary Moments
by Patricia Crisafulli
Inspired Every Day, a new collection of short stories and essays from bestselling author Patricia Crisafulli, is at once thoughtful and thought-provoking. In this short volume, Crisafulli has crafted a well-written collection of stories meant to inspire readers to re-examine their lives with fresh eyes.
Crisafulli, whose previous titles include the New York Times bestseller The House of Dimon: How JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon Rose to the Top of the Financial World and, with Andrea Redmond, Comebacks and Rwanda, Inc., is based in the Chicago area, from where she writes and blogs at “Faith, Hope and Fiction.”
Inspired Every Day, which is available primarily through Hallmark stores (and on Amazon as well), contains just sixteen pieces: eight essays and eight short stories. Topics include nature, family, and everyday life. These essays and stories are well written, with Crisafulli choosing every word carefully and crafting lovely sentences. But many of the works in this book leave the reader wanting more. The stories themselves often are unresolved. Each story and essay reads as if it is the beginning of something wonderful, but each feels unfinished. In the end, although Crisafulli does her best to inspire in her latest volume, she falls just short of actually doing so.
Crisafulli does come close to delivering the promised inspiration, and she does a fine job of leaving the reader with much to ponder about his or her own life, even if she doesn’t quite deliver the goods when it comes to inspiration. The book promises essays and stories to “brighten your day, give you hope, and strengthen your faith,” and it does do that to some extent. But the author could have come closer by better bringing each story to fruition.
At just 79 pages, Inspired, an illustrated collection, is an easy book, each story or essay taking just a few minutes to read. Sadly, however, the volume lacks any real depth. That said, this would be a good title to read just before bed, after a long, hard day at work, or before starting one’s workday as the book does encourage readers to look for inspiration in their own lives and points toward ways to do so. In that, Crisafulli has accomplished something important, even if not all readers will find each essay or story wholly inspiring.
March 2014, Hallmark Gift Books
$12.95, hardcover, 79 pages
—Reviewed by Karri E. Christiansen
Learn more about Patricia Crisafulli.
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