Book Review – The Fringe Hours

A book review by my wife Tracy of The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner.

Women, by nature, are hard workers. Whether they work in the home, out of the home, or both, women give of themselves and serve others on a constant basis. Jessica Turner’s book, The Fringe Hours addresses the very real need women have to find things they enjoy, and then find the time to do the things they enjoy!

As a mom, I was encouraged and convicted by this book. Sometimes in the extremely demanding life of caring for three young children, I feel like I lose a bit of myself. Where is that woman who used to enjoy a variety of activities and actually had a few moments to pursue those things? Turner begins her book by freeing women from the guilt of spending time on themselves, as well as confronting the fact that women can be their own worst enemies by imposing impossible standards on themselves and comparing themselves to others.

The second section of the book helps women uncover their passions and offers some very practical suggestions for how to find time in their lives to pursue the things they love. Yes, you have to get creative—Turner uses her morning hair-drying time as an opportunity to read her magazines—but as she points out, five minutes a day is enough to keep up with her subscriptions!

The third and fourth sections offer readers help in organizing their time, accepting help, and overcoming other barriers to finding time for themselves. Turner also encourages us to make time to sleep and to build meaningful relationships into our lives.

Self-care is a tricky topic because it can so easily become a very self-focused obsession. However, Turner tackles the topic carefully and builds her case well that taking care of yourself will help you be more fulfilled, happier, and will allow you more energy to care for others. She emphasizes the concept of balance in life which is a life-long pursuit for most of us.

No book can make time for you in your schedule, but this book will encourage you to really look at your life and to revisit some of the things you used to love to do. The questions to answer and motivation prompts throughout the book make it interactive and help you start applying what you are reading right away. Overall, a well-written book with a timely message for today’s busy women!

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