Book Review: Undone

April 24, 2015


Undone: A Story of Making Peace With an Unexpected Life
Michele Cushatt
256 pages
Kindle edition

From the Publisher:
Undone is author Michele Cushatt’s quest to make peace with a complicated life. It is an honest confession of a diagnosis of cancer and the joys and disappointments of motherhood and marriage, ripe with regret over what is and, yet, still hopeful for what could be.

With enough humor to ease the rawness of the story, Undone takes the reader on a roller coaster two-year journey through the unexpectedness of life. A look back makes Michele long for a do-over, the chance to make fewer mistakes and leave less of a mess to clean up. A look forward makes Michele wonder if all her attempts to control life have robbed her of the vibrancy of it. And, in the middle of this internal chaos, she finds her once-pristine house filled with the sights and sounds of three small, uncontainable children who just want to be loved.

In the end, Undone turns complication into a beautiful canvas, angst into joy, and the unknown into an adventure, revealing that sometimes life’s most colorful and courageous stories are written right in the middle of the mess.

After reading The Fringe Hours this book kept coming up on my kindle.  I’ve also seen a couple of my favorite bloggers write about this book and how much they love Michele and this story.  I thought I would give it a try.  It was not disappointing.

Undone is a memoir about a blogger and her life.  The first half of the book is about her diagnoses and coping with cancer.  This hit a chord with me.  My mother in law fought cancer twice and ultimately the cancer won.  I was with my Dad when he got the call that he had colon cancer.  

I loved the mixture of God and his Tender Mercies that are shown in this book.  The book is uplifting and inspiring and funny and real at the same time.

“The day cancer showed up in my life, God showed up bigger.He served up a portion of his presence, enough for one day.  Enough to reassure me I’m not alone.” – page20

The second part of the book is focused more on when Michele and her family bring three young foster children into their home, family and hearts.  Michele had 3 older children, almost all out of the house by this point.  I cannot even imagine starting over at this point. But she did.

“Just because something is hard doesn’t mean we’re not called to it,” I’d tell her.  ”And just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not good” – page 169

“This is a rough draft-life.  And whatever I didn’t like about today, I can always edit tomorrow.” page 192

This story is hard to read, but compelling at the same time.  The second half I had a hard time putting down.  It was a book that really made me think about my life and my challenges and my attitude.  I highlighted and marked a lot in this book.  But I have to say, this is my favorite.  I love it.  

“It’s an undone life.  But I didn’t have to be undone by it.  Stress?  Yes, Quite often.  Exhausted?  You bet. Do I cry, rant and sometimes act like a toddler on a sugar high for hours past bedtime?  Yes, yes and yes.  
I am an impossible , stubborn, gloriously imperfect woman.  From my bad hair-color job to the piles of unlaundered clothes.  From my list of missed appointment to the kids’ impressive collection of tardy slips.  From my marriage in progress to the children who still think it’s okay to use their arm as a napkin.  From my desperate closet prayers to the long days of doubt.I’m undone.  Hungry, questioning, searching struggling.  Not even close to polished and pristine.
But I’m breathing.  And believing. And loving this crazy, unexpected, and imperfect life.” – page 239

Final answer:  Loved this book. I highly recommend it. If you have a life that hasn’t always turned out how you planned it, this is a good place for you to start.  If you have everything you planned always work out…I’m not sure we can still be friends.  (just kidding.  kinda)

It’s a tough read, you might even want a box of tissues. But worth it.  It’s an eye opening read for anyone.

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