There are three Fs in this heart-warming debut novel from Leah Starr Baker that make the book rich with all the fullness of life: Friendship, Family, and Faith. This trinity lies at the core of a complete life of a woman as we are shown by thirty-seven years old Rebecca Thornton who tells the story of her encounter with a life-threatening illness and a heap of other problems within the circle of her close friends-the ‘Bunko Babes’. By mutual support, trust, and faith in divine intervention, Rebecca gets the most in her life and emerges as a woman better prepared for living the life to the lees.
The story of Rebecca Thornton is, in every sense, the story of a modern American woman who has a family to care for and who is burdened with the responsibility of keeping things in place while the surrounding circumstances push her to anxiety and lack of direction. All the Bunko Babes have their own problems and insecurities but they all share the most valuable resource of support-good friendship and mutual trust. These two things alone suffice to let a woman’s spirits stand up to their responsibilities. Adding to the meaning of one’s difficult experiences is the element of faith which, though may be lacking in good times, serves to balm the inner soars and makes healing complete when some physical and/or psychological trauma batters one’s integrity.
Like many other good works of women’s fiction, Leah Baker’s first novel takes a critical look at the nature of various problems that plague families and relationships, ranging from problems with growing kids to infidelities of husbands and issues related to aging. Many women usually have to bear the brunt of the aftermath of these problems and it takes a long time and good deal of effort to pull the boat of life out of the troubled waters. With trusting friends, honesty, and faith, these trials of life can be dealt with most effectively, gaining in the process instead of coming to a loss. Mrs. Baker’s novel instantiates the practice of writing purposeful fiction that has the potential of making a difference in the reader’s own life.
The Bunko Babes is a special treat for women-entertaining, inspiring, and educating- but it will also make a touching read for men who value family, friendship, and faith.
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