Sunday, March 9, 2008

Here If You Need Me : A True Story

by Kate Braestrup

This book was not quite what I expected. Knowing that Kate Braestrup was a minister, I still expected the book to be about Kate and her life as a single mother with an extraordinary career as minister to the Game Wardens in Maine. And so it was, more or less.

The book is chock full of bible references and quotations. Too full in my opinion. While the book is written in a charming and easy going way, and Kate and her family and friends are portrayed in what you know is a real and even amusing way, the Bible references become intrusive.

I wanted more of Kate! I kept hoping that th next chapter would have more about her experiences in the Maine woods and as a single mom. Clearly she is an amazing and down to earth woman. Obviously her job leads her into difficult and fascinating situation. She uses a self deprecating approach to describing herself in situations that is often endearing.

All too often, what I found was more of the Bible. What I missed in purchasing this book was what became all too obvious in the end, the title is a double entendre. What I took as She would be there if needed by the wardens, and her family was true, but I believe that it also means that God is there for all of us.

Finally, the ending came to quickly. I felt that I was swooped from the middle of her story, to her current life all too quickly. It felt almost as if she woke one morning feeling as if she had done enough writing and and basically wrote that they all live happily ever after.

I am not anti-religion at all, I am just a reader who is somewhat disappointed in a book that I had looked forward to reading.


  1. After listening to the interview of Kate on MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) the week prior to and again the week of fundraising a few months back, I was very intrigued by her story and this book.

    Then I forgot about it entirely. So I saw your note about reading it over on LT (in what are you reading this week) and followed the links over here. I'm disappointed to read your review because the interview, while, yes, it was obvious that she had strong faith - she was a minister! :) - it was not apparent that the book would be peppered with biblical references. It makes me shy away from picking it up at least as a purchase.

    The interview was definitely fascinating... I believe it was on's mid-morning if you are interested in finding the podcast. :)

    Very helpful review! Thank you.

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