It all begins with a little flower. This tenderly told story is a beautiful reminder to appreciate the simple joys around you. The perfect gift for even the busiest mothers and friends in your life, this book is guaranteed to change chaos to calm and inspire all to look beyond the ordinary and see the extraordinary.
A friend called me with a book suggestion. "It's the greatest little book," she said. "I've already read it twice--once for fun and once to mark all the great quotes I want to remember."
She ran her copy over to me and sure enough, it was a darling book, small enough to tuck into a purse, but with ideas I would soon discover to be too great to absorb in one reading. As explained, its pages were indeed highlighted and underlined with notes. Completely intrigued by this little treasure that had so captivated my friend, I dove in.
The story opens with the author's entire extended family attending to what at first seems like a sad chore--packing up generations of memories in their grandmother's old Cattaraugus County, New York farmhouse, tucked into the sweet innocence of Amish country. One of these Amish neighbors extends an invitation for the family to come and join them for an evening ritual of watching their moonflowers bloom. Intrigued, the author and several others attend this strange event, and they leave intrigued by this magnificent, fragile show that occurs at night, quite removed from the bustle of life, missed by all but those who stop long enough to enjoy it.
When the author is given a moonflower plant to take home as a gift, the very nature of this night-flowering spectacle requires her to slow down, stop, watch and wait, removing her from her normal routine and providing new and magnificent perspectives on life.
It is these treasured moments of great wisdom, shared while waiting on and sharing the moonflower's show, that are sprinkled throughout the book, like seeds of wisdom propagated by the gentle moonflower.
The brilliance of the book isn't the originality of the truths illustrated within its pages--insights on making judgments and on the astounding splendor of simple things; counsel to bloom when we're ready and to be gentle with ourselves; reminders of the power of simply being still sometimes--but rather in the way they are delivered. As the title suggests, they come through conversations Hall has with her floral friend, landing on our heart as gently as a butterfly, bringing no guilt, no judgment, only insight and peace imbued with encouragement.
I saw another, perhaps more powerful lesson in the book. For Hall, the moonflower was the catalyst to a different, less hurried, less harried lifestyle, but she shows us a broader truth, that wisdom can be found in small places and events all around each of us if we take the time to look and listen with our hearts.
We do not need a moonflower to learn these lessons, though Hall's book contains an offer to get moonflower seeds. She shows us that the real key was in her attitude that night in the New York countryside when she accepted the invitation to view the moonflower. Some could have discounted the night-blooming flower as wasted beauty, squandered during hours that didn't fit into the world's schedule. Like the Amish, Hall pondered the "why" of such a curious thing, and her answer? Some things are worth the wait.
Conversations with a Moonflower is a gem readers will keep close and return to many times. Though its lessons are genderless, it is written with a woman's perspective, and would make a perfect gift book.
This was a fascinating story about a woman and her discovery of the Moon flower and the peace and insight that came from taking time to stop and ponder in life. It made me think about my own life and I also wanted to have my own Moon Flower to watch bloom. Such a feel good learn from story. I highly recommend it.
Who would imagine drawing life's lessons from a flower that only blooms in the dark beyond the view of most all of us in this crazy and hectic world? Yet, author, Christine T Hall does just that. From how we must be careful about the inaccurate initial judgments we make about others from only passing and brief interactions to learning to discover the answers to most of the perplexing challenges we face by simply slowing down and listening to the answers that we already have. The lesson there is we can actually go fast by going slow. A great book and a short but powerful message for our day.
Honestly, this was more 2.5 than 3 to me. I am not sure I can quite say I liked it but it only took 40 minutes to read, the writing flowed along easily, and there were a few good lessons. I actually felt like this could be adapted in to a good talk for a youth group. There were about 4 things that she learned from watching the moonflower that were good observations, but the fact that she talked to it and pretended it talked to her just seemed like a way to make a story for a church magazine long enough to be published as a stand alone work. I also thought it was a bit hokey pokey at times, a little too much drama about her ADD and about the lessons she learned, too many moments where she is weepy. I do appreciate that she is a deep thinker, and really looked at the world around her and tried to learn and grow. I cannot say anything was wrong with the writing, maybe the format just didn't connect with me as much as a more straight forward approach would have.
This was a very quick read. Including distractions, I read it in about an hour. I thought the author was very effective in weaving personal stories with the lessons she learned about herself while sitting quietly with her moonflower.
At first I was a little distracted by the fact that she is having "conversations" with a plant and felt it was a little hokey, but it...grew on me (see what I did there?). In the end, I actually thought the conversation concept was a really good way to talk about ideas, rather than to expound on them at length. The Q&A was engaging and helped it flow very easily.
I wasn't surprised to see that the author is a 7 Habits presenter, as many of the ideas discussed in the book were very familiar. But on the whole, good book. Glad I read it.
Ok I won this book here, as a givaway... Yay I won, I win things so rarly this was a plesent surprise. Then I looked at what i had won... This is not my usual type of book, I go more for the YA paranormal romance stuff, why I entered this draw I'm not sure. But I was very plesently surprised, not only did it hold my intrest enough that I could finish it in one sitting, which to be honest I hadnt expected, it also intriged me. I wouldnt say OMG I loved this book, yet compaired to what I was expecting... Well done Chris Hall. I am now also intriged to go find some moonflower seeds, although with my skills in the garden it might now grow. I enjoyed it, I had an hour of free time and the other books I was reading I wasnt in the mood for so I actually thought just get it over with... but again have to say plesent surprise.
Ok enough about how bad my expectations were, here are some things I liked. warning... Minor spoilers... very minor ~The writting style, I didn't really want to hear about cleaning, she kept it breif and focused on the mroe important parts. ~The fact that the flower brought together all her neighboors and friends, I loved it, the fact that a little plant was responcible was just so cool. ~The lessons she learned were so cute and so... aplicable, if I so chose I could take those lessons and use them.
now the reason it gets 3/5 instead of higher... ~obviosly not my typical genre, I had to force myself to keep an open mind and not be all... "where's the action scene" ~the way the flower talked, I know "look at the title what did you expect", well not that, thats for sure, I dont know how eles she could of discovered what she did but... flower talking... and she didn't think it was strange at all... also no one noticed her basicly talking to herself... Although I think I understand it, the flower was talking to her heart... you know like when you just feel like you heard it but really it came from inside, you feel like you heard it becasue its so uncharacteristic of you to think like that... Maybe... thats what I think it meant anyways. ~ and the ending, not climatic at all, I dont know maybe thats the point life doesnt have giat climax's. But 16 year old me would of liked something big, or at least bigger then what was there throughout the book, I don't know what but something.
So my overall opinion, I liked it, I recomend it if you have the spare time, It kept me thinking a little while afterwords so I cannot say it was a waste of time, It wasn't, it just wasn't my cup of tea. Have access, read it, don't have access, I leave it up to you weither or not to go searching for it.. Again I have to say my review is slightly biast, not my normal cup of tea, not one I'll spit out either though.
Cute and sentimental... those would be the words for this book.
The author shares her experience of cleaning out the old family homestead, her grandmother's house, which lies right in Amish country. The Amish neighbors took the time to pay their respects when her grandmother passed away then continued to offer companionship while the grown children (who were also grandparents, themselves), cleaned out the house and said goodbye one last time. One neighbor, Marissa, invited Chris and her sister to watch the moonflower bloom. It sounded silly but they were genuinely delighted to be invited to this woman's home. It was a unique and wonderful experience and Marissa prepared a moonflower for the sisters to take home and plant. The moonflower blooms during the summer at dusk. The pod quiver and shake and within seconds, the blossom bursts and spreads. Some nights no flowers bloom. Other nights, nearly 30 will grace the plant. The gift of the moonflower is the byproduct. Friends drop by to sit and wait. Friendships are renewed. Family time is extended.
Some nights, only Chris was present for the show. What follows is a conversation Chris has within herself as she takes the time to be still. Alone with the moonflower, her mind wanders and finally settles on certain problem spots in her life. As she sits and patiently waits for the bloom, answers reveal themselves. The truths she discovers are not earth shattering but, like Chris, they resonate like a remembering. They are basic principles that I needed reminding. In near parable form, the truths revealed with the moonflower will be different for everybody.
For me, Chris and the moonflower reminded me to:
Be Still - that's how He teaches us. Be Prayerful - Ask for what we need. Be Patient - Allow the answers to come without forcing them. They will come. Listen - Resonating with Be Still and Be patient. Be True - If I am a moonflower, I will never be a daisy. Accept what I am and find my own purpose.
For me, Chris brought the balm for my wounds and touched me deeply.
Conversations with a Moonflower is a sweet little book. It all starts when the author, Chris, goes with her family to clean out her Grandmother's old house in Amish country. While there, a young Amish woman invites them to come see her moonflowers bloom. Moonflowers are unique in that they only bloom at night, and then fade quickly once the sun begins to rise. Chris and her family are amazed by the moonflower and are very excited then the owner of the moonflowers offers to send some home with them. Once back in Utah, Chris plants her flower and tends it into a beautiful plant. As the moonflowers begin to bloom, they seem to cast a spell over everyone who sees them. Chris's yard soon becomes a gathering place for friends and neighbors who want to see what these flowers are all about.
More than this though, Chris is able to have time to have "conversations" with the moonflower. Having struggled with ADD her whole life, Chris has often found it hard to sit still. However, with the moonflower she is able to sit back and reflect on things. She has great realizations regarding blooming when she is ready and accepting herself as she is among other things. These are all lessons we could stand to learn. I absolutely loved this book. Just reading about the calming effects the moonflower had on Chris seemed to have a bit of the same effect on me. I think so many times we get caught up in this super busy life without having time to just sit and reflect on things. We could all use some moonflowers in our life that help us to accept and love ourselves faults and all. I highly recommend this book to everyone. I have a feeling I will start giving these out as gifts. It is short and sweet, so anyone can find the time to read it. The lessons Chris learned while talking to the moonflower are universal. This world would be a much better place if we could all find moonflowers of our own.
When you read Conversations with a Moon flower, you can tell Chris is naturally cheerful. Productive. Happy. Busy. Perhaps even a little harried at times.
Yes, like so many of us, Chris found herself at a point in her life when she was busy with her job, her family, and her church. But then a gift from a friend, her first moon flower plant, presented her the opportunity (and excuse!) to slow down and start thinking about who she was, what she wanted, where she was headed, and what was most important in her life.
As Chris's neighbors began noticing the bench in her yard that, oddly, faced her house, she had the nightly opportunity of sharing the moon flower with her neighbors. Now with her book, she is sharing her experience with many more people as she describes some of the realizations she came to while sitting near her moon flower and waiting for it to bloom.
At first, Chris's conversations with the moon flower are almost whimsical, but as she gets better at listening to the moon flower, the questions and answers get deeper. The insights come more easily. The feelings become more profound.
While Chris and I differ in one major way (I am really good at taking time to sit still!) I still found areas of similarity, things in the book I could identify with. My favorite part of the book was Chris's story about bungee jumping. Chris, I had to put the book down to cry and cry for you, for all of us I guess. The moon flower, if you all didn't know, blooms at night--different than all the other flowers. I love the simple idea of blooming when you are ready.
Overall Review: If you are needing a reminder of your beauty and divine nature, take some time to have a conversation with a Moonflower! This unique way of conversing won't have quite the same meaning until you read this book, but by taking the time to read Converstations with a Moonflower by Christine T. Hall, we can each be reminded of these two great qualities! It just might inspire you to order your seeds and let this remarkable plant change your perspective on life. The author records multiple “conversations” and how each one changed her for the better, along with sharing her association and friendship with an Amish family. This is quick read, filled with uplifting messages, is sure to warm the heart of anyone willing to pause from their hectic life to read and reflect. The author even includes a website where you can receive free Moonflower seeds. Overall Rating is 4.5 out of 5 stars!
SEXUAL CONTENT: none
MATURE THEME: none
RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP: 9+
Conversations with a Moonflower is squeaky clean. It is nothing but sweet uplifting messages even children would enjoy. Although meant for adults, the messages in this book can be appreciated at any age.
Do you every feel that your life is so busy doing good things that you don't take time to stop and smell the roses? Have you ever watched a moonflower bloom? My life is like that a lot of the time and it was very easy for me to connect with Chris Hall in Conversations with a Moonflower -- And she is probably a lot like you, too! It’s a very quick read which I really enjoyed - enough that I’ve already read it twice and I’m sure will read again.
Chris takes you with her on a journey of discovering how to slow down life's hectic pace and create a "gathering place" to reconnect with family and friends - a quite place to ponder, listen to the spirit inside you and remember truths you knew from long, long ago - all from watching a moonflower bloom.
Join Chris as she goes to clean out her grandmother's house in Cattaraugus County, New York and is introduced to her moonflower by Marissa Yoder, an Amish woman who knows how to keep life simple. The Yoder family lived near by and helped her grandmother for many years and offered support to Chris and her family on this last farewell to the old family homestead.
Like many of us, Christine Hall is a busy wife, mother and grandmother. But when an Amish friend invites her over one evening to watch a moonflower bloom, Chris discovers herself extremely moved. When she is presented with her own moonflower to take home, she has no idea the changes and journey ahead of her. Taking the plant home, she transplants it in a corner of her front yard. Each night as it blooms, she finds herself sitting on a bench watching it. As time goes by, and she's in the garden, she finds herself talking to it and pondering. And, soon, as she takes the time to stop and think and listen, she discovers profound life lessons, some new, most rediscovered. As family and friends begin stopping by each night to see the moonflower, she also finds her relationships strengthened.
Conversations with a Moonflower would make a lovely gift. It's a short book that is easily read in one or two sittings, but it's not a book you want to rush through. It's a book to savor. It's a beautiful little book that reminds us to stop and reflect. I had no idea there was such a thing as a moonflower. But I want one!
I loved this book! Christine's story is so touching and inspiring. Through the story, the moonflower becomes a symbol of peace and love. It all started when Christine takes her family to the country to clean out an old family house. The Amish neighbors to her ancestors show her a moonflower plant blooming at dusk. They then give her a moonflower plant of her own that ultimately changed her life. As the conversations she has with her moonflower proceed, Chris learns valuable lessons about life and how to prioritize her days. She learns things about herself that she otherwise would not have.
This touching memoir is well-written and very easy to read. It's the perfect little gift book that will brighten the life of anyone searching for a small measure of happiness.
Conversations with a Moonflower gave me incentive to stop and reflect on my life. The message that Chris shares in this book is to slow down, ask questions and then listen for answers. In today's world we all are running at such a frantic pace that most of us don't take the time to stop and look around at the things that should be the most important to us.
One of my most favorite chapters in the book is called, A Twenty-eight-bloom Day. The Moonflower in Chris's garden one night produced twenty-eight blossoms. As Chris "chatted" with her Moonflower after it had bloomed, she asked it if it was worn out after it's twenty-eight bloom night. The flower agrees that it is tired and it needs to rest-especially after a big project. The plant then gives very good advice:
"You can't keep up a twenty-eight-bloom pace for too long or you will wither."
This book is like a new breathing. It gives you hope, energy, silence, time to sit down and think. I loved that Conversations with a Moonflower made me think. Think about what’s important in my life, how I sometimes forget about small thing in life. Small things like watching the flowers bloom, like listening to the sound of waves on the stormy sea, take a moment and dream. Our lives are often so busy that we forget all that. We have it somewhere in our subconscious, but we do not acknowledge it. This is what Conversations with a Moonflower is about. It’s about the peace of mind and heart.
I really enjoyed Conversation with a Moonflower. Chris Hall has created a book which is a definite keeper in my opinion. It’s a book which will cheer you up when your mood is down or increase the beauty around you and inside you when you are happy. It takes you to your happy place!
Going back home is always a tender thing...but going back home to gather all the belongings of a love one who has passed away and deciding what to do those belongings that hold such dear memories is an even more endearing task.
And so starts the job that Chris and her siblings have undertaken...
But while at her grandmother's house, an Amish neighbor invites the family over to watch the spectacular event of a moonflower opening....
This event leads Chris to taking home a moonflower that she plants in her own yard.
The lessons and conversations and neighbor visits this amazing plant brings to her life is so worth reading about!
It will really make you think about your own life--
A FANTASTIC BOOK! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS ONE! WOW! WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE HOW GOOD THIS BOOK IS!
I liked it! A lot. This is a quiet little book that centers around an interesting flower that blooms only at night. When it blooms, the process is fast and amazing. The real story is the insights the owner of the plant gleans from the quiet moments she sits waiting for the flower's spectacular show and the growth she experiences as she shares the blooming experience with others. I've never been impressed much with all the "little insightful" books that appear around Mothers' Day, Easter, Christmas, etc. This one isn't connected to a holiday, it isn't sappy sentimental, doesn't have a calculated tears moment, but is simply truthful, thoughtful, and interesting. Besides I have great memories of two different varieties of night blooming flowers and this one greatly appealed to me.
This is a perfect Mother's Day gift if you include the seed packet (or better yet, the plant). But once I move past the introduction, I felt like I was browsing a repetitive series of greeting cards at best or listening in on therapy sessions at worst. Yes, the moonflower "taught" valuable lessons, not jut for people with ADD. However, I think the author was holding back, like she was giving a seminar to a group of people who may know someone who knows members of her family. Given the community she live in this reluctance to "bear all" is understandable, but apart from the beginning Amish scenes and the bungee jump, there wasn't much story. My best lesson was about rest and not every day can be a 28-bloom day.
Conversations with a Moonflower is a simple book with profound meaning. Although I read the book very quickly, the lessons are meant to last for a lifetime. Just as the moonflower taught Chris, I learned to be still, be patient, and listen. One of my favorite lines from the book says “for as long as you are giving and helping with a genuine and loving heart, there will always be time for you.” The book also reminded me I need others, but in the busyness of life, I often forget. The moonflower helped Chris connect and reconnect with people, and it has done the same for me. My love of this book makes me want to share the message of the moonflower with others.
I am so excited to share my review of this beautiful book with you! I related to the stories and felt lots of love while reading it. This powerful book is full of uplifting messages that really touched me! I loved the great reminders, like to pause from our busy lives and enjoy the peace and calm. Also that all living things need rest and should have days with only a few blossoms or even no blossoms from time to time. WOW-this book is for sure going on my bookshelf as a keeper! Thank you so much Chris for touching my life by sharing Conversations With a Moonflower with me! Come enter for a chance to win this book here: http://bookgiveaways.blogspot.com/
Our lives are whirlwinds of activity, as the hours dash by without notice. But what if something made you stop, clear your mind, listen and wait?
Christine Hall takes a profoundly simple experience and paints a beautiful journey of self-discovery in Conversations with a Moonflower. Sharing fears, inner monologues and personal revelations, the reader is invited to sit a while on a backwards facing bench and see what appears to be a weed differently. We all bloom at our own time, as does the beauty of the moonflower after the sun sleeps.
Thought provoking, calming and intimate. You will reassess your priorities after reading this story.
I borrowed this book from my daughter and read it while on a short vacation. Loved, loved, loved it! I need to buy my own copy so I can make some notations. A great read to remind us all to find joy in who we are and self-acceptance. I loved the moonflowers response to the question, "Have you ever wished you wre different?" ... the flowers response: "It has never occured to me to try to be anything but what I am...I know who I am and what my work is." Great advice! Will order moonflower seeds to start my own plant so my family, neighbors and friends can slow down and find peace right along with me!
This book didn't really take me long to read, possibly an hour at the most. It is an fast and easy read. I really liked this book, I think that it is an must read for everyone.
It teaches that we all need to slow down, and look/hear for the answers of our questions. They will come when we are ready to hear, and learn the lessons of life. Some of the most valuable lessons are the ones that are hard for us to learn. Also to bloom when we are ready to, there is no hurry.
So many lessons in one little book. We also have our own way of learning. A very delight book to read. Great for book clubs.
I thought this was a wonderful and inspirational read. The book is directed a little more towards women, however I still enjoyed the stories and thought a lot about my mother as I read the book. I would pause from time to time and think about my life and how I seem to keep myself too busy to take a break at night and gather my thoughts. Chris Hall helped me to reflect on my life and the need we all have to take a break and focus on the little things. I am giving a copy to my mother and grandmother and hope they take the little time to read it. I think this will make a wonderful gift! You will love it too and want to share it after reading it.
My neighbor's mom wrote this book and I really enjoyed it. I have been fascinated with my neighbor's moonflower and this book is the story of how (the author's) mom went back to the east to help clean out her parent's home after their deaths and how they became friends with the Amish who were neighbors to the family home. They introduced them to the moonflower and sent a start back home with them and they planted it and now my neighbor's mom (Chris) has it in her yard and has given many starts to others. Chris and her moonflower plant had many conversations and Chris learned a lot about her self and life by having these conversations.
This was a wonderful debut book from Chris Hall. I loved it! I read it in a short time Sunday afternoon and was uplifted by the story and lessons learned. Chris has a wonderful way of taking everyday situations and applying them to daily life. I connected so much with the authors desire to do everything and be everything all the time. Watching her moonflower blossom each summer evening makes her slow down and reflect, something I don't do often enough. I appreciated the lessons she shares, and am inspired to look for the lessons of daily living. Great Mother's day gift idea :)