Three Times a Mama

Christian - Historical Fiction
182 Pages
Reviewed on 07/02/2013
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite

Involved in the complicated circumstances that her best friend Irena is in, Marybeth makes sure that she is always there to help even in the most trying situations. The former seems to attract trouble and the current difficulty is her pregnancy. A daughter of the town midwife, Marybeth knows just enough to be worried, which her best friend and the husband fail to notice. When Marybeth finds herself alone in the most crucial moment, she realizes that a promise she made to Irena will definitely change her whole life. Will Marybeth be able to keep her promise just when she is ready to give up?

"Three Times a Mama" is a simple story about two best friends facing the greatest test that only makes their friendship stronger. The book has a simple plot and is easy to read. The beauty of the story lies in the simplicity of its plot and form. Joann Ellen Sisco is a wonderful writer telling the story as it is without so much drama. She does not make the story complicated, regardless of how difficult the situations are in which her main characters are put. The author takes us to War Eagle River Valley in central Arkansas and shares a very touching and heart warming story. The description of the place is so vivid that it would seem as though we have been there once – the smell, the taste, the sound. "Three Times a Mama" is rich in values and lessons to learn in life. Get a copy, sit with it, read and enjoy the journey, and don’t forget your tea!

Bil Howard

“Three Times a Mama”, by Joann Ellen Sisco, is a heartwarming and inspirational story about a young Christian woman (Marybeth), with a big heart and a strong spirit who, while taking care of her pregnant best friend (Irena), is suddenly forced into the role of midwife. With the strength and endurance that the women of the earlier age of American history had, she eagerly takes to the task of helping out Irena and her husband (Cal), with all that needed to be done in order to take care of the babies and the things needed done about the house. The Christian love and goodness of Marybeth and the hardworking Cal give the triplets the start that they need in life as Irena and Cal’s house and farm are turned into a home.

“Three Times a Mama”, by Joann Ellen Sisco, is a must read for those who love to recall a time, when the strength of a woman to endure things that were not natural for her to bear, was undertaken with courage and fortitude. This book shows what Christian charity is all about in the form of real action, rather than just words. The intricacies of the indomitable spirit of Marybeth and the tireless strength of Cal as they move forward, demonstrates the power that comes from a deep inner faith that in some ways has been lost in more modern times. This story will inspire you to a deeper understanding of love, faith and charitable works on a level that will leave you with a feeling of deep awe and wonder at the strength that once was a normal part of Christian living.

Scott Albert

"Three Times a Mama" written by Joann Sisco is the sixth book in the 'War Eagle River series'. A native of northwestern Arkansas, Sisco writes with a reverence for the subtle culture and unique expression of language that reflects the life and the people of a particular region. Her story is about a young lady named Marybeth Maisone who got caught up in a promise and in the life of her best friend. As she struggles to make sense of her life, a "new man" walks into it and changes her forever. The story engaged my interest and kept me turning the pages.

This is the second book I have read by this author and I wish I would have read them in order. The dynamics between Marybeth and her mother, Martha, River Bend’s best midwife, and between Marybeth and Irena (the Christmas promise) is emotionally powerful. Sisco’s attention to detail reflects the regional dialect while the imagery and characterization add a level of realism to the people and culture of the setting. The author’s understanding of the local color and her specific, accurate details made this come alive and made it easy for me to imagine. From Marybeth's arduous quest to Preacher McCrey reading the first Easter story, I think this is a wonderfully entertaining tale.