From Publishers Weekly:
Dana, a Presbyterian pastor, brings a fresh voice and energy to the familiar topic of time management as understood by people who would describe themselves as either religious or spiritual but not religious: Sabbath-keeping. She writes from a perspective that many can relate to, that of a suburban mother of three who works part-time. Bringing the gift of self-awareness and irony, Dana notes that a four-minute difference in school bus rides ought not to prompt a letter-writing campaign from anxious parents. She also brings theological awareness of the historical practice and meaning of Sabbath-keeping. Dana writes in a distinct voice about making a traditional religious practice meaningful to contemporary families.
From a reviewer on NetGalley:
Other than getting a little tired of reading the word “Sabbath” I loved this one. It was a thoughtful and funny and realistic description of one family’s attempt to have Sabbath time each week for a year. Both MaryAnn and her husband work outside the home, so I found this to be much more relatable than many books that focus on spiritual practices. Many of these year-long experiment books feel forced, but this one was head-and-shoulders above the pack. Recommended for: anyone interested in the practice of Sabbath.
From Christian Century:
MaryAnn McKibben Dana’s Sabbath in the Suburbs: A Family’s Experiment with Holy Time is one of the most helpful and well-conceived books on spirituality I’ve ever read. Lively, funny and self-aware, Dana has managed to write a “guinea pig memoir” that is widely accessible as well as authentic to the particularities of her family. The experiment of the title is meant to be repeated.
From Presbyterian Outlook:
We are not entering a home where everything is perfect. We are ushered into a home where the people are familiar, and so are the circumstances… It is an excellent resource for families who want to live in a more mindful way, savoring our children’s formative years rather than enduring them. Dana also provides tips (“hacks”) for living intentionally from which any reader can benefit, not just fractured parents trying to hold it all together. Highly recommended reading for anyone who hopes to be more fully alive in the present.
Additional praise for Sabbath in the Suburbs: A Family’s Experiment with Holy Time:
Sabbath In the Suburbs is the beautiful story of one family’s decision to spend a year exploring the meaning of keeping Sabbath. It is a powerful affirmation of living a life that does not just manage time, but embraces the moment. MaryAnn McKibben Dana writes with elegance, clarity and humor about the family’s search for a creative and workable Sabbath framework, while pondering the transformative and restorative quality of rest. It is a luminous reflection with deep resonance in our culture of perpetual motion.
Musician, Performer, and Grammy Award-Winning Songwriter
With this book, MaryAnn McKibben Dana has given the church a great gift: a funny, insightful chronicle of her family’s beginnings to live into the “crusty old practice” of Sabbath-keeping. Sabbath in the Suburbs is decidedly not only for mothers of small children. It is not only for those who live in the suburbs. It is for anyone interested in resting with God–anyone interested in freedom–anyone interested in honestly struggling with the spiritual life.
–Lauren F. Winner
Author of Mudhouse Sabbath and Still
With sincerity and honesty, Mary Ann McKibben Dana portrays the challenging quest of living the Sabbath while seeking a faithful balance in the abundance of choices and endless demands placed upon families today.
This book is beautifully written and a joy to read from start to finish. Once I began I could not put it down. I wish I’d had this resource when I was busy raising children. I encourage all parents to have this book where it can be read and shared with other busy families seeking to “live Sabbath-ly” within the “holy scarcity” of time that is so very precious.
–Kathleen Long Bostrom
Author of 99 Ways to Raise Spiritually Healthy Children
Some books negotiate the practical things of life, while others hover on a spiritual plane above the nitty-gritty details of human existence. But it is a wondrous gift when an author can lead us through realistic demands while burrowing a spiritual depth. MaryAnn McKibben Dana has the unique ability to find the mystical in the mundane, and her gift challenges us throughout the pages of Sabbath in the Suburbs. The words of this text will not only delight you, but if you take up Dana’s spiritual daring, they will make you more human.
–Carol Howard Merritt
Author of Tribal Church