Sunday, June 7, 2015

Book Review: Miss Brenda and the Loveladies

Title:  Miss Brenda and the Loveladies
Subtitle:  A Heartwarming True Story of Grace, God, and Gumption
Author:  Brenda Spahn and Irene Zutell
Genre:  Memoir
Publisher:   WaterBrook Multnomah, an imprint of Crown Publishing Group
Number of Pages:  228
My Rating:  4.5 out of 5

What an interesting story. A Christian woman on a mission to minister to female ex-convicts by providing a "whole way house" (rather than a "halfway house") for them to live in upon release from prison sees dramatic changes in not only their lives but in her own life as well. Who knew that a wealthy businesswoman facing her own brush with the law would end up meeting and living with some of the toughest yet most endearing women she'd ever encountered?

Brenda Spahn (nee Lovelady) decided she wasn't satisfied with the way things had always been done and set out to change the system. An outspoken but humble entrepreneur used to living a privileged lifestyle, Brenda opened her home to a rag-tag group of women whom she was sure she could rehabilitate through a combination of tough love and Christian empowerment. Little did she know how hard it would be.

In spite of the many challenges and difficulties that Brenda and her daughter, Melinda, faced, they were committed to the program and the women depending on it to rebuild their broken lives. It wasn't easy. Some of the women resented her authority, some of the women had major trust issues, and some of the women relapsed. But all of the women ended up knowing they were loved by the crazy lady who became a true mother figure and friend to them when they desperately needed one. 

Through perseverance and a hope in God that just wouldn't quit, Brenda saw her vision grow from serving about 20 women in a fancy house to over 400 women and children in a former hospital reborn as a facility that to this day provides housing, counseling, drug rehabilitation, childcare, and job opportunities to women who need a new lease on life. (To learn more, visit

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this inspiring story about a woman with a dream and a desire to make a difference. God bless Brenda Spahn, her family, and all her "adopted daughters" who have been given a second chance to become "whole," not "half," because of her willingness to love and to serve.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from for review.

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