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Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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My Interview with P.K. (Pam) Hodel About Her New Book ~ Simply My Window

PK HodelRecently I read P.K. Hodel’s amazing book Simply My Window (and my wife is reading the book now). You can read my review of Simply My Window here.

I have known P.K. (Pam) for years. She and her husband Mark (Harrison in the book) attend the same church as my wife and I do and we are in the same small group on Sunday evenings. However, reading the book I realized that I really didn’t know them very well.

I recently had a chance to reach out to Pam and ask her some questions about the book. If you have not yet read the book, I hope reading Pam’s responses will prompt you to read it.

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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS

book_review

Simply My Window by P.K. Hodel. Xulon Press. 396 pages. 2016simply my window by pam hodel
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Rarely have I been moved by a book as I was with this one by P.K. Hodel. This eloquently written poetic autobiography is open and at times almost painfully honest as she tells her story. It is written in such a manner that you really feel you know this incredible woman when you get to the end as she shares the amazing life that she and her husband and three children have lived to date.  Although she shares some very difficult times in her life, the book is ultimately hopeful.

Hodel effectively uses the metaphor of a window to describe each season of her life story. She tells us that the book is simply her interpretation of what she has seen from the windows of her life. I enjoyed her use of “Beauty” for God and “Ugly” for Satan. In addition, the names of her husband, children and some others in the book are changed for a variety of reasons. She offers poetic “Lessons Learned” at the end of each chapter.

Each chapter of the book takes the reader to a different place and time in the author’s story, beginning with Wapello, Iowa where she grew up. She tells us that joy in sorrow and alone in happiness would be a primary window of her life, a life that would be marked by early losses where she would find herself in the front bench of the church. She writes “The reality is, we take turns here on the front bench of funeral services. We have a few turns here on the front bench, several to many in the succeeding benches, and then one in the casket. It’s just how it works.”

Her seven year-old brother Teddy died of leukemia and her mother, who never got over the loss of Teddy, died of cancer at only forty-nine, both in the same Burlington, Iowa hospital. Her mother lived for a year after being diagnosed with cancer, a year in which the author writes that her mother taught her to “live one day at a time, living each day to the fullest, simply because we have it to live”.  P.K.’s father would live to marry two more times, women that P.K. loved.

She writes of the church environment in which she was raised, one with Anabaptist roots and a separatist, self-contained Christian culture. She writes that visiting other churches, for example “was questioned, even frowned upon by our church culture. I remember hearing it referred to as ‘spiritual adultery.’”

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