Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Duggars: 20 and Counting... my take on it.

[Reminder to post questions for our upcoming q&a here! Thanks to all who have participated so far!]

So I finished The Duggar's book last night, again it took me under a week. (Before you guys start to think I am a great and fast reader, tearing apart these books like a pro, let me remind you that the last two books were really easy reads. They were written simplistically without deep thoughts or meanings.) So without further ado, my review:

Things I liked about the book:

  • It was really well organized and put together, it flowed.
  • I love the way these people truly put family before everything- I think alot of us say we do, but then we just make our family adapt to decisions we make that may not be the best for them overall. They truly make every decision based off of how it will effect and change their family. Thats refreshing.
  • They share recipes through out, which I liked because 1) i like recipes and 2) i wondered what they could possibly cook for so many people! (All of the recipes serve 16-20 people!)
  • They share their daily schedule, parenting techniques and financial decisions. I felt like they did a great job of truly sharing how their life works, which is what I was interested in to begin with. I mean what in the world is life like with 18 kids?!!
  • I love the way they are so solid in their faith but are not pushy or super strange and legalistic about, like so many that get in the limelight (ever seen "Christians" on wifeswap?). They do a great job of just letting their faith flow naturally through each part of their lives. It was great to see and a challenge for me to check and see if the same is true for my life.
  • They are quick to tell you they dont have all the answers, have it all together and get it all right all the time. I love people who admit this.
Things that annoyed me about the book:
  • Throughout the book they have these little boxes with questions people have emailed them and answers. Alot of them are the children answering the questions, and all of their answers were so generic and vague. It was annoying. I havent seen the show- do these kids have personalities? (On the other hand, there are a few that Michelle answers that I love, i think she has spunk)
  • They talk about living frugally, and I guess in proportion to their size they do, but they have top of the line everything. Most large families, I would think, would be discouraged to see that they can afford to have 4 sets of top of the line washers and dryers and a commercial kitchen. Yes they got the kitchen for $11,000 when it is worth over $100,000, but the average family does not have $11,000 to buy a commercial kitchen debt-free! This is kinda a catch-22 because I loved hearing how they refuse to live in debt and they borrow NO MONEY whatsoever, but even if you live like that most people still wont end up with that kind of cash lying around.
  • Along the same lines, they shared about different deals they were able to make and ways God provided things for them financially... and this rubbed me the wrong way. For instance, they were able to get some piece of equipment to use for building their gargantuous house for like $5,000, but then they sold it for $10,000 after they were done using it. I feel like that is taking advantage of someone. $5,000 is a heck of a profit... especially when God gave you such a good deal. Do you know what I mean? Basically i am trying to say, I feel like they have done so well financially because God brings them amazing deals and then they resale it for way more than they should. Rubbed me the wrong way. (now I will get off the soapbox)
  • The fact that the girls always wear long skirts and long hair... I have just never gotten where this principle came from biblically. But lots of more fundamental beliefs practice this. I would go nuts without pants, but thats just me... I love my jeans.
  • Michelle's hair. Call me vain, thats fine, but her hair just drives me nuts! She is a naturally pretty lady, and if she would just not have a mullet hair cut it would really help. I am not saying to run out and get highlights and a super stylish inverted bob that will take an hour to fix, but just a long layered, non-mullet cut would do wonders!!!
Overall I loved the book. I find myself just drawn to this family. I am going to rent some of the show to watch them more. I love their faith, their love of family and their positive, self-less attitudes. It challenges me. I know, they are slightly weird by todays standards, but I guess I like weird. I would highly recommend the book, it is neat to see such a different kind of life. And that's all I have to say about that.


  1. i might have to read this one--at first i really didn't like the duggars when the show came out b/c they seemed so extreme, but the more i watch, the more the parents remind me of my mom and dad and i have more of an affection for them. it was GREAT hanging out today!

  2. they are kindof endearing in a way. i loved our time too!

  3. I really appreciated your review. I read the book Kate Goesslin wrote (this was before all the hubbub) and thought that it was really interesting to see how a person copes with so many kids. Lately I've been watching more of the Duggars, because I feel their family's style is much more refreshing, and I'm interested in reading more about that. Thanks!