First, this is not self-centred writing in any sense. She relays her experiences in simple narration. She deals with love, the slow loss of a parent, the ups and downs of trying to have children, and she never narrows in on herself. (And it just too easy to do just that when doing this kind of writing.)
Second, it's a well written story of a modern woman connecting her life to six female saints: Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, Faustina of Poland, Edith Stein of Germany, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Mary of Nazareth. Their lives relate to her deepest longings, guide her through some difficult decisions, and lead her to rethink nearly everything she thought she knew about what it means to be a liberated woman in the twenty-first century.
For someone who is not a Catholic, I don't understand the prayers to Mary that I have often heard when attending mass with my mother. I appreciated her explanation of why Mary is so revered in the Catholic tradition, even if I don't agree with it.
Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed is her quest to understand the meaning of her life and identity in light of her faith and contemporary feminism. I love the wrestling she does with the dilemmas of her generation: confusion over the sexual chaos of the hookup culture, tension between her duelling desires for professional success and committed love, ambivalence about the demands of marriage and motherhood, and anguish at her father's descent into dementia and her own infertility.
This is gem that would be great to share at a book club with mothers and daughters. Lots to discuss.