My first exposure to Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle was when I was pregnant with my second child. She had found my blog and asked me to review a book of hers. When she found out I was pregnant, she sent me a delightful package that had in it, among other things, a copy of her lovely pregnancy prayer book, Prayerfully Expecting (which I love!).

Donna-Marie has become quite the well-known Catholic personage since then, and she’s the host of the EWTN show Everyday Blessings for Catholic Moms and the author of a dozen books, including her latest, Rooted in Love: Our Calling as Catholic Women.

I tend to have had, well, enough of all this “be a happy Catholic woman” stuff. Maybe I’m just still too jaded, maybe I’m overdue for confession (well, I certainly am), or maybe I am just unworthy, but it seems the market is saturated.

So I appreciate someone who keeps it real. I tend to begin Donna-Marie’s books with a feeling of “here we go again, brace yourself.” I don’t know why I always have this attitude, because I know without a doubt that:

1. Donna-Marie is just as human as I am.

2. Donna-Marie is neither judgmental nor nasty.

3. I am sure to at least like the book, because I’ve enjoyed all the others.

Over the years, as I’ve watched Donna-Marie become something of a superstar, I’ve been amazed that she seems to remain–I can’t think of another word for it–little. She still replies to my emails. She still seems to interact with people in various places (like the comboxes and Facebook conversations). She seems to have taken to heart the idea of smallness and humility within her own calling to be a Catholic public persona.

And that is what comes out in this book, that feeling of our shared humanity and how our woman-ness draws us to love.

My one sentence summary of Rooted in Love: it’s great.

And I have this to say about Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle after having read this book: she’s an even tougher cookie than I thought.

In this book she shares pieces of her past and her struggles that I have never read nor heard from her before, and they opened me to her message in a way that I wouldn’t have been otherwise.

The book is a journey and it’s a gentle look at where you might be now and where God would have you go (hence the “calling” reference in the subtitle).

It’s neither sappy nor inaccessible, which I’m always sort of afraid of when I see these sorts of titles float my way.

Rooted in Love is the combining of Donna-Marie’s life experiences with the wisdom of the Church and Church teaching in a way that even jaded me could enjoy and like.

All in all, a good gift idea for that woman in your life. And then, after you’ve bought her copy, buy a copy for yourself.

You’re sure to find Rooted in Love at your local Catholic bookstore. Lacking that, you can can purchase it online at Aquinas & More Catholic GoodsAve Maria Press, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.