The Grumble-Free Year

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A book review of The Grumble-Free Year: Twelve months, eleven family members and one impossible goal by Tricia Goyer

A book review of The Grumble-Free Year: Twelve months, eleven family members and one impossible goal by Tricia GoyerStars: *****

Thomas Nelson (2019)
Religion/Christian Life
224 pages

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: The Goyer home–with two parents, eight kids, and one eighty-eight-year-old grandmother with dementia–is never without noise, mess, activity, and, often, complaining. And it’s not just the kids grumbling. After adding seven children in less than six years through adoption, the Goyer family decided to move out of survival-mode and into unity- and growth-mode. They decided to tackle the impossible: a grumble-free year.

With grade-schoolers, teenagers, and a grandmother who believes children should be seen and not heard, plenty of room exists for flunking the challenge. Add to that seven children being homeschooled together in close quarters, and what could possibly go awry? In The Grumble-Free Year, the Goyers invite readers into their journey as they go complaint-free and discover what it looks like to develop hearts of gratitude. They share their plans, successes, failures, and all the lessons they learn along the way, offering real-life action steps based in scripture so that readers get not just a front-row seat to the action but also an opportunity to take the challenge themselves and uncover hearts that are truly thankful.

The Grumble-Free Year

When I heard about this book it interested me so much I reached out myself to the publishers to see if I could review a copy. I’m so glad I did. This is a social experiment book. I have read other books like this but didn’t know the term until this book. It basically means that the author (and in this case the author’s family) partake in a social experiment and write about how it goes in the book. Other books of this time I’ve read include The Know it All and The Year of Living Biblically.

I really enjoyed The Grumble-Free Year, even though it’s not a 100% do this and your family will never grumble again book. I honestly don’t think that’s possible. This book was more real by being a social experiment. Things went wrong. Things went right too but not as anyone expected. The author learned just as much if not more than the kids.

The following quote was one of the most moving to me, the one that really made me feel like grumbling is more than just a little bad:

“John Piper says, ‘Grumbling is an evidence of little faith in the gracious providence of God in all the affairs of the lives. And little faith is a dishonor to him. It belittles his sovereignty and wisdom and goodness.'” – pg 177

I also loved this one:

“As Zig Ziglar says, ‘Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.'”

Besides the parts about losing the grumbling, I loved learning about Tricia Goyer’s home and family. Tricia is a mom of 10, eight of which live at home, plus Grandma and her husband. Seven of her children were adopted!

I don’t think I’ll be taking the grumble-free year challenge exactly as they did but I do plan to implement some of the ideas to help my family learn that there are different types of grumbling and that even silent grumbling is grumbling against God so it’s not okay. I have a lot to change in myself before I try to expect something more from my kids.


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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.