Book Review: Messy Beautiful Friendship by Christine Hoover

“Friendship is often the sweetest slice of life, but friendship has also been the source of some of our greatest pain.” (53)

Title:  Messy Beautiful Friendship: Finding and Nurturing Deep and Lasting Relationships
Author: Christine Hoover
Publisher:  Baker Books
Release Date:  April 18, 2017
Genre: Non-Fiction 

Women long for deep and lasting friendships but often find them challenging to make. The private angst they feel regarding friendship often translates into their own insecurity and isolation. Christine Hoover offers women a fresh, biblical vision for friendship that allows for the messiness of our lives and the realities of our schedules. She shows women 

  • what's holding them back from developing satisfying friendships
  • how to make and deepen friendships 
  • how to overcome insecurity, self-imposed isolation, and past hurts
  • how to embrace the people God has already placed in their lives as potential friends
  • and how to revel in the beauty and joy of everyday friendship 

With stories of real friendships and guidance drawn from Scripture, Hoover encourages women to intentionally and purposefully invest in one of the most rewarding relationships God has given us.

Messy Beautiful Friendship by Christine Hoover is one insightful book. I love how it doesn't focus just on the "messy" parts but more on the meaning of friendship through Christ, our ultimate and perfect Friend. It is through our relationship with Christ that guides our lives and how to be a friend, as well as "nurturing deep and lasting relationships."

the goal of friendship is to secure ourselves to the sure, steadfast anchor of Christ and, while holding to that anchor, give and receive the gift of friendship as we have opportunity. The goal is to enjoy God together with others and, as we move through life, to sharpen and allow ourselves to be sharpened by friends. We imitate Jesus with one another, willing to face the stark realities and consequences of sin, all the while persevering in our efforts to offer love, grace, forgiveness, reconciliation, comfort, and care to one another. In doing so, we display to one another and the world how God loves and, through this, bring him glory. This is our destination, the point on the map we move toward: bringing God glory.” (39)

Finding deep and lasting friendships aren't easy, and as an adult, it's even more so. Do you think so? And good friends are quite sweet and important.

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” - Proverbs 18:24

I love the gentleness of the author's voice when she talks of the mishaps and our own faults that cause rifts amongst our friends. The rebuttals are done in kindness and with encouragement, and like a good friend, it was done out of love. And that's what I felt when reading Messy Beautiful Friendship, reading it from a good friend. When we are hurt by friends, she reminds us to turn to the One that gives us the comfort we need.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble.” - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Thank you, Ms. Hoover. I am grateful for this book, and I pray it will be a blessing to all those who read it.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.


Christine Hoover is a pastor's wife, mom, speaker, and the author of From Good to Grace and The Church Planting Wife. She has written for the Gospel Coalition, Desiring God, and Christianity Today. Blogging at, she enjoys helping women apply the gift of God's grace to their daily lives. She lives in Virginia.

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