Cover Image: Everything Beautiful in Its Time

Everything Beautiful in Its Time

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Member Reviews

This was a sweet memoir about family, loss and life. Jenna Bush Hager takes antidotes and letters and stories about her grandparents and creates a story filled with hope and strength while navigating grief. This felt cathartic and those who have lost someone this year may glean a bit more from her words.
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Jenna has knocked one out of the park. My heartstrings were deeply moved by the essays in this timely beautiful book. Every human emotion has been touched. It’s a guarantee you will walk down memory lane yourself as you think of loved ones gone on before you. A tribute to a loving family but much more as well.  The imprint we leave lingers long after our last breath. A tear jerker for sure. Many books are read and forgotten so to speak but I know the words written throughout the book will remain with me for a long time to come.
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The world knew George and Barbara Bush as president and first lady, anchors of a Texas political dynasty.

But to Jenna Bush Hager, they were Gampy and Ganny, the man who took her fishing and the woman who encouraged her to make the right choices.

“The night my grandmother passed, for some reason I wrote a letter,” Hager said in a recent phone interview. “I turned on the TV and there were all these people talking about her, and none of it sounded like my Ganny. I heard about the politician’s wife, but I didn’t hear about her love of reading, her love of us, her love of gardening and loving the simple life and the simplest parts of nature.”

What started that night eventually became “Everything Beautiful in Its Time: Seasons of Love and Loss” (HarperCollins, $26.99), Hager’s new memoir. It sketches an acutely personal portrait of the elder Bushes, her maternal grandmother, Jenna Welch, and the lessons learned that Hager has carried with her as an adult.

Planned for publication in April and rescheduled because of the pandemic, “Beautiful” arrives on shelves Tuesday. Hager will discuss the book virtually the same day via the Long Center, in conversation with Austin actress and entrepreneur Brooklyn Decker.

“Beautiful” is a love letter to Hager’s grandparents, but she also makes clear that it’s a book about grief.

“In 13 months, I lost my three remaining grandparents,” she said. “That love is so universal. ... It’s so hard to lose grandparents even when they’ve had these long, full lives. I do think other people will see themselves and their relationships in this, and their pain and sorrow, but also their joy. In order to grieve someone, you have to have loved them really deeply.”

There are sad moments — Hager openly admits she’s a crier and quips that recording the audiobook was like “therapy in a little cage by myself” — but plenty of joyful ones as well. We see Hager and her twin sister, Barbara, as teens (and occasional sparring partners) and follow Hager as she forges a career path that led to her current role as co-host of “Today With Hoda and Jenna.” University of Texas fans will particularly appreciate this juxtaposition from her White House recollections: “We even met the Queen of England and managed to see the Texas Longhorns after they won the National Championship.”

She spotlights regular trips to the elder Bushes’ Maine cottage, where simple rituals like walking to the gate after dinner and early-morning fishing trips became blessings over time.

“I think that’s why for me they felt like such really special relationships, because we spent these uninterrupted special times with them,” she said.

“And we also have such different grandparents,” Hager adds. Ganny was fond of order and lists and didn’t shy away from telling Jenna what she thought. As children, they’d refer to Laura Bush’s mother, Jenna, as “the nice grandmother.”

Jenna “Grammee” Welch let them make messes and stay up late, taught them about constellations and had them eat breakfast outside before the Texas heat drove them indoors. “She was never rushed,” Hager writes in the book. “You could tell in everything she did that she appreciated the earth beneath her feet and the sky above her head.”

Yet Hager never questioned that she was loved by each of her grandparents, and she grew to appreciate her Ganny’s strength. George and Barbara Bush’s marriage was an inspiration, she adds.

“There’s no love story I look up to more than my grandparents’,” she said. “I read their love letters, I sat in the midst of the glow of that love. ... They complemented each other. He was the gentler one, but he always stood up for her. I witnessed their really breathtaking, beautiful, complementary love. I realized that’s something to admire, always.”
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President George H.W. Bush is one of my favorite presidents.    Jenna is someone I look up to.  The love she had for her grandparents is amazing and I thank her for sharing
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Best book I've read all summer!

A beautiful tribute to the love between Jenna and her amazing grandparents.

Loved the letters, the stories and the words of wisdom shared in this book.

Easy read - well written and truly heart felt.
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I don’t know about you, but I love a good book list.  My favorite question for friends is “What are you reading?”  I’ve been following the Jenna Bush Hager “Read With Jenna” monthly selections, and I like to watch her interviews with the authors she picks.  Honestly, I didn’t know much about Jenna Bush Hager other than the obvious-child of 43 and grandchild of 41, but her book picks were good so I started paying more attention. She is definitely one to watch. 

Her most recent book, out this September, is Everything Beautiful in Its Time:  Seasons of Love and Loss. Everything is a tribute to her maternal and paternal grandparents in the form of warm personal essays, written with an intimacy that is at once individual and ubiquitous, despite the famous subjects.  

One of my favorite parts is the letters written to and from grandparents.  A handwritten letter and sometimes an email were always sent to mark a birthday or holiday, or sometimes just to say I am thinking of you and I am proud of you.  Jenna writes to her grandparents after they pass away, as a way of processing her grief.  Being privy to these touching exchanges shares her celebration of kindness, life lessons, family. Equally charming is the way she shares these life lessons with her own young family.

Bottom line: this is a charming read from a charming story teller.  If you are grieving a loss, this will speak right to your heart.  If you are looking for a little inspiration, a pick-me-up, or a hopeful memoir, Everything Beautiful in Its Time is for you.
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Everything Beautiful in Its Time
Seasons of Love and Loss
by Jenna Bush Hager
HarperCollins Publishers
 You Like Them You Are Auto-Approved
William Morrow
Biographies & Memoirs
Pub Date 08 Sep 2020   |   Archive Date 03 Nov 2020

I highly recommend this book! It's the story of Bush's role in the grandaughter's life.  Loved the letters and personal stories Jenna shared. 
Thanks to Net Galley and HarperCollins Publishers for this ARC. 

5 star
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A beautifully written memoir.  Hager takes us through the life of growing up in the White House with both her Gampy's and her dad's presidency, along with struggles and joys she had along the way. One struggles she talks most often about is the joy of having most of her grandparents alive into adulthood and the heartbreak of losing them all within a year and half.
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I absolutely loved this book! It is a beautiful tribute to Jenna Bush Hager's grandparents, and also to her parents and her family. She shares so much of her heart, and many beautiful letters and stories. I highly recommend it!
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A beautifully written story about the Bushes from their granddaughter's perspective.  I loved everything about this book and would highly recommend.
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A precious glimpse into a family’s life that have sometimes seemed untouchable. Jenna’s vignettes show us how real they are despite living in a spotlight. We are shown the humanness by their love and grief. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this in advance.
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I loved this book by Jenna Bush Hager.  It felt like she was inviting me to have  intimate look at  her family. The stories were incredibly heartwarming and occasionally heartbreaking because they were about love, loss, difficult times and the good times as well. I often had tears streaming down my face. Who knew the Bush family was so close and caring?

I recommend this book highly. Not only is a great book to read, but it also feels like there are often examples that could be followed to have closer relationships with those you love.
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Such a sweet read. We all have our memories of both Presidents Bush, but this tribute of collections of stories and letters makes you feel as if you now know the family even better. An amazing tribute to family in general.
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Jenna Bush Hager’s poignant and beautifully written memoir, a collection of reminiscences, is a tribute to her family and the love and respect they share for each other. It’s a story of love, kindness, self deprecating humor, faith, and gratitude.

Within a year’s time, Jenna lost her three remaining grandparents. These losses inspired her to reflect back on her life and her place in her very close knit family. 

Reflecting on the words from Ecclesiastes, “He has made everything beautiful in its time”, this memoir traces life from beginning to end, with its joys and sorrows through the years. She shares the wisdom and guiding principles she learned from her parents and grandparents, and how these have given her strength to aspire to live a life of meaning and to move forward with confidence.

This moving and uplifting book, reflections on what truly is important in life, is well worth reading and one you soon won’t forget. 

Thank you to Netgalley, Harper Collins Publishers, and Jenna Bush Hager for giving me the opportunity to read the ARC of this inspiring book.
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What a wonderful look into one of America's most recognized families.  Jenna Bush shares memories of her 4 grandparents and lessons they instilled into her and her twin Barbara.  Jenna Bush Hager has a simple funny writing style that is easy to read and understand.  It is a tribute to family and Christian values.  There are lots of tears and smiles as you sail through this book.  She downplays the politics and focuses on family get togethers and private moments.  I would recommend this to all readers who enjoy non-fiction/biographies.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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This book was so special and I felt myself welling up with tears many times. Jenna Bush Hager is such a wonderful writer and orator. This book that honored her grandparents in such a wonderful way was so sweet. I loved learning about Harold and Jenna Welsh, her maternal grandparents, who we often don’t hear about enough and I also loved the inside stories about “Ganny” (Barbara Bush). I appreciate that Jenna opened up her memories of these great people and allowed us to take a look into her fondest memories.
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I'm not crying, you're crying!!!! OMG! What a glorious, feel good read about a beautiful family that is living a beautiful life.

I devoured this book in one sitting, I was so engrossed with Jenna's beautiful words. She makes you feel like you're a part of the family. 

I just feel so light and happy right now....I want to go spin around in a field of flowers, but first, I need to order Jenna's other books.

A special thank you to NetGalley, HarperCollins Publishers, and Jenna Bush Hager.
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An interesting inside look at the Bush family and the grief they have felt at their recent losses. Moving and endearing.
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Jenna Bush has a knack for writing. Several times I was moved to tears. Her stories are more than just about being a Bush, but about being a daughter and a granddaughter, and now, a mother. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced reader's copy of this book.
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This is touching ode to grandparents...through Hager's stories, which focus on memories of her grandparents, the reader (or, this reader) often thought of her own. While there were a few anecdotes that have been shared before, the book had plenty of new material. And though these are stories of a well-known, and presidential family with experiences others don't have, there's a sweet simplicity and genuinity that overrides that, making them relatable to readers.
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