Book Review: SEVEN (an experimental mutiny against excess) by Jen Hatmaker


Here’s the write-up for “7” taken from Jen Hatmaker’s website:


American life can be excessive, to say the least. That’s what Jen Hatmaker had to admit after taking in hurricane victims who commented on the extravagance of her family’s upper middle class home. She once considered herself unmotivated by the lure of prosperity, but upon being called “rich” by an undeniably poor child, evidence to the contrary mounted, and a social experiment turned spiritual was born.

7 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence.


Our church book club read “7” by Jen Hatmaker several months ago. Jen’s a fairly well known Christian speaker/blogger/writer and this was the first book of hers that I read. If you follow her blog, this book has a similar tone and style. The premise of “7” is that Jen sets out to simplify her life from excess by eliminating certain items per month (over 7 months) and she reflects on the challenges and shares her insights along the way.

Our book club was a little divided on reviews. Most really enjoyed the book and were personally challenged. One didn’t like the writing style and Jen’s gregarious personality. With that said, everyone appreciated Jen’s heart and humility. We all loved certain stories she shared re: giving up their brand new boots, giving away her purses, and an Easter service for the homeless, etc. All of the ladies at book club agreed that it would have been nice to read  Jen’s thoughts and reflections a year after her experiment. Since this book was written while she was in the midst of eliminating an area of excess each month, we were curious what the long term changes for their family were. Overall, “7” was a worth while read that helps one to consider how much we waste, how much stuff we don’t really need, and how to better focus on what really matters.


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