Erika Bachiochi has here gathered a series of essays in Women, Sex, and the Church to address the Hot Button List of "women's issues" in Catholic teaching. The Catholic understanding (and, yes, the is a Catholic understanding!) of sex, contraception, abortion, marriage, and the feminine vocation often draws fire. Surprisingly, I've experienced the bullets at what ought to be some of the safest places for young moms: the park, Friendly's restaurant (!), playgroup, and unfortunately Mom's Bible Study. This book is a great reference for Catholic (or, I would hazard, Orthodox) moms and women who know and believe their faith but want a review of the basic arguments and even some fresh approaches. If you wonder just how to articulate what you believe about, say, being open to more children in your marriage, Bachiochi and her crew of educated gals probably have something for you. They base their insights not only on official magesterial teaching, but also on arguments from nature, papal encyclicals, the witness of saints, art, and insights based on recent advances in medicine and neuroscience.
The essays are also a real morale boost: Sometimes I start to feel isolated in the practice of my faith and wonder whether I'm crazy. These women assure me that there are good, beautiful reasons for a life of obedience to God's design for our bodies. We are not lunatics bent on circling the wagons, but rather joyful women engaged in an heroic struggle for truth, goodness, and life.
That being said, I wonder whether the essays would convince anyone who had not already decided to be convinced of a new way of looking at the world. Before handing it to your yoga instructor or local Mary Kay seller, make sure that she already has some sympathy for the Good Things of life: children, God, redemption, heaven.