Having very recently become interested in the history of the church, and specifically the different rituals, for lack of a better word, of the church, I was excited to read this book.
As a Baptist, many of the feasts, and even the general approach to many of the "holy days," have been a foreign concept to me. Generally speaking, Baptists celebrate Easter and Christmas as "holy days," and that, to a degree, is the extent of it. As a result, it is easy to look at those churches that celebrate "the liturgical year" as legalistic, doing something that is not necessary, or not following the Holy Spirit. However, upon closer reflection, it is possible to see that following the holy days in the liturgical calendar, CAN, as the author proposes, lead a person into a deeper relationship with Christ.
It explains, in very clear, concise details, how the dates for Christmas and Easter were set, and how the time leading up to the two holidays (Advent and Lent) can be spent so as to grow in understanding of Christ's life and as a result, become more Christ-like ourselves (something that should be the goal of any Christian regardless of denomination).
As someone completely unfamiliar with the history of the liturgy, the author does an excellent job of making it understandable. There are a few times in the book where I felt she was having to work a bit too hard for the justification of observing it, but those were few. Also, there were times when her "doctrine" and the doctrine I choose to believe are different, but I started the book anticipating that, and it was not a huge detraction as I was not reading to develop what I believe, but to learn about something I had never been introduced to.
My biggest gripe and complaint about the book was how there were key quotes placed on almost every other page, in the middle of the text. I found it very annoying and distracting. Identify one or two key quotes and put them at the beginning of the chapter or at obvious breaks. It felt very "magaziney" doing this, but in a magazine the articles are short enough that it isn't that terribly distracting. With a book, though, it was absolutely asinine.
Overall, I felt this was a good book for its perceived intended purpose -- to educate about the liturgical year, and I would recommend it for anyone looking for an easy to understand overview.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com