I love this book. My mother-in-law gave it to me for Christmas a couple years ago and I remember reading it on the couch, pregnant three feet out in front of me, while everyone else was still in bed ... I figured if I was too uncomfortable to sleep at least I could read. :)
What moved me most was the selfless compassion of these women. My goodness. I always forget the protagonist's name, but she saw other people more than she saw herself - which is a talent and an attribute I wish I had too. Others' distress meant more to her than her own, and suffering bothered her more for what it kept her from doing than for her own discomfort.
There are so many Christlike people in this world. I admire them. The light of Christ is real, and the things people can bring themselves to offer - even to strangers - is truly remarkable to me. It reminds me that I'm always in a position to serve. If I choose to. I can certainly hide behind excuses and justifications, but that's all they are. I don't say it in a self-depreciating way but in a grateful way. Service is a great healer, and I'm grateful it's always available for the choosing. And I'm grateful for the people who make that choice so consistently.