Saturday, June 11, 2011

Review: The Pastor's Wife (not to be confused with The Preacher's Wife, a Whitney Houston movie)

Author: Jennifer Allee

Title: The Pastor’s Wife

Description (source): Maura Sullivan never intended to set foot in Granger, Ohio, again. But when circumstances force her to return, she must face all the disappointments she tried so hard to leave behind: a husband who ignored her, a congregation she couldn’t please, and a God who took away everything she ever loved.

     Nick Shepherd thought he had put the past behind him, until the day his estranged wife walked back into town. Intending only to help Maura through her crisis of faith, Nick finds his feelings for her never died. Now, he must admit the mistakes he made, how he hurt his wife, and find a way to give and receive forgiveness.

     As God works in both of their lives, Nick and Maura start to believe they can repair their broken relationship and reunite as man and wife. But Maura has one more secret to tell Nick before they can move forward. It’s what ultimately drove her to leave him six years earlier, and the one thing that can destroy the fragile trust they’ve built. (Amazon)

Review source: This was a free Kindle book from Amazon, not an ARC.

Plot: I think the plot was pretty relevant. It’s fairly common for pastors to be overcommitted to their jobs or to expect their wives to feel exactly the same calling that they do. When kids marry so young (I see it in my job every day), they often haven’t talked these issues out; the couple in the book met in March, married in June, and split up before Thanksgiving.

Characters: The main characters were both likeable and flawed, and both had some growing to do over the course of the story. Secondary characters weren’t remarkable—I don’t see a book for any of them.

Writing style: The author’s writing style is easygoing, light, pleasant, certainly competent. Not remarkable.

Audience: Christian romance fans will really enjoy this book. I can’t really imagine why anyone else would want to read it.

Wrap-up: I enjoyed the book, and it was a quick and pleasant read. The story took a dark turn, which seemed jarring, since until that point it had been pretty cozily rustic—but the characters needed to deal with that type of situation before their relationship would be resolved, so I could see why the author took the story that direction. I think a more skilled author might have made the transition less jarring. Overall, though, a nice way to spend an afternoon. 3.5/5*

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