When a careless choice shatters Joel Carpenter's marriage, he struggles to rebuild his life---and his relationship with his young son. Living in a small Texas town seven years later, he finally believes he's turned a corner. But suddenly his estranged ex-wife, Kari, receives tragic news. Can they overcome their resentment and forgive one another? 336 pages, softcover from NavPress.
Joel has made some choices he now regrets. Just when he thinks the worst is behind him, he realizes he is facing his biggest challenge yet. And in the midst of tragedy, he learns forgiveness is more important in life than freedom.
Annette Smith is a lifelong Texan, a hospice nurse, and an accomplished storyteller whose book of short stories The Whispers of Angels has sold more than 100,000 copies. She is also the author of the Coming Home to Ruby Prairie novels. Annette lives in Quitman, Texas (population 3,000), with her husband, Randy, and an affectionate, shaggy mutt named Wally.
Is it too late to salvage his marriage? After having an affair and getting a divorce, Joel Carpenter struggles with his past mistakes and their current consequences. Now he misses his ex-wife and is left with the responsibility of his young son, Colton. Joel also deals with questions about God, faith, forgiveness, and real love. In her novel A Bigger Life, Annette Smith writes of a man seeking more. A man seeking a bigger life.
The story is narrated by Joel and gives a glimpse into his thoughts on life in a small Texas town. As readers flip the pages, Joel reveals his feelings on his past marriage, being a divorced father, and making the mistake he made. Then, conflict arises when Kari, Joels ex-wife, finds out she has cancer. In the midst of the pain and struggles that Joel and Kari have to face, Joel finds the bigger life hes looking for when he finally accepts the forgiveness and truth that Christ offers him.
Although the message is one many readers can relate to, Smiths latest novel falls short in its delivery. The style is choppy and the dialogue a bit tedious and unrealistic. Also, the way the book is written in present, first-person narrative is at times hard to follow. These qualities make reading this book a challenge.
A Bigger Life may have a story and theme worth developing, however many readers will have difficulty getting past the less-than-action-packed dialogue and blunt, short sentences in order to realize that. Amy Nickerson, Christian Book Previews.com
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