A Time to Mend, Safe Harbor Series #1   -     By: Dr. Gary Smalley, Sally John
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A Time to Mend, Safe Harbor Series #1

Thomas Nelson / 2008 / Paperback

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Product Description

Liz Hart shatters her marriage with one simple sentence: "Max, either the business goes or I do." The ultimatum exposes long unaddressed wounds in her husband, herself, and their four adult children. Will a fatal fire reignite their passion for each other---or destroy everything they've worked for together? 320 pages, softcover from Nelson.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 382
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.44 (inches)
ISBN: 0849918898
ISBN-13: 9780849918896
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.
Series: A Safe Harbor

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Publisher's Description

An unopened gift. A broken vow. A tragic fire. Sometimes there are wounds that even time can't heal.

Max and Claire Beaumont seem to have the perfect marriage. They live in a beautiful home, have four wonderful children and everything else that success and money can buy. Yet beneath this picture-perfect exterior, Claire's life is falling apart. She can no longer hold her peace and keep up appearances.

After all the silent years, she must speak the truth.

As their lives unravel, deep needs and even deeper hurts are revealed. Not only the wounds between husband and wife, but family wounds as well. Will this time of soul-searching and conflict bring them closer together--or tear their marriage apart?

It's a strange irony to leave home in search of a safe harbor. Yet that is often where the journey begins . . . especially when it is time to mend.

A Time to Mend is the first novel in the Safe Harbor series. Drawing on the insights of best-selling marriage expert Gary Smalley, the series explores the joys and struggles of marriage, family, and faith.

Author Bio

Sally John is the author of more than ten books, including the popular Other Way Home series and In A Heartbeat series. Illinois natives, Sally and her husband, Tim, live in Southern California. The Johns have two grown children, a daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters.

 Dr. Gary Smalley, one of the foremost experts on family relationships, has written or cowritten more than sixty books and thirty-five videos, selling more than six million copies. With more than forty years of experience, he is a best-selling and award-winning author and has appeared on hundreds of local and national radio and television shows. He and his wife, Norma, have been married more than forty five years and have three grown children, all in full-time ministry.

ChristianBookPreviews.com

Sally John and Gary Smalley have created a story that causes the reader to pause and contemplate the ideas and ideals of marriage, giving the characters "a time to mend" a marriage that has been taken for granted and neglected.

The characters are listed in the beginning, clarifying who is who for the reader--Max is married to Claire and is the founder and owner of a nationwide staffing firm. Claire was a violinist who gave up her career to help Max get started.

The plot evolves with Max and Claire's life taking a turn, now that their children are grown and out on their own--making the empty nest syndrome more apparent. This causes Claire to realize that she has not awakened as an individual in all her years of marriage, but has simply acquiesced to the role of wife and mother without pursuing her own talents. She decides that a definite break from home and her husband is a necessity, and she goes to a friend's house until she finds a place to call her own.

The age old story of "woe is me, I don't know who I am or what I have become" seems to be the theme, with the husband not seeing anything but what he has provided for his family via hard work and long hours, which keep him away from home.

Many parts of this novel reminded me of a counselor's speaking to an individual, rather than a typical character's response concerning trials and tribulations, but that can be attributed to the author's many years of family counseling. I felt the story was drawn to a close too quickly, giving the impression that everything can work out in the last chapter or so and they will "live happily ever after."

This is the first novel in a series, so perhaps the characters will evolve to where they can find peace and joy in their lives, wherever God has placed them. It is also a novel with life's questions, a tragic happening, and a few twists that might not seem right for a Christian novel, but are reflective of real life.

It is easy reading, and the listing of characters in the beginning is a good help.

Sally John is a best-selling author, as Gary Smalley is a world-renowned marriage expert and author. They are developing the Safe Harbor series as a relationship-centered series with recurring characters, but each novel can stand alone. Sharon Rideout, Christian Book Previews.com

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    November 10, 2009
    Brenda Bowling
    I just finished A Time To Mend by Sally John and Gary Smalley and it was great, I have just started the 2nd book in the series and cant wait to see how it will end.
  2. 3 Stars Out Of 5
    May 9, 2009
    avid reader
    ** spoiler alert ** While there were good parts in the story and it moved along rather well, I found it difficult to understand why Claire was laying so much of her unhappiness on her husband Max. She was a doormat to him by her choice and her beliefs of what submission was suppose to look like. Sure Max basked in it and for the most part, she came off as enjoying her role, never creating waves in their happy-on-the-surface marriage. Max was left clueless to discover she felt the way she did. As we move through the book, we get to see some of Max' negligence of her and their children as it relates to putting his business first. We learn that he shows up late or not at all for events. His best friends are a few of his employees. While this is going on, Claire encourages her daughter Jenna to take a look at the way her own husband treats her and for her to not make the same mistakes she made. Max doesn't like the "new" take-a-stand-for-herself Claire and makes only token gestures to win her back despite his saying that he would do anything to make amends. He then "amends" that statement by saying "almost anything." Then he threatens to walk out on her although they aren't exactly together. They're a couple of whineys. The ending tied up too nicely with the reconciliation being too quickly remedied -- at least from a reader's viewpoint. We don't get to see any struggle from Max as he starts the reconciliation process. Like as soon as his dad makes a suggestion, Max is now an ace and automatically knows exactly what Claire needs. He magically turns from "The Putz" to super hero.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 28, 2008
    Andrea
    Great book! It was interesting to see marriages in different stages. It showed how much work, honesty, communication and making the choice to love plays into marriage! I was hooked from the beginning.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 24, 2008
    Deb Billings
    This is a great book! Marriage is hard work. It's nice to read about people who mess things up, recognize their sin, repent, and are willing to do what it takes to find "new love" with the wife/husband of their youth.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    April 29, 2008
    Linda
    This is an excellent book! The characters have depth and seem real. It is indeed thought-provoking and does speak to those at all stages of their marriage. I've read a lot of Gary Smalley, but this is the first time I've read Sally John. They have combined to make a great team. I'm very much looking forward to reading other books in this series.
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