"Desert Gift" by Sally John is a really great fiction book about marriage. The book's main character, Jill, is a syndicated talk radio show host and has just released her first book. Both the talk show and the book are on her insights and "rules" for a good marriage, which she thought she had. However, as she was leaving to go on a publicity tour for her book, her husband dropped a bombshell on her - he wanted a divorce.
Jill then spent some time reflecting on her life and her marriage, trying to figure out what went wrong. Through this process, she discovered a lot about herself - and it wasn't all good. But, with help from her friends, sister, parents, and above all else, God, she sorted through everything, thought of ways to become a better wife and friend for her husband, and eventually worked things out.
I really enjoyed this book, it was hard to put down when I was reading it. It is a fiction book, but there are a lot of insights to gain about marriage by reading this book_I know that throughout the book I found myself digging deep down inside of myself to see where I could improve at being a wife. And just like Jill discovered, God is always there to help us when we ask Him.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Jack and Jill went up the hill... What if that hill was the hill of success?
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown... What if his fall was that he didn't want to be married to Jill anymore?
and Jill came tumbling after... What would Jill's reaction be if the 'fall' came after 25 years and a career based on being a marriage advisor?
Now I don't know for a fact that these are the questions that Sally John is trying to answer in her book, Desert Gift, but they are ones that sure fit the storyline.
Jack and Jill have been happily married for 25 years. At least Jill thought so, along with her radio audience and now book fans. The morning that she is leaving to go on her first book tour Jack drops the bomb of "I don't want to be married any more."
How do you keep functioning after an anouncement like that? If you are considered a marriage expert who do you turn to for help when your marriage goes sour? Jill is floundering and Jack isn't helping her understand why he wants out. This is not a place she thought she would ever be in, doesn't she always have an answer for everything? Oh wait, is that part of the problem?
I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't an easy read and yet it was. The story flows right along, the characters are likable and real. The storyline is something that could happen to any one of us. It is also a reminder that we never know what a day is going to bring.
There was one aspect of the story I was getting annoyed with and that was the "make lemonade" type of answers people kept giving Jill. It was something that she herself used, but I found it so trite and superfical, then reminded myself that I have used some form of that a few times myself. I needed to remind myself to stop that. More often than not the person who is having any sort of trouble doesn't need to be reminded that God can use it for good. They know that, but are not ready to hear it just yet.
Book #3 in the Side Roads series is due out in 2012. Book #1 is Ransomed Dreams.
A nationally known marriage expert, Jillian Galloway is successful, married and thinks everything is perfect. Well until the morning her and her husband are set to leave for a trip. Without any warning Jillian's husband announces he wants a divorce.
With her home life in ruins and her career based on keeping marriages happy, how can Jillian go on? Everything is falling apart and she is lost as to how to handle it. Will her marriage be saved? Can she continue with her career?
Sally John's new book Desert Gift, is a wonderful book that takes the reader on a journey of a husband and wife who somewhere lost their way and try to find their way back.
I found Desert Gift to be a exceptional read and I look forward to reading more books by Sally John. I highly recommend this book.
For more information on this author be sure to check out her website.
*I recieved a review copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own*
Jill Galloway has made a success of marriage. She has had a long standing syndicated radio talk show on marriage and now her first book is coming out. Just as she and her husband Jack are getting ready for a California book tour and long needed vacation, he tells her he is not going with her. He wants out. He wants a divorce.
Jill is shocked and is ready to cancel the tour but he pushes her in the taxi and sends her on her way. Jill, with the help of her friend and associate, manages to fulfill a few of the speaking engagements but finally breaks down. The rest of her schedule is canceled.
Jack has moved out and has his own place. He doesn't understand really what is happening to him. He just knows he does not want to be with Jill right now. Perhaps it was the minor car accident he had. It was only a bump to his head and a few stitches but he's been different since.
Jill tries to keep her self together and ends up at her sister's home. Viv helps but suggests Jill needs to go to their parents, in the desert. There, Jill has time to think and heal. She tries to talk to Jack but their phone calls are not helping. Jill helps her sister with the business their mother had, transporting elderly people to events. Jill meets Agnes, an angel of a woman with insight that Jill desperately needs.
Then Connor Jack and Jill's son arrives from Europe with a girl and plans for marriage, soon. The stress increases and Jack expects that Jill will help organize the wedding, putting their own problems on hold.
Jill learns more and more about herself, the baggage she carries and her drive to be the wife with all the answers. Her attempts at getting Jack to counseling are fruitless. Jill sees that all the rules and guidelines she talked about on her show and in her book, well, they hadn't worked. She cancels her radio program. How can she ever talk to others about marriage when her own is ending?
Sally John has created a realistic story of a husband and wife who, after twenty five years of marriage, have ceased to be the friends they once were. She describes the frustration of Jill wanting to understand, wanting to know what it was, what she has done, and what she can do. Sally John has also allowed the reader to know the relief Jill experiences when God actively works in her life to reveal so much she has hidden from herself. And then Jack allows God to work in his life.
She ends her books with: "Thank you for traveling this side road with the Galloways. I hope the journey blessed you with laughter, tears, and a general sense of reassurance that God does indeed love you unconditionally, passionately, and wildly." (379)
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Author Sally John's new series Side Roads debuts with a captivating novel Desert Gift. At first glance, it appeared to be another broken marriage novel, but as I read through it, Ms John kept me guessing with characters that were down to earth, believable, and definitely ones that every day people could relate to. The conversations could be right out of anybody's kitchen table; sadly enough the books steers to what appears to be a probable divorce. Suspenseful characters draw you in all the way through, and keep you guessing until the very end as to the outcome of the marriage. The book shares God's heart toward His children during difficult times, and the loves demonstrated by friends and family during crisis. This is definitely a must read novel.
This was a book I reviewed for Tyndale House Publishers.