It's not quite that simple. There's a disconnect because we're not who we were when we got married. This is not the life I signed up for. We've both changed too much.
Jillian Galloway is a nationally syndicated host of her own radio show. She is about to step into the world of book touring with her very first book. Her subject of expertise? Marriage. Her work is based on listening to countless women talk about their marriages as well as her own experience of being married to Jack for twenty four years. As their marriage is long lasting and secure, the book is full of stories and examples of their own life together. Jack even created recipes for the book. They'll do the book tour then have a well deserved vacation together. Life couldn't be better. As they depart their home, Jack tells Jillian that he isn't going and wants a separation. Before she can catch her breath and respond, he puts her in a taxi and begins his new solitary life. Jillian's world comes crashing down as everything she has believed in gets challenged, including her relationship with God.
Having recently read The Beach House by Sally John, I was excited to read another of her books. She did not disappoint in her well developed characters and real to life plot. She makes an excellent point through the book that marriage is not a one-size-fits-all venture, there is no formula to follow for the perfect marriage. There are many books and "experts" which offer good advice, but they do not guarantee anything. Without a formula to solve the problems, Jillian wonders if there is any way to repair her marriage and herself. I like the way the story is unpredictable, moving forwards and backwards as each character makes decisions. I enjoyed less the subplot of her son, saying more would spoil the tale.
A book about a marriage falling apart didn't appeal to me at the outset. I'm more about romance and happily every after. There is a part of me that also thinks being real is valuable and I wondered just how this author tackled this very important topic. Was it sugar coated? Was everything fixed with a fancy dinner and flowers? Did a prayer make everything all better?
The truth is this book was refreshingly real in many ways. Jillian has been telling everyone how to make sure their marriages are perfect but she hasn't been taking note of her own. Her husband isn't even sure why he wants out at first - just that he feels like he can't breathe and that she is the cause of his pain.
As time passes Jillian has to take a hard look at who she has become and whether she likes that person. Then she deals with her faith and how she feels about family as well. Only then is she truly ready to try and fix her marriage. Her husband deals with his own issues. Neither is perfect and on top of their marriage problems, their son comes back from a trip with a surprise fiance. They want to get married right away - so now the stunned couple have a wedding to plan while their marriage is disintegrating.
What I liked is that there were no easy answers given in the book. People judged, fought and struggled in a way that was both unique to her situation and that many people will be able to relate to. I thought the characters were well written. I got angry and felt bad for them at different times in the story. I don't know that enjoy is the right word for the book - but I took away a lot from it and I would suggest it to others.
I'm usually a little uncertain about reading books that are about marriages collapsing. It is a difficult topic to read about, but at the same time, these books can provide readers with a powerful message about forgiveness and healing. Because of this, I wanted to read Desert Gift. The story sounded intriguing and I have liked Sally John's writing before.
One of the traits of a really good book, in my opinion, is a book that doesn't have what I like to call "an adjustment period". That is a book in which the story starts right away and it instantly has my attention and doesn't require any time for me to get into the story. Desert Gift was exactly that way. It had me from the very beginning and I was hooked on this story and the characters. The story starts very strong and gains momentum and gets more complex as it goes on. I was very impressed with how this story moved along with very real situations and characters that helped make this such a memorable book.
Sally has written a lovely story that I just could not put down. Of her books that I have read so far, this one has to be my favorite and it makes me want to read more of her books. If you are looking for a book that will grab your attention and leave you filled with hope, then you will definitely love the Desert Gift experience. This may sound silly, but I received and Advanced Reader Copy of this book and when the actual book comes out, I am going to buy myself a finished copy. Yes, I loved it that much.
I recently had the chance to review this book. It is about a woman who is a famous marriage expert. One day though as her and husband are suppose to be going on a trip and she is to speak at a big church about keeping a marriage together, he drops the news he wants a divorce. She is shocked and blindsided by the news,after all they have been married forever and have a grown child. I am sure this is a good book for another audience that has been married and know the struggles and been in these kind of marriages. I being 26 and not married could not really relate to the book. I could not get into or drawn into the story or characters. Like I said though I really do think for an older adults that has or are married and have grown children would be the age level for this book. I just think the reason for me was it just was nothing on my age level that I could relate to being single and never married.
Received this book free from Tyndale Publishers for my honest review.