In a marriage there are a lot of issues for a husband and wife to deal with. Having their faith in God is a great foundation to have. However with all the challenges the world has to offer, even our faith can be tested in ways we would never consider crossing the line for. We often think we are strong enough in our faith to handle anything the world would throw out there, confident we would pass the test with flying colors. But that is our weakness, thinking we can remain unscathed from temptations even in the strongest marriages who seem to be completely ground in their faith in God.
In the novel Devotion by Marianne Evans, a marriage between Kellen and Juliet Rossiter will be tested by fire. It was Kellen's job that drew Juliet to fall in love with him. As a music agent for Associated Talent, Kellen's goal in life is to get to the point where he can manage Christian artists. So it isn't unusual to find him in the latest hot spots and clubs trying to find the next top performer for his company. At times Juliet has accompanied him, but knowing after nine years how these meetings generally go, Juliet has developed her own interests working with the homeless at the local shelter as part of an outreach for her church.
Juliet and Kellen know that after nine years they wouldn't always spend their free time with one another, after all the time trying to have a family of their own, nothing seems to have for them. Tests after tests show that both of them are able to conceive but for whatever reasons it just hasn't happened despite all the questions from family at every event wondering just when they planned on having a child. No one really knew the struggle that they both faced when posed with that question. But when Kellen is asked to seek out the next big thing at a club called Iridescence, he wasn't planned for the detour his life would take when Juliet opted out this time. But it only takes an act of infidelity to result in a lifetime of forgiveness and their marriage will be tested in the worst way possible.
I received Devotion from Marianne Evans compliments of Pelican Book Group and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. Aside from a complementary copy of the novel to review I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review. The opinions contained here are my own. This is such a brilliant novel because of its transparency in dealing with the subject of infidelity in a marriage. It rates right up there with Karen Kingsbury, as it takes an indepth approach at the foundation that the Rossiters build their marriage on and just how subtle temptation can be. It doesn't start with something big, but those little nuances that happen when we think we can handle ourselves instead of listening to God. You can feel for each of them in this situation from the anger that Juliet feels to the heart-wrenching pain Kellen has to contend with when Juliet insists on moving out.
For me the biggest take away is one I shared with my husband. Is that temptations are subtle and there are so many opportunities for us to leave the situation but we don't. In marriage there will come times when we are all tested and undoubtedly mistakes will be made that will inflict pain into each other's heart. The point is not trying to get back what you had before, it's building on what you have moving forward. What an "A-ha!" moment that was. Too often we try to fix things wondering why we can't go back to before those hurts, and it results in frustration on both spouses wondering where they are going wrong. They aren't. As long as they are moving forward building on what they have, that is the success in moving past those situations and hopefully have the outcome that Kellen and Juliet Rossiter have. The best part is seeing it from a third parties eyes and realizing how quickly something like that happens when we least expect it. No one is immune. This one is not only a must read but a must keep on your bookshelf and thus the reason why I give this one a 5 out of 5 stars!
Devotion is a fictional novel focused on the marriage of two characters named Kellen and Juliet. As I read the story, for me, it shows both the joys as well as the sorrows marital relationships can bring. Juliets character, I think, best reflects many unspoken fears, dreams, hopes and heartbreak that many women experience. The other strong tenet of the book is the depth of the fall into sin that causes the major tension in the story. The point of view of the sin that trips up one of the characters is vastly different from society around the globe.
Perhaps my greatest hope is that many will read the novel and draw the nuggets of wisdom tucked neatly into the story. As I read, I rejoiced in the way the author beautifully shows the heartache that can be experienced when a spouse falls into sin, as well as the way the tension towards healing, redemption and hope is shown in how it takes both people in the marriage to work on the relationship. It is absolutely refreshing to read how the characters reach out and up to God and hear His voice in ways that challenge and ways that bring comfort to the two main characters.
The pastors character shows a man of God counseling both parties separately at first. The only caveat I have is that when counseling with Juliet he did so alone, when another woman being present during that time in this day and age is absolutely a must! The support system that all people in marriages need is also reflected in the novel, and the point is made to recognize when a marriage might be heading into turbulent waters.
Marriage is work and that is also a theme in the book. It takes both spouses to draw near to God and then each other for it to grow. Kellens character shows men I think how to wisely, patiently and lovingly build trust back into the marriage and how to court his wife never again taking her for granted. The whole book is one that both spouses could draw wisdom and ideas from for their individual situations. Hope is certainly never extinguished in the tale and true to reality unless we draw back from God and our significant others. So read my friends, listen to whatever God might speak to you throughout the pages and then embark on whatever He shows you!
Devotion by Marianne Evans is a book that offers second chances. Marianne takes you on a journey through a wonderful couple's life. After nine years of marriage Juliet and Kellen seem to be growing apart. Will their commitment so many years ago bring them back together?
This was a hard book to read because of its content. Marianne did a great job in showing the characters true feelings. It take three to make a marriage-God, you and your spouse. But above all you must be committed.
The review for Devotion is going to be a little different from most of my reviews in that I am interjecting more personal observations than I normally do.
In my mind, infidelity has always equaled adultery, therefore when I read the blurb above the title:
A SINGLE ACT OF INFIDELITY
A LIFETIME OF FORGIVENESS
I thought the book would focus on the effects of adultery. For that reason, I was surprised to find out it was about a married man kissing someone other than his wife.
OK, so I looked up infidelity and most of the dictionary definitions agreed with me. However, I found the best description, I felt, based on the logic of Devotion, on Wikipedia. Their definition was:
INFIDELITY (also referred to as cheating, adultery, or having an affair) is the subjective feeling that one's partner has violated a set of rules or relationship norms and this violation results in feelings of sexual jealousy and rivalry (Leeker & Carlozzi, 2012).
The violation can be sexual in nature, for example, involving kissing, sexual fondling, or sex with another individual outside of the relationship.
What constitutes an act of infidelity is dependent upon the exclusivity expectations within the relationship (Barta & Kiene, 2005). In marital relationships, exclusivity expectations are commonly assumed although they are not always met. When they are not met, research has found that particular psychological damage including feelings of rage and betrayal, lowering of sexual and personal confidence, and damage to self-image can occur (Leeker et al., 2012).
So, for the most part, Wikipedia agrees with me, but does go on to say it could just be a kiss.
With that caveat in mind, I continued reading. But, please somebody-GIVE ME A BREAK! All the angst anger and outrage over a kiss in a public place, that albeit was interrupted, but was never followed through on nor did the husband WANT to follow through. In a moment of weakness and curiosity, he kissed her-GET OVER IT.
I feel the book is a real slap in the face to women who have been victims of adultery and not just a betrayal as this book portrays.
I felt like the wife, Julie, was a spoiled, whiny brat that made sure her husband, Kellen, knew what a cad he was and was not ever going to let him forget.
She moves out of their house and in with her sister, then changes her mind and moves back home but will not be around her husband adjusting her schedule to be away when he is home and home when he is away!
She is petty, waspish and cruel while he is constantly asking for forgiveness and trying to atone for what he has done. She even, before and after The Kiss, accepted and returned affection from a single friend at her church.
I decided to pretend it was not just a kiss and the book flowed much better for me.
I could see how the wife felt and why she was acting as the severely injured party. I could see why the husband felt so apologetic and contrite. Moreover, that little tweak in my mind made for a much, much improved feel to the story.
Devotion is very well written and thought out book. If the book were truly about adultery, you would be able to feel the anger, betrayal and sadness as befitting the crime. You would also rejoice in the forgiveness and love after a reconciliation.
The Book Club Network @ http://www.bookfun.org/ provided this book to me in exchange for an honest opinion.
Disclaimer: I realize this book is written and marketed to a Christian audience.
I received this book for review and my honest opinion from bookfun.org. Buy the book from CBD.
Kellen married the woman of his dreams. Juliet was a beautiful
woman and also beautiful on the inside. This marriage was solid and built on Christian values. Kellen said he did not need anyone but his wife, so how did things change?
Kellen was a Christian music agent. He dealt with both male and female singers. He was always on the lookout for new talent. When approached to hear a certain female, he went. He had worked with dozens of beautiful women in the music field. When he signed them on as agents he propelled them toward a professional and monetary success.
Juliet was busy serving and helping the underprivileged. She loved Kellen with all her heart. She knew that Kellen worked with beautiful female singers all the time. This had never been a concern for her. Why did this one seem to occupy more of his time? What is happening with this Chloe?
They were a childless couple although they wanted children. Trying to have a child had not been successful.
Will they finally have a child?
What happens when this wonderful couple suddenly encounters a threat to their marriage?
Devotion is a story of this marriage that will either crash and survive. What happens and the solution, if any, is what the book is about.
I thought the book was excellent and thoroughly enjoyed it.