n The Desire we return to River Oaks, Florida where the Anderson family lives. This time the story is focused on Allan and Michele. For a little over a year they have been trying to have a baby, but nothing is happening. As each month passes Michele becomes more and more despondent and resentful towards others that seem to neglect their children. She desperately needs her husband's support and attention but his heart and mind keep turning to the needy children in Africa. They desperately need to find a common ground in their marriage.
A new character is introduced in this book. Her name is Christina and she is a young pregnant single mother needing to make a choice about her baby. She is paired with Marilyn at the pregnancy care center where Marilyn is a mentor. Before long the whole Anderson family has taken Christina not only into their home, but into their hearts as well.
The Desire looks at adoption from several different angles. You get to see the struggles and the triumphs that surround the families involved in the adoption process. The premise of the story is beautiful.
I am a fan of Dan Walsh's writing and I love Gary Smalley's work, my marriage has benefited from it immensely. Having said that, I must also say that this book and this series are not my favorites. Is it a good read? I'd have to say yes. It's just not a great read. I got the same feeling as when a movie does a blatant product placement in the middle of an intense scene. It just doesn't work very smoothly. Again, I am a fan of both of these men and I will continue to read and learn from their work.
Book four in the series comes out next spring. Will I read the book? Yes, because the stories told in this series are worthy of being read even if they are not my favorites from these particular authors.
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
A Childless Marriage, Crisis Pregnancy and Restoration
September 19, 2014
Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley in their new book, The Desire Book Three in The Restoration Series published by Revell takes us into the lives of Allan and Michele
From the Back Cover: Can faith build a bridge between their dreams?
For two years, Allan and Michele have been trying to have a baby. The emotional ride has been taking a toll on their heartsand their relationship. Michele is obsessed with researching fertility treatments while Allan seems content to spend his timeand their moneyon supporting displaced children in Africa. Somethings got to give. But they both hope its not their marriage.
Still, God has a plan for Allan and Michele that they could never have imagined. And all it takes to set it in motion is a change of heart . . .
Without any doubt Dan Walsh is one of the best writers out there. He consistently writes books that go right to the heart, have wonderful characters that deal with issues that affect all of us. The Desire is no exception. The Desire is all about a family. Allan and Michele have reached a plateau in their marriage. Michelle really wants a child but cannot have one and this is causing a rift between the two of them. Mr. Walsh explores the hole made by not having children. He also explores the burden an unwanted pregnancy can have. There is also an exploration of what we are to do when we come across a crisis pregnancy. It is going to take God to make it all right in this marriage and with the individual characters. This book touches on issues that can affect any marriage. The team of Walsh and Smalley takes these issues, put them in a fictional setting and get their point across without being preachy. There is healing, forgiveness, restoration all within the family and all from God. This is a wonderful book that shows the power of God to heal and restore.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. 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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
I have now read all three of the Walsh and Smalley Restoration saga, and this is the one that truly made me cry.
The Desire is all about the hopes and fears of the heart. Alan and Michele are a young married couple, torn between her longing to bear a child and his intention to build an African orphanage. How can two dreams be so right, but so incompatible?
Michele wants Alan's intensity directed toward their infertility, and he wants her to care about the children in Korah.
Will it destroy them, or teach them how to communicate and to share their visions?
One thing stood out to me about Michele's story.
She was convinced that she couldn't be fulfilled and happy until she had a child, and in the "meantime" she was understandably miserable.
As I read, I imagined that Michele probably had been searching for the pinnacle of purpose and peace all her life, like most of us do.
I imagined that at once point she would have thought catching Alan's eye was her greatest goal.
Then dating him, seeing him often and being with him- that was her longing.
Then marriage became the mountaintop for her, and now her hopes are bound up in starting a family. And all of those are right things, and good dreams. They are holy desires.
Watching Michele come to a place of acceptance- not resignation, but acceptance- is a good reading journey. We see her preparing her heart for a blessing that she hopes will come.
So... on to my next favorite storyline- Christina, a young woman expecting a child.
This plot gave us an opportunity to model a holistic pro-life lifestyle, the kind that embraces the mother and the child.
Being pro-life can't end with sidewalk counseling, and in this story it doesn't.
Marilyn brought Christina home and installed her in the garage apartment, helped her find employment, and began treating her like family.
This is exactly what we need more of. In a crisis pregnancy we need to help remove the crisis instead of the unborn child. Marilyn put her money and time and heart where her mouth was.
These books are quiet. And steady. And I like that. A series of novels like these is a great way to introduce a vision of marriage and family where loving commitment and honest communication are the glue. I love the way faith was woven in, and there was much truth here.
I do wish the characters had been a little more broken, at times.
This series has been inspiring. Tender. Gentle. And at times, very real. I do think a few more ragged edges, a few more exposed nerves, could have made it even more powerful.
I am eager for volume four in the Restoration Series.
What a GREAT book to start with - of all Dan Walsh's books. WOW!
September 15, 2014
Believe it or not, this is the first book by Dan Walsh that I have read.
I know its pretty hard to believe that there is a reader of Inspirational fiction that has yet to read one of these AMAZING books but thats me
Or it was anyway
Im not in that category anymore. LOL!
And what a place to start WOW!
The opening sentence
Michelle didnt know why shed come here, why she tortured herself this way.
I mean does it get any more intriguing than that! Right there, you have a perfect formula for hooking your reader.
You have raw emotion, you have mystery, you have intrigue
And is there a person on the planet who could put the book down before they find out who Michelle is and why she torments herself by doing whatever it is shes doing at the opening of this story (NO! Im not telling. Trust me you WANT to read this book).
Dont worry about not having read any of the other books in this series, if youre starting here with book 3 although Im sure you will want to read them all AFTER you read this one! I know I do!
I will warn you. Im a Mercy (spiritual gift) so I tend to bawl over just about anything so its probably not a really good idea to judge your probability of needing an entire box of tissues just to get through this book usually.
With this book, I think more people than think they would, are going to need just that.
The Desire by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley explores some pretty tough emotions and it doesnt really matter if youve been there or not, they make the emotions so real, you feel like you have.
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.
I was naughty and did not write my thoughts down right after I read the book a month ago, which is when it is freshest for me. So I am relying on my daughters thoughts since she just read the book over the weekend.
My 15-year-old daughter, B, says the book made her really think about the issue of humility and trusting God, which were spiritual themes in the book. She said both of these issues are areas she needs to work on personally.
B said she really liked the characters. She thought they were very well fleshed out and developed. She said she was proud of Christina (single woman facing a crisis pregnancy) for not choosing to have an abortion. She loved Micheles development both as a wife and daughter of Christ. B said Micheles parents, Marilyn and Jim were amazing people, as were the rest of her family. I have to agree. They portrayed what a Christian family should be like. B thought the contrast between the beginning and end chapters were beautiful.
B also loved going to Africa with Allan and Ray. B has always wanted to go to Africa since reading missionary stories and having a close personal friend serving as a missionary in Zambia. All in all, she really enjoyed The Desire.
We both really want to read the first two books of the series and we cannot wait for the sequel to this one to find out more about Christinas journey and that of Micheles brother, Doug. I missed the fact there was a childrens lesson book, but B said she wants to read that as well.
I think this book has lessons in it, not just women or couples struggling with infertility, but lessons for everyone.
Faith and Family Reviews received a copy of this book in exchange for writing a review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.