I loved this book. I actually had to put it down after reading just a few pages because I knew that it would pull me in and I just didn't have the time. I was right. When I was able to pick it back up I quickly had it finished (mostly in a one rare free afternoon) because I couldn't put it down. The characters brought to life emotions I could identify with even though I hadn't faced their particular circumstances. It gave me a greater understanding of individuals I have or will come in contact with who have been through the same circumstances and I think a better way to show them compassion.
I didn't realize when I chose this book that it was #3 in a series. I didn't feel like I had to go back and read the first two to follow this one but know I really want to read them as well as the fourth in the series with a very confident feeling that they'll be awesome too!
I have enjoyed reading the restoration series. Actually I have read every book by Dan Walsh. He is an incredible writer. He grabs you from the very first paragraph. I was really hoping the story would end the way it did. This last book was absolutely incredible. My daughter-in-law reads my books after I finish. She can't wait for the next book. I can't either.
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.