Not only is this a wonderful story about forgiveness and reconciliation within a marriage, but about unrealistic expectations we tend to place on ourselves and others. In this particular case, a pastor's wife takes a brunt (which happens WAY more than many people WANT to admit), but it can so easily happen to anyone in ministry, not just pastors and their wives.
And I simply could NOT stop laughing during the bathroom scene! For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, you'll have to read it yourself and see. ;-)
For those that know me and my wife please note, "she did not write this novel." Yes, she is an author but this wasn't one of her stories, although I hope she enjoys reading it.
The story opens with a very implausible situation, the reading of a will and the requirement in the will that a couple who has been separated for six years (but not divorced) move back in together so that they can each receive a their portion of this inheritance. Now, while I say implausible, you know what, strangers things have happened in our culture and the more I thought about it the more I thought, I know people who would do something just like this.
So, here is the main gist, Maura (the Pastor's wife) left her husband Nick within months after he took his first pastorate in a small town in Ohio. The reason, well he appeared more married and committed to his congregation than he did to his wife. This was displayed in the way that he was always leaving to met other peoples needs and not attending to his own wife's needs.
I certainly can understand and relate to this problem. I spent years as a volunteer Police Chaplain and was called out at all times of the night and on holidays and was always leaving my family somewhat up in the air. If you aren't careful they have a good reason to start to feel neglected.
Maura felt neglected, and when a very serious personal matter came about her husband wasn't there for her. So, she left him. But they never divorced. She went back to California to live and work with her father in their family business. Nick stayed in Ohio and continued to pastor.
One of Nick's congregation dies and leaves him a gift in her will. She also leaves Maura a gift in the will. The gifts are fairly significant. For Maura, the gift is the unencumbered deed to an old Theatre that was a great source of delight to the small community in it's prime, but it needs to be fixed up and re-opened. The gift is something that Maura desires because she has a flair for drama and wants to see the Theatre remodeled.
For Nick the inheritance is a gift to his church that will allow him to do some of the ministry items that he has been unable to do because of finances.
The problem, Miss Hattie made a provision in the will that they couldn't receive their gifts unless Maura moved back into the parsonage to live with Nick for a minimum of six months. Scandalous! Well, not really, they are husband and wife. So, was Miss Hattie trying to re-unite them? Well, of course.
The rest of the book is predictable, but still well written and fun to read. I enjoyed getting to know Maura and Nick and coming to understand their love for each other but their misunderstanding of each other.
I believe that the lessons they both learn are well thought out and well presented. They are Biblical in nature as well as touching on true emotional needs and problems that real people face.
So, while the story is predictable it is still a very fun read and will give you some good life issues to think through and apply to your own life and relationships.
I really enjoyed the book. It was a great summer read. The book is fictional but the moral was a great testimony of God's power to fix relationships, build confidence in your walk with God, and His wonderful love. The book begins right away with a twist, and leaves you wondering how the characters will be able to accomplish this. As I read further I found my self lauging, and crying. The author had a great gift on getting the reader to become part of the story. I did enjoy this book, and I actually learned the moral. I would recommend you read this and discover God's love and forgiveness. Nothing is too hard for our God.