Lisa Samson has always been able to suck me into her books and keep me hooked until the last page. This latest one features Beth and Rich, a couple that find themselves in the midst of a crazy emotional roller coaster that doesn't seem to want to let up and is very much a mirror of a lot of our lives: crazy, scary, and sometimes hilarious.
Rich is a pastor at a very large church and when given a sabbatical, he decides to hide out in the backyard, rather than taking a trip to the beach with the rest of the family, as Beth would like to do. Rich claims he needs to spend time with only God, to try to figure out his life -- which apparently requires living in a shed.
This throws Beth into her own tailspin, as she thinks her husband has lost his mind and she isn't entirely sure how to deal with that. She doesn't like what he's doing to their family and certainly doesn't understand it. She acts and reacts like any real real woman would. I loved that about Beth. She's a pastor's wife, but she's real and doesn't put on the show of perfection that so many do.
I love Samson's easy writing and her characters are both deep and humorous at the same time. I definitely took something away from this book (look at my own faults before pointing out someone else's) and I've already handed my copy off to a friend. Two thumbs up for Samson's latest!
The Sky Beneath My Feet by Lisa Samson was breathtakingly relatable. I was transported from my hectic life while reading this novel and taken into the life of Beth and her world. To say this story was just that a story would be a lie. I thoroughly enjoyed escaping my day to read this journey of Beth's and her family. I am always amazed that we believe that we cannot endure all the evils life hands us and yet we always do and come out the end stronger and more self assured.
Beth's life is turned upside-down. Her husband, Rick, is a pastor at a large church in Lutherville - well, he's the men's pastor. When old friends who have moved to the big city come to visit, it is with a job offer for Rick. He can be head pastor of a big church in the city. The friends will see to it. And Rick will have a voice, a megaphone in the Christian community.
Rick feels he needs to seek God on the issue and determines to spend a month in solitude in the backyard shed. Beth feels abandoned. Her life is upside-down.
Beth's brother suggests this time might be for her as much as it is for her husband. Beth, wife of a husband retreating in a backyard shed and mother of two teenage sons, tries to find out what all of this means. She meets unusual people, takes part in a demonstration, and has other adventures. Then one day, she sees the sky through a whole in the roof of a beach hut and she knows.
What an interesting novel. It took me a while to get into it. The first half was a little slow and tedious for me. But then the novel took off. It was great to journey with Beth as she gets into various situations, finding what God is doing, who He wants her to be. This is almost a coming of age story except that Beth is middle aged. Nonetheless, she comes into her own as she realizes what God is doing and how Rick and the boys are all a part of it.
When you get to the very end, get your tissue ready.
The is a very rewarding novel. There is a discussion guide at the end so it would be a great choice for a reading group. There is tons to discuss - everything from expectations placed on wives to kids taking drugs to being a part of a political demonstration.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.