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The Sky Beneath My Feet
Thomas Nelson / 2013 / Paperback
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Beth fears her marriage is over. Since Rick became a pastor, he's lost touch with her and their sons. When he receives an offer from an out-of-state congregation, he retreats to the backyard shed to await a sign from God. Meanwhile, Beth escapes to a beach house to sort things out. Will Rick's longed-for sign ever come? 320 pages, softcover from Nelson.
Beths absolutely sure her husband is a man of faith, but she's beginning to suspect he may also be certifiably crazy.
Since Rick became the Men's Pastor at The Community, he's lost touch with Beth and their two teenage sons. As a result, she's begun to regret all that she gave up to be with him. Her one hope on the horizon is Rick's month-long vacation. Maybe then they can re-kindle their relationship. If that doesn't work, she's afraid of what she might do.
Then Rick receives a job offer from a church out of state. Beth speculates that a change of venue will change nothingjust double down on their dysfunction. Plus, now that the prospect of leaving her comfortable (though discontented) life has materialized, she's afraid to leave the familiar.
Rick's reaction to the job offer throws Beth's life into disarray: he retreats like a hermit to the shed in the back yard, fasting and praying, isolating himself from the outside world, waiting for a sign from God.
With her husband holed up in the backyard, Beth escapes to a Florida beach house, where she comes face-to-face with a hurricane. Ricks long-awaited sign comes at lastand its meaning will resonate with readers long after the last page.
The Christy-award winning author of Christianity Todays Novel of the Year Quaker Summer, Lisa Samson has been hailed by Publishers Weekly as one of the most powerful voices in Christian fiction." She lives in Kentucky with her husband and three kids.
The staleness in Beth and Ricks marriage becomes evident when Rick, a pastor, goes on retreatinside the shed in their suburban backyard. While Rick disappears to seek Gods wisdom, Beth is in charge of the rest of their life, which includes two teenage sons who need guidance and her own nagging midlife doubts. The characters she encounterspeace activists, a streetwise nun who runs a shelter for teen girlsoffer possibilities as Beth examines her own place in life. The crisis-of-faith premise is promising, but Samsons usually lively imagination doesnt do enough work. Many plot elements are more shorthand caricature than realized character: peace marchers, a womens book club, a narrow-minded conservative Christian. To be sure, some of the minor characters are vintage Samson: the nun Mother Zaccheus is a gem. But the pieces dont add up to a rich whole. Lots of people are concerned about their mission in life. But readers outside the evangelical Christian megachurch subculture may not crack the cover of a novel about a pastor, his wife, and their two kids in the suburbs. (Mar.) 2012 Reed Business Information
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