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Number of Pages: 382
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2008
|Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.44 (inches)|
Series: Safe Harbor
An unopened gift. A broken vow. A tragic fire. Sometimes there are wounds that even time can't heal.
Max and Claire Beaumont seem to have the perfect marriage. They live in a beautiful home, have four wonderful children and everything else that success and money can buy. Yet beneath this picture-perfect exterior, Claire's life is falling apart. She can no longer hold her peace and keep up appearances.
After all the silent years, she must speak the truth.
As their lives unravel, deep needs and even deeper hurts are revealed. Not only the wounds between husband and wife, but family wounds as well. Will this time of soul-searching and conflict bring them closer together--or tear their marriage apart?
It's a strange irony to leave home in search of a safe harbor. Yet that is often where the journey begins . . . especially when it is time to mend.
A Time to Mend is the first novel in the Safe Harbor series. Drawing on the insights of best-selling marriage expert Gary Smalley, the series explores the joys and struggles of marriage, family, and faith.
Gary Smalley was one of the country's best known authors and speakers on family relationships. In addition to writing The Blessing and The Two Sides of Love with John Trent, their book The Language of Love (newly revised and updated) won the Angel Award as the best contribution to family life. His national infomercial, Hidden Keys to Loving Relationships, has been viewed by television audiences all over the world.
The characters are listed in the beginning, clarifying who is who for the reader--Max is married to Claire and is the founder and owner of a nationwide staffing firm. Claire was a violinist who gave up her career to help Max get started.
The plot evolves with Max and Claire's life taking a turn, now that their children are grown and out on their own--making the empty nest syndrome more apparent. This causes Claire to realize that she has not awakened as an individual in all her years of marriage, but has simply acquiesced to the role of wife and mother without pursuing her own talents. She decides that a definite break from home and her husband is a necessity, and she goes to a friend's house until she finds a place to call her own.
The age old story of "woe is me, I don't know who I am or what I have become" seems to be the theme, with the husband not seeing anything but what he has provided for his family via hard work and long hours, which keep him away from home.
Many parts of this novel reminded me of a counselor's speaking to an individual, rather than a typical character's response concerning trials and tribulations, but that can be attributed to the author's many years of family counseling. I felt the story was drawn to a close too quickly, giving the impression that everything can work out in the last chapter or so and they will "live happily ever after."
This is the first novel in a series, so perhaps the characters will evolve to where they can find peace and joy in their lives, wherever God has placed them. It is also a novel with life's questions, a tragic happening, and a few twists that might not seem right for a Christian novel, but are reflective of real life.
It is easy reading, and the listing of characters in the beginning is a good help.
Sally John is a best-selling author, as Gary Smalley is a world-renowned marriage expert and author. They are developing the Safe Harbor series as a relationship-centered series with recurring characters, but each novel can stand alone. Sharon Rideout, Christian Book Previews.com