"Pam, I'm leaving you." Just like that---on the evening of his 46th birthday---Pam's "perfect" churchgoing husband, Paul, walks out of her life. The next day, she finds he's filed divorce papers and bought a house with a woman from their congregation. After a betrayal like this, can Pam ever trust God---or people---again? 406 pages, softcover from Multnomah.
Divorce is not just a fact in Christian circles, it's a common occurrence. Yet most Christian fiction dealing with marital struggles insists that reconciliation is always possible. Jumping in Sunset shows how God's abundant love works through situations where the neat, accepted answers don't. Meet Pamela Thornton, who has a comfortable faith, a twenty-year marriage, and a solid relationship with her college-bound daughter - when her husband announces he's leaving her to marry another woman. Slowly, Pamela learns to understand and experience God within the impossible truth that her marriage has come to an end.
Dawn Ringling graduated from Biola University in 1985 with a degree in communications/creative writing. She was born a writer, in fact, she barely knew her ABCs when she scribbled her first stories and poems on the back of church bulletins, grocery lists, grocery lists, and any other scratch paper she could find!
Until 1990, she was manager of publications for Biola, where she helped to develop a fledging advertising department into an award-winning producer of college promotional and alumni materials. A mother of three and full-time writer, Dawn lives in Minnesota where, in her free time, she and her family spend summers at their lake cabin and winters skiing and skating and truly embracing the beauty of the Midwest.
Pamela Thornton noticed that Paul, her husband of 20 years, was not acting
like himself at his birthday dinner, but nothing prepared her for his news on
the drive home-the church leader and devoted family man is leaving her for
another woman and never coming back. In this frank and honest debut novel,
Ringling not only details Pamela's painstaking recovery but also brings the
reader into the mind and life of Dana Taylor, the "other woman." Both Pam and
Dana have to confront their mistakes and find forgiveness and healing. No
fairy-tale endings here, but this is essential reading for women in similar
circumstances. Highly recommended for all collections. Copyright 2003 Reed
Readers of evangelical Christian fiction should welcome this novel for its
acknowledgment that sometimes marriages between two believers fail, and
resolution isn't possible. Pamela Thornton and her husband, Paul, are
everyone's ideal Christian couple: successful, outwardly moral and almost
finished raising their only child, Angie. Then Paul drops a bombshell-he's
leaving Pamela to marry Dana, a woman he volunteers with at church. Paul
wallows in self-justification as he convinces himself he was naive and hurried
when he met Pamela and has finally found the one woman he was meant to love.
As Paul sees it, "Wasn't the smoothness of this transition out of his
marriage a sign... that God smiled upon his and Dana's love?" Pamela's story
is believable and poignant, as Ringling chronicles her depression, denial,
anger and pain. Readers will cheer as Pamela finds hard-won independence and
self-esteem through her photography and recognizes the value of her northern
Minnesota roots. Although Angie's narratives are a necessary component of the
novel, they are unfortunately told through CBA fiction's well-worn device of
italicized journal entries, which lessen their impact. There are a few other
missteps-Pamela finds support in her best friend, Starla, who speaks in an
unconvincing vernacular ("Ya have no work"), and there is an unnecessary
subplot involving Paul's childhood. However, the characters are multifaceted,
and their emotions, even when disturbing, are believable. This novel deserves
a place in CBA bookstores for its genuine portrayal of imperfect Christian
people. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Author: Dawn Ringling
Located in: Minneapolis, MN
Submitted: August 17, 2003
Tell us a little about yourself. I am a mother of three children (and a dog and
two cats at the moment) and live in Minnesota.
What was your motivation behind this project? Years ago when my parents marriage (and secretly
my own) was breaking up, I needed an outlet for
my pain-- as well as a way to share my
experiences more publically with people who have
struggled with broken marriages, abuse, and
sexual sin. It seemed everyone I talked to had
gone through divorce, or knew some other
Christian who had. And yet, I could find very
few Christian authors who were writing about it.
The books who focused on struggling marriages
almost always had a "happy ending." In my
parents' marriage, in my own, and in the lives of
countless others, reconciliation was not going to
happen. But that doesn't mean God wants us to
curl up and be miserable for the rest of life. I
wrote "Jumping In Sunset" to answer the need that
exists for Christ-centered fiction that deals
with failed marriage.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? Christian fiction has always been one of my
favorite choices, but when my own life was
falling apart, I found much of it to be too trite
to be "inspirational." However, there are a few
who have inspired me to enter the realm of
Christian publishing myself-- so I can write the
type of real-life based books I know others
crave. Francine Rivers, Angela Hunt, Karen
Kingsbury, and Nancy Rue are among those who hit
the nail on the head.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: In my life I've made good, as well as plenty of
bad choices-- and have paid my share of
consequences for the things I've done. Perfection
is unattainable and yet God's greatest desire is
to forgive and to enable us to walk forward in
obedience and joy. My prayer is that God will
use my fiction-- which centers on forgiveness--
to touch my readers with the amazing truths of