In her second novel, Jennifer AlLee explores a topic not often addressed: a pastor who puts his congregations needs ahead of those of his wife. Nick and Maura marry young, excited at the prospects of their first church, but neither are prepared for the demands it will make on their relationship. A separation ensues. Now, six years later, Maura moves back to the small Ohio community when she inherits an old theater with the stipulation that she must live with her husband for six months while remodeling the theater. Its a dance of propriety as the two face the opinionated congregation and explore the plan God has for their future. The story is tender and woven with grace. Jennifer raises many questions about the relationship of a pastor with his congregation and his family. Does God call a man or a couple? What roles are appropriate for the wife of a pastor? It gave me a new perspective in what it must be like to live the fish bowl life. A thought-provoking, but gentle book from a lovely author.
Let me tell you, from the first page when Maura Sullivan ran across a lobby to catch an elevator held open by her almost ex-husband she hadn't seen in six years, I was hooked. And when it turned out the two of them were beneficiaries in her aunt's will stipulating they live together for six months before collecting their inheritance, I was a goner until I turned the final page. All I can say is, what a story ... and what an author!To say I loved the characters, plot, premise and spiritual message of this beautifully crafted novel is an true understatement. Simply put, Jennifer AlLee had done it once again--delivered a captivating read with heart-and-soul characters who bleed every emotion out of you as you laugh, cry and love with them in this tender tale of reconciliation. A clever and unique plot, gentle romance and a powerful message not only kept me riveted page after page, but refused to let go once the story was done, haunting me with characters and a marriage truly touched by the love of God. Encore please, Ms. AlLee, and soon!!
Six years after abandoning her husband, her marriage, and a congregation of saints, Maura Sullivan returns to Granger, Ohio for the reading of a will. Its contents will bring the bitter woman not only back to a town she never wanted to see again, but trapped in the parsonage she disliked even as a newlywed. And back to the church that robbed her of her husbands time and affections.Maura is mad at God, and equally angry at Nick. And the secret she harbors within her heart leaves little room for healing or forgiveness. It also could be the one thing that forever destroys any chance of reconciliation with her estranged husband.Nick Shepherd doesnt know whether to be mad or glad when the will of a departed parishioner stipulates that he open his home for six months to the woman who left him without a word of good-bye. For six years, he and his wife have had no contactnot a phone call, not a letter, not even a greeting card. Can they live under the same roof now, with so many things unsaid, so many wounds untendedso much love unheeded?In this charming story of hurt and healing, of sin and redemption, Jennifer AlLee paints an eye-opening peek into parsonage life. In Maura and Nicks story, pastors and their wives become peoplereal people, with real problems and concerns. With lives and loves and marriages that suffer from lack of attention when the church becomes the other woman in the relationship.Everyone who has ever had a pastor should read The Pastors Wife. Every pastor with a wife hed like to keep should read this book. Every pastors wife who feels neglected, abandoned, and unappreciated should read this story. Any person who plays any kind of role in the church should read it, and be prepared to see their shepherds in a brand new light.Nice writing, and thoughtful handling of a delicate issue.
When Maura Sullivan married Nick Shepherd, a new pastor, she had no idea what she would be competing with. After being married only a few months and feeling far too neglected, Maura leaves Nick and the small Ohio town where she felt like she never quite fit in. Now, six years later, she has returned to the people and place she abandoned because her name and Nicks name are listed in a will. All she can think about is taking care of business and getting back out of town again, but God has other plans for Maura and Nick.When I first read the description for this book I did not think I was going to like Maura because she abandoned her husband and his congregation. But, as I read the story and learned more about Maura, I was able to understand her pain and what she went through. The Pastors Wife is a fairly short book and is easy to read, but it is filled with a lot of deep spiritual relevance. Healing and forgiveness are the main themes throughout this story and Maura and Nick both have a lot of healing to do and they both need to forgive each other. I was delighted with this book and really enjoyed watching the changes that went on, not just between Maura and Nick, but also with the townspeople and the congregation. There are many Godly lessons to be learned in this short and sweet story that I liked very much.
This is Jennifer AlLee's second published book, and she did a wonderful job of immediately drawing me into the situation of a wife returning to her pastor husband after a six year separation. I felt empathy for both the pastor and the wife as they struggle to adjust. And the way the reunion came about is a unique idea, but I won't share too many details so you will want to read this book for yourself.The wife, Maura Sullivan, also has to learn to adjust to the members of the congregation where her husband still preaches. And she needs to find a way to share her long-kept secret with her husband. The husband, Nick Shepherd, is determined not to make the same mistakes he made before. Is it true that love is more wonderful the second time around? You'll have to read this book to find out.