Saturday, July 9, 2011

Desert Gift by Sally John

Jill Galloway has made a success of marriage. She has had a long standing syndicated radio talk show on marriage and now her first book is coming out. Just as she and her husband Jack are getting ready for a California book tour and long needed vacation, he tells her he is not going with her. He wants out. He wants a divorce.
Jill is shocked and is ready to cancel the tour but he pushes her in the taxi and sends her on her way. Jill, with the help of her friend and associate, manages to fulfill a few of the speaking engagements but finally breaks down. The rest of her schedule is canceled.
Jack has moved out and has his own place. He doesn't understand really what is happening to him. He just knows he does not want to be with Jill right now. Perhaps it was the minor car accident he had. It was only a bump to his head and a few stitches but he's been different since.
Jill tries to keep her self together and ends up at her sister's home. Viv helps but suggests Jill needs to go to their parents, in the desert. There, Jill has time to think and heal. She tries to talk to Jack but their phone calls are not helping. Jill helps her sister with the business their mother had, transporting elderly people to events. Jill meets Agnes, an angel of a woman with insight that Jill desperately needs.
Then Connor Jack and Jill's son arrives from Europe with a girl and plans for marriage, soon. The stress increases and Jack expects that Jill will help organize the wedding, putting their own problems on hold.
Jill learns more and more about herself, the baggage she carries and her drive to be the wife with all the answers. Her attempts at getting Jack to counseling are fruitless. Jill sees that all the rules and guidelines she talked about on her show and in her book, well, they hadn't worked. She cancels her radio program. How can she ever talk to others about marriage when her own is ending?

Sally John has created a realistic story of a husband and wife who, after twenty five years of marriage, have ceased to be the friends they once were. She describes the frustration of Jill wanting to understand, wanting to know what it was, what she has done, and what she can do. Sally John has also allowed the reader to know the relief Jill experiences when God actively works in her life to reveal so much she has hidden from herself. And then Jack allows God to work in his life.

She ends her books with: “Thank you for traveling this side road with the Galloways. I hope the journey blessed you with laughter, tears, and a general sense of reassurance that God does indeed love you unconditionally, passionately, and wildly.” (379)
Well done.

See more about the author at www.sally-john.com and see her blog at http://lifeinthefictionlane.blogspot.com/.

Tyndale House Publishers, 379 pages.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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