Beth's life is turned upside-down. Her husband, Rick, is a pastor at a large church in Lutherville - well, he's the men's pastor. When old friends who have moved to the big city come to visit, it is with a job offer for Rick. He can be head pastor of a big church in the city. The friends will see to it. And Rick will have a voice, a megaphone in the Christian community.
Rick feels he needs to seek God on the issue and determines to spend a month in solitude in the backyard shed. Beth feels abandoned. Her life is upside-down.
Beth's brother suggests this time might be for her as much as it is for her husband. Beth, wife of a husband retreating in a backyard shed and mother of two teenage sons, tries to find out what all of this means. She meets unusual people, takes part in a demonstration, and has other adventures. Then one day, she sees the sky through a whole in the roof of a beach hut and she knows.
What an interesting novel. It took me a while to get into it. The first half was a little slow and tedious for me. But then the novel took off. It was great to journey with Beth as she gets into various situations, finding what God is doing, who He wants her to be. This is almost a coming of age story except that Beth is middle aged. Nonetheless, she comes into her own as she realizes what God is doing and how Rick and the boys are all a part of it.
When you get to the very end, get your tissue ready.
The is a very rewarding novel. There is a discussion guide at the end so it would be a great choice for a reading group. There is tons to discuss – everything from expectations placed on wives to kids taking drugs to being a part of a political demonstration.
Lisa Samson is the Christy Award-winning author of Christianity Today's Novel of the Year Quaker Summer. She lives in Kentucky with her husband and three kids.
Thomas Nelson Publishers, 320 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.