Friday, May 3, 2013

Pastor's Wives by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen

Three women – three pastor's wives and the events that changed their lives.

Ruthie is a Catholic...well, sort of. She had married Jeremiah when he had been working on Wall Street. The son of a wealthy investor, he was making his way in his father's footsteps. Until he had the dream, that is. The dream that ultimately led him to leave Wall Street for a megachurch financial position. That meant Ruthie had a problem. She didn't really have the faith of her Protestant husband. Could a pastor's wife not be a believer?

Ginger was a woman with a colorful past. She'd been quite a successful porn
star until one night at a party, as she was tending bar, she caught the eye of a preacher's son. For Timothy, it was love, never mind her past. And it became her past that day. But now, Timothy is so active in his overseas ministry he is hardly ever home. Ginger daydreams of being free of it all. Free of pretending to be the perfect wife and mother.

And Candace Green, wife of megachurch pastor Aaron Green. Aaron and Candace had been at Greenleaf in Atlanta for twenty five years. It had been just three years since the 28 million dollar campus opened. Aaron with his multi-faith work and his million dollar salary. But behind it all was Candace and her de facto role as chief operating officer of the church. Her favorite phrase, “Let me take care of it.”

But all is not well at Greenleaf. Events happen that test each woman's character and commitment to her husband. How will each of the women find the strength to survive and flourish?

What a good novel. I have been in church all my life and the fictional church Lisa created is so real. The personality conflicts (church board vs. pastor), the ministries, the personnel...all were presented well and were right on.

There are several issues dealt with in this novel: how to you keep your husband happy, pastors who spend so much time at church they neglect their family, the sustainability of a marriage when one is not a Christian.

Just a warning: there is a little bit of “language” in this book. It is nothing vulgar and it is entirely appropriate to the situation. Also, Timothy and Ginger jump in bed that first night he meets her (just a mention of it). For those expecting your typical “Christian” fiction, that might be a bit of a surprise.

I am taking part in a blog tour of this book. You can read more reviews here.

Lisa Takeuchi Cullen was a foreign correspondent and staff writer for Time magazine, covering social trends, news, arts, and business in the United States and Asia. She now writes novels and develops television pilots for production companies. She grew up in Kobe, Japan, and lives in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters. This is her first novel. Find out more about her and why she wrote this book at http://lisacullen.com/ .

Plume, 368 pages.

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

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