Friday, February 19, 2010

CFBA Presents The Pastor's Wife

See my review at the end :)

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Pastor's Wife
Abingdon Press (February 2010)

Jennifer AlLee


Jennifer AlLee was born in Hollywood, California and for the first 10 years of her life lived over a mortuary one block from Hollywood and Vine. An avid reader and writer, she completed her first novel in high school. That manuscript is now safely tucked away, never again to see the light of day. Her first inspirational romance, The Love of His Brother, was released in November 2007 by Five Star Publisher.

Besides being a writer, she is a wife and mom. Living in Las Vegas, Nevada, her husband and teenage son have learned how to enjoy the fabulous buffets there without severely impacting their waistlines. God is good!


Maura Sullivan never intended to set foot in Granger, Ohio, again. But when circumstances force her to return, she must face all the disappointments she tried so hard to leave behind: a husband who ignored her, a congregation she couldn't please, and a God who took away everything she ever loved.

Nick Shepherd thought he had put the past behind him, until the day his estranged wife walked back into town. Intending only to help Maura through her crisis of faith, Nick finds his feelings for her never died. Now, he must admit the mistakes he made, how he hurt his wife, and find a way to give and receive forgiveness.

As God works in both of their lives, Nick and Maura start to believe they can repair their broken relationship and reunite as man and wife. But Maura has one more secret to tell Nick before they can move forward. It's what ultimately drove her to leave him three years earlier, and the one thing that can destroy the fragile trust they've built.

If you would like to read the first Chapter of The Pastor's Wife , go HERE

Pattie's Review:

I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. And before you write me off as a cynic, let me explain.

As a former church pastor's wife (and current chaplain's wife), I am unusually harsh with any books about pastor's wives, fiction or nonfiction, short or long. I know not everyone's experience is like mine, praise God, or there'd be more men out there like Nick Shepherd. (Not that I ever left my husband, but still.)

So I began this book ready to do battle with any inconsistencies or irregularities.

Happily, I can report that this is a well-written story, and it's not too far-fetched, AND it deals with real issues in a non-accusatory way, with a little humor thrown in to soften the blow.

Best of all, I liked Maura. She's real. She struggles with something every pastor's wife, whether she will admit it or not, also deals with: BALANCE. How does the pastor balance his calling with his wife? How does the pastor's wife balance her marriage with the church, who is in essence the "other woman" (the Bride of Christ)? And how in the world does she compete with God?

The thing is, we can't compete with God. God is not asking us to compete with Him and His Church. Far from it.

My husband was once a young, enthusiastic pastor, and I struggled on and off for years with how to deal with the fact that it always seemed to me like the church came first. By the grace of God alone we made it through those early busy years. So Maura and Nick's struggle is probably pretty typical of young pastoral couples.

The other important lesson Maura learns, and I had to learn as well, is this: Don't try to serve outside God's call and God's gifting on your life. It won't work. It's a recipe for disaster and burnout. Church members, don't expect her to do everything just because of her husband's position in your church. She should be like any other church member, because she IS. Also, don't expect anything out of your pastor's wife that you aren't willing to do yourself, be it kitchen work, cooking, nursery, leading Bible study, or (Heaven help me!) playing the piano.

The novel is a pleasure to read, and it passes my scrutiny (for whatever that might be worth to you).


Teri Lynne Underwood said...

After that review I am adding this to my "to read" list ... and I rarely add fiction to that list.

Andi said...


I have a question for you . . . did you yourself feel called to the ministry? My very good friend did and my sister in law didn't and there is a complete difference in the way they handle themselves.

Pattie said...

I'm not sure why "Pepper," Andi, but yes, I did.

Andi said...

I am so sorry for calling you Pepper, Pattie, Please forgive me! Thanks for answering. In response, I think it is a call, because if God doesn't call the wife there is a complete difference in how the wife sees herself in the ministry with him. My sister in law sees it as a burden and won't get involved with the women or anything. I have been surprised that their marriage has survived. God Bless you!

Jennifer AlLee said...

Hi Pattie! Thanks for such a thoughtful review. I appreciate feedback from everybody, but especially when it comes from those who are "in the trenches." I'm so glad you enjoyed "The Pastor's Wife"

Hi there, to Pattie's readers. May God bless you all!