Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pastor's Wives

FROM THE PUBLISHER-ABOUT THE BOOK:  What’s it like when the man you married is already married to God? asks Pastors’ Wives, an often surprising yet always emotionally true first novel set in a world most of us know only from the outside.
Lisa Takeuchi Cullen’s debut novel Pastors’ Wives follows three women whose lives converge and intertwine at a Southern evangelical megachurch. Ruthie follows her Wall Street husband from New York to Magnolia, a fictional suburb of Atlanta, when he hears a calling to serve at a megachurch called Greenleaf. Reeling from the death of her mother, Ruthie suffers a crisis of faith—in God, in her marriage, and in herself. Candace is Greenleaf’s “First Lady,” a force of nature who’ll stop at nothing to protect her church and her superstar husband. Ginger, married to Candace’s son, struggles to play dutiful wife and mother while burying her calamitous past. All their roads collide in one chaotic event that exposes their true selves. Inspired by Cullen’s reporting as a staff writer for Time magazine, Pastors’ Wives is a dramatic portrayal of the private lives of pastors’ wives, caught between the demands of faith, marriage, duty, and love.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Lisa Takeuchi Cullen was born and raised in Kobe, Japan. Her father was a Roman Catholic priest from Philadelphia, sent by his religious order to a provincial city in southern Japan where he met Cullen’s mother, the coddled daughter of a wealthy merchant. She converted, he left the priesthood to marry her, and it all caused quite the scandal. As if in penance, they raised the four children in strict devotion, never allowing them to miss a Mass or their turn at the dinner-table Bible reading.As she was in the beginning stages of writing Pastors’ Wives, several intense life changes lit in her a profound need to reconcile her faith: the loss of her mother to cancer, her father’s death nine months later, the birth of her second child, and leaving her job as a staff writer at Time magazine. Cullen feels that in many ways writing Pastors’ Wives saved her. Through the characters and their journeys in faith, she was able to examine her own. Cullen was a foreign correspondent and staff writer for Time magazine, covering social trends, news, arts and business in the U.S. and Asia. Her first book, Remember Me: A Lively Tour of the New American Way of Death, was about the year she spent crashing funerals and was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick. She now writes novels and develops television pilots. Pastors’ Wives is her first novel, and Lisa recently sold a pilot about a former priest who becomes a lawyer to CBS. Production on the first episode of The Ordained is now in production. Cullen lives in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters.

MY THOUGHTS ON THE BOOK:  As one of those "Pastors' Wives" I found the book to be a most realistic portrayal of three very different women whose lives intertwine as pastors' wives in a huge Evangelical in the South. Each of the women struggles with personal challenges in their lives and it was quite amazing to watch them change into the women they were called to become as they learn about themselves and  their public vs private lives.  The book is written in the alternating perspectives of three pastors' wives and the reader follows Ginger, Ruthie, and Candace as they learn their roles in the ministry of their husband.  The struggles these three women face as they deal with issues of faith, identity, and responsibilities is well portrayed by Cullens in her debut novel.  She has quite a grasp on the subject and knows these women personally(even though they are fictional).  This story had me from the very beginning.  The inner workings of a huge church were intriguing and as a pastors' wife in a small church the similarities were glaring.  The author did  an amazing job of portraying the women as normal, with all their  flaws and personal  issues.  This book is one of those that I just couldn't put down. I was so enamored with the characters and their situations and I couldn't wait to see what would happen next.  So many times the congregation and communities think of Pastors' and their wives as super human instead of just human. Believe me, we do make mistakes just like the rest of the world    This is a terrific read and I highly recommend it!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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