by Karen Wiesner
- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 279 KB
- Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press LLC (May 1, 2011)
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0058UNY82
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0
WRDF Top Read of Excellence!
1st Place winner in the contemporary romance category of the 2010 Love Romances & More Golden Rose Award!
5 Hearts Award - The Romance Studio
Joined before God and family out of a sense of responsibility? Or love?
As a teenager, Justine Morris’s escape from the pressures of caring for her dying father was stolen moments with Joshua Samuels. But their tender, desperate liaison found them facing teen pregnancy. Afraid of their Christian families’ responses to the situation, they married quickly and built a life for their child.
But now that their daughter is ready to fly the nest, Justine can no longer ignore the truth: She and Joshua haven’t had a real marriage for a long time. Maybe they never had one at all.
Joshua is only too aware that his busy, professional attorney wife is an independent woman who never really needed him. After nearly two decades of marriage, he’s quit trying to get more than a piece of her at a time. Without their daughter holding them together, he knows the chasm between them will grow to epic proportions.
Their empty nest looming, they face the hard questions. Had they married in love…or out of a hasty sense of responsibility? Was it God’s will for them to be together? And now, is it worth the effort to learn to become one as the Lord intends for a man and a woman…or better to simply let go?
This is an interesting story of a couple facing their upcoming empty nest as distant companions instead of supportive mates. After 18 years of marriage Justine still believes that Joshua only accepted their marriage out of duty as he has never really expressed his love for her. She has allowed guilt for her youthful sin to smolder, diminishing her own self worth. She feels she is a burden to Joshua.
Joshua works with his hands building unique and beautiful furniture. He believes his smart and professional wife is self sufficient and doesn’t need him. It seems they have nothing in common except their daughter, Vashti, whom they adore. Now that Vashti will be going away to college there will be nothing to hold them together.
Neither Justine nor Joshua have learned to communicate in their marriage. Joshua has always been quiet and cautious and reluctant to impose himself. Justine has always been a care giver, and has never learned to accept help much less express her own needs or desires. Also, Justine is too afraid of being hurt to risk opening up. The couple have allowed a wall of distance which is only breached during their passionate lovemaking. Even then, as soon as they finish they separate and the wall returns.
As her best friend, Kimberly, tells her - they have been “shadow boxing” with one another and never facing their issues headon. Even their daughter recognizes that she has been the glue to hold them together. Fearing that they will separate when she goes to college, Vashti arranges for all three of them to go on a missions trip to Mexico. I like the trick that Vashti uses to get her parents to begin to open up to each other.
Joshua clearly represents the man in the counseling session who says: “I told her I loved her when we married and I’ve never changed my mind.” Justine has never truly forgiven herself nor allowed herself to risk being fully loved.
I loved the quotes about love at the beginning of each chapter and have to say that the book would be worth getting just for those. As a bonus the book brings a well developed story too.
I enjoyed the details from the mission trip – the poverty and the struggles in the hot Mexico sun.
I appreciate the author’s wonderful ability to create real characters, even if I wanted to give the characters a good shaking. I enjoyed the depth of the characters and the presentation of the emotional issues. This story is good reading for those who enjoy real-to-life family issues.
Justine and Joshua have difficulty defining love. Joshua thought about examples he saw around him but realized:
None of those things could be love. Christ-like love didn't bear the slightest resemblance to what people in this day and age considered love. Location 1605.Vashti's wise insight:
...but I think you fell in love, did things out of order and you and Dad kind of lost yourselves and each other along the way of parenting, repentance and responsibility. Location 1732.
Thank you to the author, Karen Wiesner, for this book to read and review.I will add this to my ARC challenge list.