The Breaking Point
by Karen Ball
Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Multnomah (September 26, 2009)
Genre: Christian, Family Drama, Inspirational
My Rating: 3.5 of 5.0
Caught in a blizzard, they expected to fight for their lives. What they didn’t expect was a miracle…
Renee and Gabe Roman are on the edge—relationally and spiritually. Both believe they are followers of Christ who know God. So why is their marriage so difficult? After years of struggle, they wonder if it’s all been for nothing.
Then, on an anniversary trip to a remote resort, their truck hurtles down the side of a mountain. Suddenly, they find themselves at the mercy of the rugged Oregon wilderness, forced to fight for survival by relying on each other. But both must surrender their last defenses if they are to come home at last—to God and to each other.
Can the Romans overcome their greatest obstacle—themselves—in time?
Renee is a young woman who was raised in a family strongly grounded in faith. This doesn’t protect her from physical desires and emotional upheaval.
Gabe was raised under the tyranny of an abusive father who filled Gabe with negative self-views. Gabe is only able to find approval when he discovers he has the ability to put on a face that is praised by his church group. Gabe is able to hold that mask even though his youth pastor questions if his supposed ‘calling’ is real. His biggest problem, other than living behind a mask, is controlling his raging temper.
Renee and Gabe meet on college campus and quickly are enthralled with each other. Their relationship leads to unexpected consequences and, sooner than planned, marriage. Although they love each other they have a great capacity to hurt each other and find their love traveling into hate and resentment. This emotional roller coaster continues for years. Finally they get help from a caring, Godly couple, and agree to separate to seek self-healing so they, hopefully, can heal their marriage. Even with that, they end a short vacation with arguing and silence while driving home through a snowstorm.
The story telling is interesting as it flows from present to past events following both characters. Peppered through the story are diary entries sharing the pain of an estranged marriage. The story reveals real life struggles that face even Christ followers. Issues are shared with strong faith while the chapters begin with paired quotes from secular works and the Bible. Although there were some wonderful, meaningful phrases, I found the fractious relationship to be sad, tiring and a bit drawn out.
One of the genre listings at Amazon is "psychological thriller" which I think is misleading. This may be considered psychological fiction but I would call it family drama. I have to admit that this isn’t my favorite genre or style of reading. I much prefer adventure and entertainment over emotional trauma. The ladies in my ladies’ book club had mixed reactions too. Several loved it while a couple of us said… ‘okay – it wasn’t my style’. If you read for entertainment, this might not be a book for you. However, if you enjoy a faith based story that shares real life emotional turmoil, this is one you should want to pick up.
I bought the print book several years ago and picked up the Kindle version in April to read for our April Ladies Book Club meeting. I’m going to count this toward 2019TBR goal.
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