Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Sunday Wife by Cassandra King

Title: The Sunday Wife

Author: Cassandra King

Genre: Chick Lit

Summary: At her husband's new church, Dean discovers what it means to be someone besides the preacher's wife.

What was Good: Being a public figure in a large church is not an easy role, especially when the leader follow's his own agenda. Dean (short for Willowdean) has always felt grateful that her husband wanted her for his wife. After twenty years of marriage, Dean is tired of playing the role that he expects of her. Ben's ambitions to be appointed to the bishop's cabinent ignore that Dean is being eaten alive by the ladies of the church. Augusta sees what they are doing and befriends Dean. Augusta is a lapsed member of their church and Ben is in favor of their blossoming friendship as a means to get Augusta and her prominent family as an active part of his membership.

Augusta has no intention of playing the part Ben has outlined for her. Instead, she helps Dean find the courage to be the women she wants to be. Augusta, however, has her own flaws. As Dean learns to stand up for herself, she is swept into the conclusion of a story that began when Augusta was a teenager.

What wasn't: Ms King assumes that the reader will been familiar with the dynamics of church women. It wasn't until the very end that the true evil that can sometimes be found in the kindness of others was illustrated.

The Take-Away: I used to be a teacher at a parochial school. The politics and malicious nature of these women weren't something I was subjected to, yet I could see exactly why Dean felt as she did. Being in the critical public eye and always coming up short wasn't fun. I completely understand the stifled nature that Dean developed for her own protection.

Recommendation: Buy it, share it with your women friends and think twice about the pressures that the preacher's wife faces.

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