Pastors' Wives, written by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, is an intriguing peek into the lives of three fictional women. The book is clever, revealing and often very humorous. We're all human, and Pastors' Wives allows us a "what if" look into the hearts and minds of "super star" mega church leaders. To be honest, I was put off a bit at the beginning of this book as it appeared that Mrs. Cullen was slightly critical of the topic of religion, but when I allowed myself to relax I really enjoyed what she had to say. Her three main characters, Candace, Ginger and Ruthie are women just like you and me. They have secrets, worries and all have a longing to be loved and accepted. Lisa Takeuchi Cullen writes with a magnificent sharpness and intelligence that allows her readers to see and almost hear her characters. Ms. Cullen is quite the gifted writer! For example...
Here is the first "sight" of the Greenleaf Church:
"We stepped through the sliding glass doors into the lobby of the church. I sniffed the air. It smelled not unlike the lobby of a hotel in Manhattan where I'd once met Vivian for drinks. Like new suits and Christmas. Then, as if two fingers had hooked into my nostril and given them a yank, the smell of coffee invaded and obliterated all else. I spied the source: a smoothie bar and cafe, it's line snaking in a neatly squashed M. Next to it was the bookstore, a cozy Barnes & Noble-type shop with cherrywood shelves and stripy sofas. At it's entrance stood a life-size cardboard cutout of Aaron and Candace Green, the same image from their latest book cover."
I felt like I was there!
I identified most with the Ginger as she struggles with forgiving herself due to past mistakes (although my past is not quite so interesting or "colorful"!) and speaking up for her needs. I wish I looked a bit more like her, though! "...Hair the color of a Miami sunrise, Julie Roberts smile, hand span waist and Barbie doll legs...". She's a wonderful wife and mother but can't seem to to be able to find her place in the life. At one point she even runs away from home. Ginger's journey to discover her voice is both heartbreaking and inspiring. I was beyond thrilled that Ginger was able to help her broken friend, CeeCee. Beautiful. (You'll must read the book to find out about Ginger and CeeCee.;) )
*Please note that Pastors' Wives is not considered to be Christian fiction. It's rather an interesting and sympathetic look into the lives of women who are, in a way, married to men who are married to the church. There are a few foul words and unsavory topics (pornography, infidelity, spousal abuse, etc.) but they are presented in a way that showcases forgiveness and fresh starts. Life is not always Rated G! ;)*
More About Pastors' Wives:
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.
Lisa Takeuchi Cullen is celebrating the release of her debut novel, Pastors' Wives, with an iPad Mini Giveaway and connecting with readers on Facebook on May 23rd!
One winner will receive:
An iPad Mini
A $25 iTunes gift card
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 22nd. Winner will be announced at the "Pastors' Wives" Author Chat Party on May 23rd. Connect with Lisa for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Lisa will also be giving away books and fun gift certificates throughout the evening.
So grab your copy of Pastors' Wives and join Lisa on the evening of May 23rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)
Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 23rd!
*I was given a copy of this book from Litfuse Publications in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*