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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 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 husband. Ginger, married to Candace’s son, struggles to play dutiful wife and mother while burying her calamitous past. All their lives collide during a fateful event that threatens the survival of all that is precious to them, each will ask herself: what is the price of loving a man of God? Inspired by Cullen’s reporting for Time magazine, Pastors’ Wives is a passionate portrayal of the private lives of pastors’ wives, caught between the consuming demands of faith, marriage, duty, and love.
When Nat asked me to guest review Pastors' Wives I was nervous. I don't read a lot of (OK, I don't read any) Christian Lit so I'm not terribly familiar with the genre, if one can even call it that. I was nervous that this would be a book about Amish people because as much as I love the Amish (and I do – bonnets are the coolest!) it seems that all of the popular Christian/Inspirational Lit is about innocent Amish women meeting the man of the dreams and bla, bla, bla. The thing I was scared most about was how Lisa Takeuchi Cullen would portray Christians. Christians seem to fall into several categories in literature; the fanatic, the con man/woman, the pervert or the duped innocent. There's more of course and I'm sure these generalizations don't apply in Christian lit, but nevertheless I got nervous and put this book off repeatedly out of fear.
Yesterday, I picked up Pastors' Wives and started reading and reading and reading. I couldn't put the novel down. Pastors' Wives is fast-paced and overall well written. Lisa Takeuchi Cullen writes multi-dimensional characters with very authentic emotions and spirituality that seems genuine and not a stereotype of how Christians “are”.