Monday, February 15, 2010

Review of The Pastor's Wife, by Jennifer AlLee

This friendly, smiling face belongs to Jennifer AlLee,
author of The Pastor's Wife, which was published by
Abingdon Press this month. I first met her on line, then in person at an ACFW conference. I remember her excitement when she was able to post what her book cover would look like. And no wonder--it's a beautiful cover! I love the way the "i" in "Wife" was supplanted by a church steeple, foretelling the feelings of Maura, the pastor's wife in the story. I'm a former pastor's wife, so was immediately drawn to the title.

Jennifer, can you give us a little preview of The Pastor’s Wife?

Maura Sullivan never thought she’d see Granger, Ohio, again. But when circumstances force her to return, she must face all the disappointments she tried so hard to leave behind; a husband that ignored her, a congregation she couldn’t please, and a God who took away everything she ever loved.Nick Shepherd had put the past behind him. At least he thought he had, until the day his estranged wife walked back into town. Intending only to help Maura through her crisis of faith, Nick discovers his feeling for her never died. Now, he must face the mistakes he made and find a way to give and receive forgiveness.

As God works in both their lives, Nick and Maura start to believe they can repair their broken relationship and reunite as man and wife. But Maura has one more thing to tell Nick before they can move forward. It’s the thing that finally drove her to leave six years earlier, and the one thing that can destroy the fragile trust they’ve managed to rebuild.

What made you want to write this book?

I served as a church secretary for many years which definitely gave me a unique perspective on the lives of a pastoral family. I worked at two different churches. One was a large denominational church, the other much smaller and non-denominational. But the lives of the pastors were quite similar. There’s always another meeting to go to, or one more person that needs counseling. People feel very possessive about their pastors. This usually manifests itself in positive ways, but sometimes it crosses a line. You have to watch out for that. And the pastoral family faces challenges no one really thinks about. They basically live in a glass house and are expected to be active members of every church activity, whether they’re interested in it or not.

When I was working on the original concept for this novel, I thought about the pastors’ wives I’ve known over the years. They’ve handled themselves with amazing grace under pressure. But what if another woman couldn’t? What if a young woman thinks she knows what she’s getting into, but the reality of losing who she is and becoming a “pastor’s wife” is more than she can handle? What if some other tragedy pushes her over the edge? Would she run? And what would happen if she had to return to the scene of her heartbreak years later? All those questions eventually became The Pastor’s Wife.

You grew up in Hollywood. How did that happen?

My grandparents met on the vaudeville circuit. Grandma was a dancer and my grandfather was a concert violinist from Hungary: Duci deKerekjarto (how’s that for a last name?) Duci immigrated to make his mark in Hollywood, which is how our family ended up there. He remained friends with another Hungarian performer, a Shakespearean actor named Bela Lugosi. (Yes, the original Dracula.) Bela died before I was born, but my mom remembers sitting on his lap and calling him Uncle Bela.

My own minor brush with fame came on the day I was born. Michael Landon Jr. and I were in the same hospital nursery in neighboring bassinets. My Aunt Karen nearly passed out when she realized proud father Michael Sr. was standing at the window next to her!

Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer! The Pastor's Wife is an entertaining read, full of clean romance and restoration. It might even give you a new appreciation for what your pastor and his wife face!

Jennifer's next scheduled blog tours can be found at:

Christine Cain - http://liztolsma.blogspot.comFebruary 17 - D'Ann Mateer/Five Bazillion and One - http://fivebazillionandone.blogspot.comFebruary 19 - Miralee Ferrell - www.miraleeferrell.comFebruary 20 - Edwina Cowgill/Musings of Edwina - http://musingsofedwina.blogspot.comFebruary 22 - Pam Meyers/A Writer’s Journey - http://www.pammeyerswrites.blogspot.comFebruary 23 - Debra Vogts/Country at Heart - http://deborahvogts.blogspot.comFebruary 24 - Ane Mulligan/Novel Journey - http://www.noveljourney.blogspot.comFebruary 25 - Christa Allan - 26 - Peg Phifer/Sips 'n' Cups Cafe - http://www.sipsncupscafe.comFebruary 27 - Jeannie Campbell/The Character Therapist -

Contact Jennifer in cyberspace:
website -
personal blog -
group blog -
Facebook -
Twitter -

You can purchase The Pastor's Wife online at: - -

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