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Monday, June 29, 2009

Review - The Preacher's Wife by Cheryl St. John

Title: The Preacher’s Wife

Author: Cheryl St. John

Publisher: Steeple Hill Books

Buy The Preacher's Wife Here!

Rating: You Could Read - An Average or slightly less than average book

Reviewed by: Shawn Weisser

There was nothing remotely romantic about widowed father Samuel Hart's marriage proposal. Yet Josie Randolph said yes. The Lord had finally blessed the lonely widow with the family she'd always dreamed of. And she was deeply in love with the handsome preacher, whose high ideals inspired everyone. Surely during their long journey across the western plains to his new post her husband would grow to love her.

Each mile brought them closer to home, yet drove them further apart. Samuel didn't seem ready to open his heart again. But Josie was determined to be not just the preacher's wife, but Samuel's wife.

Another sweet romance from Steeple Hill, too sweet. Josie, the sweet widow, is nearly perfect in all ways. She is kind to a fault, she is faithful to God, and she is trusting of those around her to be as moral and God-centered as she is. She falls in love with a recently widowed preacher with three daughters and agrees to marry him and provide the girls with a mother figure out in the Wild West. The story is very sweet and the characters were quite likable. The only real problems I had with the story focused around depth. The characters were not developed enough around Josie and the setting was a bit thin as well. I would have loved to read more about how the preacher, Samuel, and Josie developed a relationship because it seemed too fast for the preacher to fall in love with her when his wife died within the months preceding meeting Josie.

From the story line, it appears Samuel adored his dead wife and mourned for her. I was surprised to read Samuel was in love with Josie without more development of the relationship during the travel to their new home. I also did not feel as though there was enough conflict between the two or surrounding the two. Each time Josie did something Samuel disliked he was able to rationalize it by attributing all of her motives to her nearly perfect faith and morality. When Josie was feeling disconnected from Samuel she showed complete restraint and understanding. These are not real people. Even in 1869, they would not have been real because people are not perfect and their emotions make for interesting reading. This was like eating angel food cake with whipped cream, sweet but no complexity.

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