Monday, May 20, 2013

Pastors' Wives Book Review and Ipad Mini Giveaway

Why I liked this Book:

Intriguing Characters:
In this book we follow three women all of whom are the wives of pastors.  They are all linked up together in this mega church that seems to be as popular as one being the president!
 Each of these woman present to us a different perspective of being a pastors' wife. At first we are met with Candace. Candace who is by far exudes the perfection of being the ideal of everything a pastor's wife ought to be.  She is somewhat cold, calculating, and in control of her emotions, thoughts, and actions in every way it seems.  When it comes to her family she is passionate and loves them with a fierceness, but to others she seems to be distant and observant.  She is in a sense takes on being the pastor's wife to the fullest in all its seriousness.  She directs and orchestrates everything so as to leave her husband free to do what God wants him to do.  She is the watchful eye of the whole mega church it seems!   Inwardly she is always thinking "what can she do", "what is her purpose?".  I feel like this is one of my favorite parts about her, is that she always asks herself what her purpose is. 
 Next is Ginger.  Ginger poses as the wife who is like the Martha in the Bible.  Serving, Doing, and laying down her own wants and desires for others.  She presents the wife that seems to be the wallflower.  Living underneath the pressure of Candace, she tends to judge herself and see herself through the eyes of Candace.  She feels that her life is a misery living underneath such pressures and decides to take things into her own order to find purpose in her life besides simply being there to support her husband.  She is not happy with her marriage or where she is in life--living beneath the seemingly condescending eyes of  her mother in law Candace.  
Ruthie.  Now Ruthie took me by surprise.  I cannot imagine what it would be like for a marriage to take on such change so quick.  From ordinary woman and then become a pastor's wife in such a short amount of time!  I do not know how I would take that news that life as I knew it would be so changed!  What is more, is that from the beginning to the end she is struggling with one thing.  Faith.  Her faith in God.  Her struggle in this all is almost like fitting in.  She is a catholic unsure of her place in this megachurch.  She also considers whether or not she belongs in such a place with her husband. 
I am able to relate to these characters:
 Maybe there is a Candace in every woman's mind including a pastor's wife.  That perfect wife who is poised and in control of emotions and thoughts.   I feel like she is incredulously perfect and I tend to hate her for it!   Then towards the book events happen that make realize that indeed that even Candace is a human and has faults here and there and does have her breakdowns. 
 I can understand through Ginger's life how maybe a wife can feel the pressure of family members, congregation, and friends.  That we become miserable under that scrutiny!  Not to mention carrying a burden from her past.  I feel like as women we tend to forget to forgive ourselves for sins and mistakes in the past.  It can weigh us down if we do not believe in the grace and forgiveness of God.  Another thing I learned through her life was that perhaps being under the shadow of her husband can be hard and tough.  Not that we do not support our  husband, but not seeing that we have a purpose as an individual can be a nightmare.  I loved seeing her struggles, and cheered for her when she started taking a stand.  There has to be a balance in the family--even if one is marrried to a pastor who is married to God!  
Through Ruthie's life I can identify being in new places and not quite fitting in.  Her faith in God is challenged and she is faced with the very real choice of does she even believe in God?    I have never thought the wives of pastors could ever be faced with even a simple concept of faith in God.  
Unexpected Plot:
I could not believe where the author, Lisa Cullen, took us!  It was exciting and also unexpected outcome for all three of these ladies!  I loved how the turn out was...and all their struggles sort of came to a head and surprised me.  Though it always seems that something so big as a mega church needs something big as what happened to Candace's husband, Aaron Green.   I felt myself really liking the ending a lot. 

Overall I did enjoy this book.  The middle parts of the book sort of felt long to me, and took me a while to get through, but the intensity of the plot got me going.  I just needed to find out what happened to these women!  I am not sure about what it is like to be in a mega church, and it is a bit disturbing that pastors are treated as mega super stars.  Not that they aren't awesome or good or even humble, but it does really put them on a pedestal.  I would also be so afraid to meet their wife! Haha I do not want to meet a Candace anytime soon.  I sort of feel like I wish I could get to know some of the real women who are pastors' wives.  It would be neat to get a real non fictitious outlook at their lives.  For me it feels like I would not want to get into the hype of a mega church...for I felt like some of the things that might go on would be very superficial and for a wow factor.

But what really got me was the passionate search for who they are in all this.  Each woman's devotion and love to their husband and duty to find their faith in the midst of their struggles took a hold of me.  I really felt that Ruthie's part in this book made me feel like she was mirroring the Author's voice, thoughts and opinions in it all.  I loved it and felt that each of these women were extraordinary in their own way as they faced their struggles.
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Meet Author Lisa (From the Litfuse Website):

Lisa Takeuchi Cullen was a longtime staff writer for TIME magazine. She now develops TV pilots for production companies and recently sold her first pilot for "The Ordained" to CBS. Born in Japan, Cullen lives in New Jersey with family.

Lisa Takeuchi Cullen was born and raised in Kobe, Japan. Her father was a Roman Catholic priest from Philadelphia, sent by his religious order to a provincial city in southern Japan where he met Cullen’s mother, the coddled daughter of a wealthy merchant. She converted, he left the priesthood to marry her, and it all caused quite the scandal. As if in penance, they raised the four children in strict devotion, never allowing them to miss a Mass or their turn at the dinner-table Bible reading.
As she was in the beginning stages of writing Pastors’ Wives, several intense life changes lit in her a profound need to reconcile her faith: the loss of her mother to cancer, her father’s death nine months later, the birth of her second child, and leaving her job as a staff writer at Time magazine. Cullen feels that in many ways writing Pastors’ Wives saved her. Through the characters and their journeys in faith, she was able to examine her own.

Cullen was a foreign correspondent and staff writer for Time magazine, covering social trends, news, arts and business in the U.S. and Asia. Her first book, Remember Me: A Lively Tour of the New American Way of Death, was about the year she spent crashing funerals and was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick. She now writes novels and develops television pilots. Pastors’ Wives is her first novel, and Lisa recently sold a pilot about a former priest who becomes a lawyer to CBS. Production on the first episode of The Ordained is now in production.  Cullen lives in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters.

Find out more about Lisa at

Disclosure : I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."