Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader and volunteers with the elderly playing her designed The Write Word Game. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.
Author: Lisa Samson
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
“’That’s what drives a guy like Rick into the shed and cuts him off from his wife and his kids. Thinking he’ll find God if he can just shut the world out. But what if God’s waiting … not in here” - tapping my chest – ‘but out there?’” Beth ponders in Lisa Samson’s novel, The Sky Beneath My Feet.
At three hundred and ten pages, this paperback book has an old VW bus with an ichthys on the bumper as it is parked at the beach, although in the story the vehicle is never there. With no profanity or overtly sexual scenes, the book discusses topics such as premarital pregnancy, marijuana, drug abuse and marital struggles so may be targeted toward mature Christian women. This reader wishes all pronouns in regard to God would be capitalized out of reverence.
In this fifth novel of Samson, Beth writes in first person and has a plateful of problems in her life. Not only is her husband, men’s pastor at their large community church, searching for a closer relationship to God, but her younger sixteen year old son is dabbling in drugs, her older son is falling in love for the first time with a free-spirited college age woman and she is going through her own self-absorbed mid-life crisis.
It’s not that Rick, her spontaneous, handsome husband, has moved into the backyard shed to shut out the world so he can get God’s answer about accepting a pastoral job in another state, nor is it Beth’s sarcastic, sometimes judgmental and humorous viewpoint of her family, friends and neighbors as she looks for some sort of sanity and self-purpose to her crazy life. But as a pastor’s wife, having a pastor husband and supposedly perfect family, she is not put on a pedestal like so many presume – in this tome, she is thinks and acts like each of us most likely do.
Without mentioning studying her Bible for answers, never praying with her husband for mutual guidance or even listening during a church sermon on marriage that she attends, Beth is on her own quest to find her purpose in life. Through attending a peace rally, helping a young drug addict on the wrong side of the tracks or remunerating about her husband and sons’ faults, she seems to blame others, only to escape to Florida with a girlfriend, resulting in an epiphany.
It is not until her husband is uprooted from realizing it is not all about him as he is forced to help others that the real puzzle of Beth’s life aligns perfectly with her and those around her. Without condemnation, a reader may find more solace and understanding of her husband’s albeit strange soul searching than Beth’s easy-breezy thinking, avoidance to confront her family, fear of being accepted or rarely acknowledging God attitude.
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