One home, two hearts, and the power of a promise kept . . .
For the last five months, Tom Anderson has been without a job, a fact he's been hiding from his wife Jean--and everyone else. He leaves each morning, pretending nothing has changed, and spends his disheartening day rotating through coffee shops and the library, using their wifi to search job listings online. The stress of keeping this secret is beginning to put serious strain on his marriage.
But Tom's not the only one hiding something. Jean Anderson has a secret of her own--one that will seriously complicate their situation. Will the promises they made on their wedding day hold firm?
MY REVIEW-This is one of those books that leaves you fulfilled and yet wanting at the end. I know those are oxymorons, but I am dead serious when I say it. I was blessed to be able to read the first one in the series, The Dance, and I totally fell in love with it from the beg. And you know how it is, when one book in a series is really good and then the next one isn't too good? Well, I was kinda worried about that with The Promise. I mean, I really, really liked the first one! What if this one was no good? I had no need to worry:) Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley came through with flying colors! I might even like this one better than the first!
The Promise begins about 7 months after The Dance ends. We see Jim and Marylin on their second honeymoon while things are complicated with their children. Especially Tom. He has lost his job and thought he would get another one quickly and didn't need to tell his wife, Jean. But soon 5 months passed by and he still hasn't told her. He leaves every day dressed for work and then goes to a cafe looking for jobs on the internet. He tells himself he is hiding it to protect Jean, but there is something much more to his feelings.
And on the other side of the marriage, Jean is getting more and more unsatisfied. She has fears that their marriage is falling apart or that Tom might even be seeing another woman. She isn't sure what she has done or what has put Tom in such a bad mood. And she has her own secret as well. But she can't talk to her husband. She feels like he is too much like Jim used to be and is stern and unloving.
There is so much in this story I can't even start to tell it all. You feel Tom's fears about bills to pay and no money to do it with. His sense of failure at not finding another job when it should be so easy. You also liken yourself to Jean who feels like her marriage is falling apart and bewildered at how to change things. And you also have Jim and Marylin who have made huge strides in their relationship and how they treat each other. Marlyin has come to see the change in her husband is for good and she doesn't have to fear him anymore. But she also has the fear of Tom turning out the same way. You can identify with any of these people and we all know many who could be them. It also goes to show that you never know what is going on in someone else's life. What they are hiding behind that smile could be a lot of pain and fear. We all have them and can relate to the characters. I can't wait for the next book in the series and to see what Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley have in store for their readers. I have included a quote below that is taken from parts in one section. Jim is giving some advice to another man who is having trouble with his marriage. I just loved this and wanted to post it. It would be good for us all to take it to heart, and not just for married couples.
"We make the mistake of thinking communication is about understanding their words. But the truth is, good communication is more than that. It's about understanding the feelings behind those words. It's about listening to her heart, not just the things she says. And it definitely is not about you making sure she understands and agrees with what you're saying. The starting point is simple. It's not making her see your points, it's about understanding her heart, and then not reacting in anger and getting defensive when she finally does open up and share what's bothering her."
Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**