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Pastors' Wives    by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen order for
Pastors' Wives
by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen
Order:  USA  Can
Plume, 2013 (2013)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Author Lisa Takeuchi Cullen is not a pastor's wife, although she writes very knowingly about those women who stand behind their husbands, doing chores behind the pulpit that most of the parishioners never know of or acknowledge. Their men's first thought is that they are married to God. Their second thought is that they are married to their wives. Right order or not?

The problem here is that God seems to take up most of the men's time and little is left for their families. Wives are supposed to understand that and, as a result, live essentially a lonely family life.

Cullen has interviewed many, many pastor's wives and has woven a fictional story around what she gleaned from those encounters. Three women's lives come together at a Southern megachurch where the pastor's wife, Candace, runs the whole shebang with an iron fist. She makes it work while her husband beguiles those who depend on him for their religious life.

Enter Ginger, a daughter-in-law with a very shady past and her husband Timothy, who has left her transgressions well behind them. Then there is Ruthie, married to Jerry who was recently hired at the megachurch - Ruthie is suffering from a crisis of faith.

All three wonder at the price of loving a man of God. They are caught between the demands on their husband's time in the pursuit of his devotion and their duty to him and the church. And love fits in there somewhere.

Cullen has not left her sense of humor behind her in a pew. Pastors' Wives proves to be a thought-provoking novel as well as a very good story with some delightful and humorous passages. After reading it, you might take a different look at your own pastor's wife. One must be dedicated to love a man of the cloth.

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