The Marriage Wish
I am not sure if The Marriage Wish is a straight reprint or a rewrite of a book first published in 1998. Either way, I don’t understand why they brought it back. Although a reader can respect the subject matter and the emotions of the story, the book is preachy, the writing style amateurish, and the storyline very one dimensional. Judging from most of the author’s other grades at AAR, she’s apparently come a long way since the release of her second novel in 1998.
Scott Williams has everything he could ever want in life: Friends, family, deep faith, and a great career. But Scott yearns for a wife and children and just when it seems as if his wish will never be fulfilled, Scott meets author Jennifer St. James. He knows instantly that something is not quite right with Jennifer and his heart goes out to the woman. Her eyes are full of pain and sorrow and she looks as if she needs a good meal. It is obvious that Jennifer needs Scott’s help and he is just the man to help her.
Jennifer’s life effectively ended when her husband and daughter died. She spends her days mourning and has little need for friends, men, or God. Scott, though, will not give up and leave her alone. As much as Jennifer wants to live her life in seclusion, she cannot deny her attraction and her desire to be in Scott’s company. But the guilt and sorrow will not go away – every time she leaves her home and every time she is with Scott – the painful memories return.
It doesn’t take long for Scott to realize that Jennifer is the woman for him. But before they can have a fulfilling relationship, Scott must help her move past her sorrow and anger and find happiness and faith once again. But it seems as soon as they take a step forward, Jennifer flees in the opposite direction. It is not until the unthinkable happens that Scott realizes just how he feels about Jennifer and Jennifer realizes she must either move on or be stuck forever.
There wasn’t a whole lot happening in this book since the main premise centers on Jennifer getting over her troubles. Jennifer’s constant fear of moving on eventually annoyed me, and rather than seeming flesh-and-blood, Scott’s attitude and preachy ways seemed more After School Special than anything else. The author’s prose isn’t somewhat amateurish here; her sentences short and terse, and she includes far too much detail about mundane, simple, everyday things. Too much explanation of a simple task, along with the constant use of the character’s names tended to grate while I read. To be fair, I was reading the uncorrected proofs, so we can hope that at least the name problem was caught by the editor.
At one point I thought the book was finally becoming interesting when a character discussed his partner. I assumed he was gay and when I later learned that he was a police officer (oh, that kind of partner), my disinterest resumed. I do admit, though, that since there was so much sorrow in the book, I did want to read until the very end to see if everything would turn out alright. There were some sweet moments here and any reader who has ever lost a loved one will definitely feel a kinship with Jennifer and her feelings of guilt, anger, and sorrow. But in the end, the book lacked dimension and failed to capture my attention, let alone my imagination.