Between the Covers: Stories from My Bookcase

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Faithful by Kim Cash Tate

Thank you to BookSneeze for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.


When I read the first line of the book, I found it a bit funny that it was another book that reminded me of wedding season. Smile I’d just read and reviewed and The Best Day of Someone Else’s Life, and there I was, reading about another wedding. Yet Faithful is not really about weddings, or marriages. I guess not of the husband and wife variety.

Although it talks about Cyd, a smart and beautiful 40-year old single woman who has almost given up on her dream of settling down with a husband and kids; or her friend Dana who had the perfect marriage that was all of a sudden shaken to the core; or Phyllis, who almost gave up on her husband who didn’t have the same faith in the Lord that she did, but was nonetheless faithful to their marriage, and; of the new marriage of Stephanie – Faithful is more than about being faithful to your partner. It’s about being faithful to God.

The topic of sex outside of marriage was integral to this book, and that was treated through Christian views. To be honest, it was a bit too Christian for me. What I mean is, it was quite preachy at times. Basically, it says that having sex outside of marriage (fornication) is being unfaithful to God. I’m sure that other folks that tend to be liberal would find it difficult to go through the entire novel. Surprisingly though, despite feeling it becoming preachy, I still finished it. Kudos to the author for effectively keeping the reader hooked. I guess that if you strip out the evangelization parts in the novel, anyone could relate to the stories told.

Truthfully though, I got curious, what does the Bible really say about sex? Oh well.

My favorite character in the book has got to be Phyllis because she was the one who showed the most humanity. She wasn’t perfect. She joined a Church and built her faith through its teachings while her husband remained an outsider. For years she prayed that he finds God too. But it gets to a point where their differing beliefs become a source of tension in their marriage. And when she sees another Christian man, an ideal Christian partner, she starts imagining life with him and resents her husband.

She’s my favorite and yet I hated her too. Hated that she entertained such thoughts, that she dared stay with her husband while deep inside she was judging him. The husband was not doing anything wrong, in fact it was she who was being unfaithful to their marriage. She was the Christian wife, but she was having un-Christian thoughts. Though nothing happened with her and the other man, she had already sinned against her marriage. And I don’t think she ever admitted that to her husband, or to her friends.

Still, Phyllis found a happy ending. Just as her friends did. That might be where the novel fails. I know that the message is to keep faith in the Lord because he grants your prayers only at the right time. But it doesn’t deliver the message that sometimes, the answer to our prayers is not exactly what we hoped they would be. That sometimes, the happy ending comes way after devastation.

I again found myself envying the strong bond of friendship that the women in this novel shared. In The Best Day of Someone Else’s Life,  it was Sunday nights at Clyde’s over rounds and rounds of drinks. Here, it’s in fellowship and prayer that they strengthened their bonds. Two different ways of nurturing friendships, and yet still the same.


Josie said...

Those situations really happen even in real life, this shows our human side, we decide what is wrong and what is right as we perceive them.

Vera said...

True. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Josie! :)