Yet another review that was supposed to be up in October/early November. Work has me busy.
Disclaimer: A Reason to Stay, by Kellie Coates Gilbert, was provided by Revell in exchange for an honest review.
As an investigative reporter and the host of her own TV talk show, Faith Marin works to expose the truth for her viewers. But in her personal life, she’s anchored her world with firm boundaries in order to hide a family history she’d like to forget. By contrast, her husband Geary’s life is an open book. An easygoing pro bass fisherman, Geary is the ultimate family man—and his overbearing relatives don’t know the meaning of boundaries. Faith and Geary haven’t been married long when their differences start to derail their tender relationship. Surely love shouldn’t be this hard. While Faith considers whether divorce is the only answer to their issues, tragedy strikes. With her life in the balance, she finds that the one she has been shutting out may be the very one she cannot bear to lose.
Despite the presence of a writing style that I cannot stand, A Reason to Stay gripped me almost immediately and carried me along for an interesting, and at times slightly emotional, ride. Writing about a marriage that’s off-kilter from the start is difficult, and it’s especially difficult to make it seem realistic, yet Gilbert does it well, making sure to show that despite her faults, Faith is not all to blame for the troublesome marriage. Gilbert shows Geary’s faults as well, as difficult as it is when the book is taking place from Faith’s point of view.
The way their marriage is resolved is a tad melodramatic in my opinion—I would have preferred a less injurious route, but at least Faith’s change and desire to keep her marriage together is developed well. And although most failing marriages aren’t likely to resolve quite the same way, it does show some insight into how a crumbling relationship can be made whole again.
Also, I enjoyed the fact that the novel takes place in Houston, which is where I am currently living. I recognized many of the landmarks in the novel, which was pretty cool.
The main problem I had with A Reason to Stay was the writing, but its content is well-done and engaging and has a lot of good things to say about compromise, giving-and-taking in a relationship, and the determination that’s behind a solid marriage. I’d read more by Kellie Coates Gilbert.
My rating: 3/5
Warnings: Some sexual implications. This is about a married couple, you know.
Genre: Realistic, Christian
You can buy this here: A Reason to Stay