Trish Ingram has a secret. Beneath the facade of the perfect housewife lies a woman who is emotionally insecure, battling her own feelings of doubt and discouragement, wondering if she’ll ever really measure up to the standards she has placed on herself because of her past. Her need to remain in control at all times has alienated her from her family and friends, who feel that she is reluctant to give of herself. But if she opens up and becomes vulnerable, she’ll get hurt … so she believes. She maintains her distance for her own self-preservation until a good friend, her terminally ill sister-in-law, helps her to realize that life is about loving and losing and regaining, and that nothing is worth having if you can’t be yourself with those who love you.
Author Lori Nawyn brings to life a story that will touch your heart as you watch Trish face her past and learn to take baby steps toward the goal of reuniting herself with her estranged family, trusting them to love her even though she is human, and learning to love herself as well.
I chose to mention this book on our marriage blog because of the valuable lessons it teaches about marriage and complete openness with our spouses. In the book, Trish believes that she must keep herself bottled up, never showing her real feelings to anyone, and that she will be loved as long as everything is perfect. She immerses herself in decorating and cooking and all the outward appearances of the holiday season without letting the joy of Christmas into her heart, and as a result, her husband and daughter feel as though she’s shutting them out of her life. It made me stop and think – how often do we use our daily tasks and pressing to-do lists as excuses to shut people out of our lives? Do we allow ourselves to get so caught up in the minutia of life that we forget who loves us most, and who needs us most?
I think it’s safe to say that we all have things from our pasts we’d just as soon put behind us, but have we brought them along with us instead, allowing them to become stumbling blocks in our forward progression? When we chain ourselves down with guilt or despair over things that happened years ago, are we punishing those people who are with us now?
I enjoyed this novel for the things it taught me. I appreciated watching Trish’s journey out of darkness and toward a bright future as she learned to trust. And I appreciated the way it made me think about my own relationships and strengthened my desire to focus on the future and making it as bright as I can.
I did not receive a copy of this book for review – I read it pre-publication courtesy of the author.