The Desire by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley

Allan and Michele have been trying to have children for almost two years. For Allan, who is currently focused on his missions work in Africa, this does not seem like such a long time. For Michele, however, who desires children almost more than anything else, this seems like eternity. As both struggle to communicate the deepest longings within their hearts to one another, they discover they are growing distant in their marriage. Additionally, Michele’s parents find themselves suddenly caring for a single, pregnant female, inviting this young girl to be a part of their family.   As Michele befriends her, she learns much about herself and her wishes for a child. But Allan’s focus on the children in Africa takes a surprising turn. Unexpectedly, both Allan and Michele realize their deepest desires may be for something neither of them had ever anticipated.

The Desire, according to the authors’ notes, is loosely based on true accounts of infertility among Christian couples as well as mission’s work in Africa. This history allows the reader to more fully appreciate the sensitive nature in which the authors handle two delicate issues in today’s culture. However, although the storyline is carefully written, this particular reader found some content to be much too preachy for a fiction novel, perhaps better suited for even a nonfictional account of couples struggling with infertility. Allan’s character is somewhat unlikable, although he redeems himself a bit near the end of the book. The writing style is very simplistic and straightforward; yet some readers may find themselves moved emotionally if this topic is personal. The final few chapters of the book were the best parts of the novel and redeemed its cliché and one-dimensional plotline slightly. Overall, this book is probably best recommended only for those who enjoy reading pastoral accounts of current Christian struggles.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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