Never the Bride by Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge
Jessie Stone has one goal in life: to get married. She has a decent job and friends, but she isn't satisfied. She speed dates and has a dating website profile to fill her time. All the while dreaming about her fantasy life and writing it down in her journal with her purple feather pen.
She has no marital prospects. Except her life long best friend Blake whom she has secretly had a crush on for a while. She makes the natural assumption that God has simply forgotten to write her love story, so she tries to write her own. That is until God shows up in the flesh and asks for her purple pen so He can write her story. He gives her 24 hours to decide.
Nearing the end of the allotted time Jessie decides to give God a try. And how else do you give it to him except breaking into His house (aka a church) and leaving it there? Maybe she should have taken into account the silent alarm system.
Soon after that Jessie spontaneously decides to quit her job and start her own business. She is going to rent space in her friend Malia's (Blake's mom's) flower shop. She is going to help men create dream proposals. She's basically the wedding planner for the proposal. She's also blogging now too, one of the things God told her to do.
She still wrestles with the fact that God isn't writing what she wants. She knows how her story should go and still tries to make it so. Even fooling herself into thinking some things are God's will simply because she's tired of waiting.
A guy that Jessie dates takes her to a restaurant with a bar atmosphere that makes her feel uncomfortable.
After an embarrassing situation with Blake and his girlfriend, Jessie tells Brooklyn she wants to try Brooklyn's lifestyle. While this brings Brooklyn to realize how Jessie has felt over the years trying to keep her out of trouble. I am frankly disappointed in our main character.
Jessie's sister Brooklyn participates in some very questionable activities which are mentioned in the book, but not condoned.
While the book talks about people getting back in church and straightening their lives out, there isn't a clear gospel message.
What I Loved:
Many times we wish God would just tell us to our face exactly what to do. But Jessie realized that she didn't listen to God any more even when He did. God has given us the Bible and Holy Spirit, we wouldn't listen any more is He did show up in person.
There is a common plot line among romantic comedies. The girl was a tomboy growing up who has a guy best friend. The guy best friend still thinks of her as a tomboy, but falls in love with her by the end of the book. This book was different. The ending surprised, and delighted me with its twist.
The book is laugh out loud hilarious! I was cackling almost non stop.
Over the years Jessie collected 52 greeting cards for her future husband. How cute is that?!
Love isn't always easy, God made this clear to Jessie. Her future husband wasn't going to be perfect, and she would be annoyed at times. That's something we need to hear. We can't expect people to be perfect, but we need to love them anyway.
God has a far better plan for our lives than we could ever make for ourselves. He wants to give us that life, but we have to let Him. The purple pen is a perfect metaphor for that.
The fact that God appeared as a man may be controversial. God doesn't really do that. But in the context of the novel it was a good way to get you thinking of how much we wrestle with what God wants us to do. We know His way is best, yet we lack the faith to believe it.
Have you read the book? What are your thoughts?