Monday, June 15, 2009

McKay and Gutteridges' Never the Bride ~ Reviewed

Never the Bride
By Cheryl McKay & Rene Gutteridge
Published by: Water Brooke
ISBN# 978-0-307-44498-1
320 Pages

Back Cover:

Since she was just a little girl, Jessie Stone dreamed up hundreds of marriage proposals, doodled the romantic ideas in her journal with her treasured purple pen, and fantasized about wedding dresses and falling in love. She’s been a bridesmaid nearly a dozen times, waved numerous couples off to sunny honeymoons, and shopped in more department stores for half-price fondue pots than she cares to remember.

But shopping for one key component of these countless proposals hasn't been quite as productive–a future husband. The man she thought she would marry cheated on her. The crush she has on her best friend Blake is at very best…well, crushing. And speed dating has only churned out memorable horror stories.

So when God shows up one day, in the flesh, and becomes a walking, talking part of her life, Jessie is skeptical. What will it take to convince her that the Almighty has a better plan than one she’s already cooked up in her journals? Can she turn over her pen and trust someone else to craft a love story beyond her wildest dreams?


“You don’t know me yet, so there is no reason you should care that I’m stuck on a highway with a blowout. But maybe we can relate to each other.” Don’t you just love these first lines of the book? They totally made me want to know what happened next. This story definitely went in a direction I didn’t expect, and I was pleasantly surprised!

This book reminded me of the movie Evan Almighty. Evan realized that strange things were happening in his life. They really got weird when he met God. Then God wanted him to build an ark. Jessie isn’t asked to build an ark but God asks impossible things of her- or so she thinks.

Authors Cheryl and Rene describe the single life and how people are creative about meeting one another. They describe the Valentines rush dating process that is hysterical and sad all at the same time. One friend says,” …you can tell a lot about a guy by what he asks you.” Boy is that so true.

Here’s what Jessie thinks of God, “God has never been in the business of coming to my rescue. Or doing anything for me, for that matter.” So, why should she listen to Him now? It’s probably not Him- she thinks …just the return of her childhood imaginary friend. It could happen. Or she could be going crazy! She was rooting for the imaginary friend.

Jessie argues with God when she says,” Everything I’ve accomplished in my life, I’ve done myself. Me. Alone. Why should I trust you..?”

I loved what she thinks God is saying to her; “You haven’t asked me for help…Of course, you can keep doing things your way. Is that’s working for you.”

I remember this very statement being said to me,” Is what your doing working for you, Nora?” It really stopped me in my tracks. No, it hadn’t been working at all!! I had to surrender my will for His. That’s what God is asking her to do too. Jessie thinks this is the craziest thing on the planet to do..surrender?…never! “I’m a woman. In case you didn’t notice. I don’t have to make sense.” Jessie has all the answers—or so she thinks! Grin!

This story will touch your heart, make you laugh out loud and choke you up and bring happy tears to your eyes. The Lord touched me deeply when I read about Jessie’s struggles in life and how God was trying to get her attention. Oh, Lord if I only listened to you when you told me to do things the first time. The Lord loves us so much if we all could get a hold of that concept the world would be a different place.

God is the ultimate gentleman, patiently waiting for us to run into His arms of Love; where we can feel safe, secure, deeply and utterly loved. I don’t know about you, but I want that. This book reminds me of when I first received God’s love in my heart and realized how much God loves me. It reminded me I’m not alone in the struggle to do what He’s asked me to do….no matter what it is. You’ll want to read this over and over again. This books a keeper.

Reviewed by: Nora St. Laurent
Book Club Servant Leader

Bonus Review:

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Fabulously fun read and eye opening for some introspective. When I first picked up this book I was thinking of the film "27 Dresses" then as I started to read I was thinking of "My Best Friend's Wedding". As far as entertainment this book is up there with those films if not even more enjoyable. What would you do if God started appearing to just you to tell you to let Him write 'your' love story? That is what Jessie has to decide and it is quite the emotional adventure watching what she will end up doing and how her life may turn out.

I read this book in a day, with my five week old daughter's interruptions. I just had to continuously pick the book back up and keep reading to find out what would happen next. It is just that good! And oh what a romance! And comedy *grin*. There is such a fight to make your own path in life and fight the direction that God gives us. This is a novel about learning to let Him guide us and how His plans will make us happy if we will just let Him participate in the planning.

Finishing this novel, I cannot help but grin and giggle to myself. This is my first experience with Rene Gutteridge and Cheryl McKay, yet definitely not my last!

Reviewed by: Margaret Chind

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