The Sky Beneath My Feet by Lisa Samson
Here’s the tag line, which kept me reading the description of Lisa Samson’s The Sky Beneath My Feet: Being married to a saint isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.
And here’s the description, which made me request this book.
“Beth’s husband won’t be joining the family on vacation at the beach this year. He’s not even joining them in the house. Instead, Rick has holed up alone in the backyard shed. Nobody knows exactly what he’s up to. Maybe he’s immersing himself in prayer. Maybe he’s lost his mind. Maybe he’s even the modern-day prophet or the saint the neighborhood artist imagines him to be. But while ‘St. Rick’ waits for an epiphany, Beth will have to figure out what to do with herself and their teenage sons, possibly for the rest of her life.”
Even though I don’t directly relate to this description—on any level—I was intrigued by the premise. This lady’s husband went to live in the yard? How ridiculous!
And I have to say, the first 12 chapters held my interest. Beth, the protagonist, is married to a pastor but isn’t the way I have experienced/imagined pastor’s wives to be. She’s relateable, funny, sarcastic, and even irreverent. She also uses hip phrases like “Confession:” and interacts with Christian swag ironically. So I felt a bit kindred with her, despite having nothing in common.
The supporting characters in the book were (for the most part) interesting as well. Some were more interesting than others but all had a few ounces of crazy in them to make sure not even one character was normal. Maybe that’s true about all of us, I don’t know. But after a while I started hating how “quirky” everyone was. In their own unique way of course.
The quirkiest character of them all was St. Rick, who bailed on real life in favour of hanging out in the shed. The book makes it feel like it was for ages but when I went back and checked this all took place over a span of three weeks.
And then I thought, OK I’ve gone without my husband for three weeks before and my life doesn’t fall apart. In fact three weeks is not very long at all. So, what’s wrong with this lady? Does she have ZERO identity or personality outside of her husband?
So by chapter 12 I began to turn on Beth. Her constant whining about her situation no longer inspired support—in fact it inspired eye rolling—and I found myself yelling at my e-reader “Just go to Florida already, stop WHINING about it!”
Oh yeah, for some reason her reluctance to go for a 12-hour drive to Florida was a major story line in this book, although I cannot figure out why it was so important. Sure she had an epiphany while there but could that have happened somewhere else? Yes, I think so.
But before I get too mean, I have to say apart from a few problems in the plot it was a good read for the most part. The writing is tight, and I usually knew who was speaking (although sometimes I do need a name attached to a sentence, especially when there are four people in a conversation) and understood the underlying motives behind character’s actions.
As well it was a quick read. I think it took me three days and I probably would have got through it faster if I had stayed engaged past chapter 12.
For me the real tragedy in this story is when Beth begins dealing with her feelings of being robbed of her hopes/dreams it really doesn’t go anywhere. She states the feelings, then the story reconciles and is wrapped up neatly with a bow. Literally everything was wrapped up with a bow. It happened quickly and after a couple hundred pages of build-up the end was a complete anti-climax.
Also you have to have some basic knowledge of Quakers if you’re going to bond with Beth. I have zero knowledge apart from the picture of that guy on the oats but Beth never tells me what a Quaker is, let alone why it causes friction between her and St. Rick, or why it makes her different. No reference point.
Anyway, so I did enjoy the book but feel it wrapped up too quickly, and too neatly.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.