From Publishers Weekly
Ellis's heartfelt but predictable debut follows 31-year-old Marley Shepherd, a Spelman graduate and attorney with a major Atlanta law firm, who is about to marry Gerrard Shore, the favorite son of one of the city's prominent developers. Atlanta's black elite believes that Gerrard, who also works in real estate development, is quite a catch, and their parents toast the handsome pair as "the couple of the century." Yet Marley is plagued with doubts about Gerrard, who calls her "my earth" but spends very little time with her, saying that business comes first. These doubts are echoed by her down-to-earth friend, Ashley, a kindergarten teacher, and her wise, no-nonsense grandmother, Ma Grand. Marley, haunted by her own parents' divorce, fears a loveless marriage but feels paralyzed-part of her is still swooning over Gerrard like a schoolgirl, and besides, the wedding means so much to her striving mother. Marley's faith in Gerrard, in herself and in God is tested by her mother's diagnosis of cancer and by her friendship with Lazarus Jacobs, rising businessman and member of Gilead's Balm Church. Readers will be able to see the moral coming from miles-or hundreds of pages-away, and the novel is further marred by stock characters and some stilted dialogue (says Ashley of her students, "It's such a mutually beneficial relationship because I get to teach them what they need to know and their innocent little spirits lighten my heart"). Ellis writes with warmth and earnestness, however, and readers will identify with Marley's dilemma. Those willing to indulge the novel's artistic shortcomings will find a strong affirmation of religious faith, simplicity and sincerity.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This faith-based novel, previously self-published, is about nurturing belief in God and building love and trust within your family. Marley Shepard is on the fast track to success. She is a Spelman College graduate, an attorney at a prestigious firm, and engaged to one of Atlanta's favorite sons. In spite of all that is good in her life, she has nagging doubts about her relationship. She is very close to her mother and grandmother. Even when they battle over past hurts, they love and need each other. After discussing her troubles with an older coworker, she agrees to attend church. After the service, she is introduced to the handsome Lazarus. When she finally realizes that she should not get married, she and Lazarus begin to spend time with one another and develop a strong friendship. Then her mother becomes ill, and she must rely on her faith for her own peace of mind and for her mother's recovery. Throughout all of her indecision, doubt, pain, and joy, she finds true comfort in her spirituality. Lillian LewisCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved