Ivy Schneider's dreams are drowning under the responsibilities of kids, an ailing mom, self-centered siblings and a family restaurant on the ropes. But she could cope—she really could—if her husband Rusty stood beside her.

For three years, he's been touring with a gospel quartet, with stops home every few months. Until Ivy finds fellowship in a group of other women "sandwiched" between the demands of raising children and caring for aging parents, she doubts she'll survive with her sanity—much less her faith—intact.

Normally, Samson's books are a delight from start to finish, but slogging through the first chapters here is a chore. Ivy's bitterness overpowers any discernable plot. Fortunately, linear events emerge that offer the story definition, and a gradual mellowing in tone gives the main character appeal. The ending goes a long way toward redeeming the beginning. (Jun., 352 pp., $13.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill Elizabeth Nelson