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The stay-at-home mom of six boys, Laurie Wright loves her house in August, Ga., her children and her husband, Greg. But she doesn't love herself. And since he's lost his job, Greg has become abusive. She's prayed for help, but God hasn't answered. But when Laurie gets a parttime job and Greg lands an out-of-state job, she believes God has finally heard her. She takes time for herself, loses 30 post-pregnancy pounds and finds an online-chat buddy, John, who encourages her more than Greg ever has.

Greg can barely make ends meet for his family, though he'll do whatever it takes to save face from his caustic, judgmental father. When he loses his job, he loses control. He hurts Laurie and alienates the one person who believed in him. He takes a lucrative position in Chicago, hoping to salvage their relationship. But the distance drives Laurie toward the affections of another man.

Haley presents timely questions. What constitutes adultery? Does separation restore marriage bonds or stretch them apart? What do you do when you can't hear God's voice? But Laurie's character is too complex for the tidy resolution at the end. She needs to make a decision about her life, not allow someone else to do it for her. (Nov., 272 pp., $15.00)
Reviewed by: 
Dee Y. Stewart