Today the spotlight shines on............................Nick Shepherd & Maura Sullivan
Jennifer AlLee's novel, The Pastor's Wife is garnering terrific reviews highlighting the authenticity of the characters and the genuine love story that unfolds. I'm looking forward to reading Jennifer's book so look for my review to come. Imaging Matt Damon as Nick won't be too hard a task ;-) Over to you, Jennifer:~
Brief physical description
Nick Shepherd is an average guy. He's not quite six feet tall, with sandy hair, grey-blue eyes and a great smile. What makes Nick so attractive is the depth of his compassion. Of course, that's also what gets him in trouble.
Maura Sullivan is beautiful in a girl-next-door kind of way. She's half Irish, so she's got dark hair and fair skin. But because she grew up in a California beach town, that fair skin is smattered with freckles.
When I think of Nick, I see a lighter-haired Matt Damon.
Maura's a little harder to pin down, but Evangeline Lily comes pretty close.
Strengths and weaknesses
Nick takes his commitments very seriously, which is a strength that turns into a weakness. He loves Maura, but he also feels called to care for the congregation. In his desire to live up to his own expectations of what a good pastor should be, he forgets to love his wife as Christ loved the church.
Maura is a passionate woman. She loves deeply, which means she expects the same in return. When Nick starts putting the needs of the congregation ahead of their marriage, she feels betrayed. Then, rather than talk to him about what's going on, she keeps it bottled up.
Quirk (if any)
I don't know if you'd call this a quirk, but Maura hates casseroles. When she and Nick first moved to Granger, they were inundated with food from the congregation, most of it in the form of casseroles. The refrigerator and freezer were full of them. She'll be perfectly happy if she never sees another casserole again.
Your inspiration for the character
I was a church secretary for years, so Nick and Maura were inspired by the pastors and wives I've gotten close to. None of them ever had serious marital problems that I'm aware of, but I saw how stressful their lives could be. From there, I wondered what it would be like for a young woman who discovered that being married to a pastor was nothing like she expected. The characters really took on a life of their own after that.
Background to the story
As I mentioned, I took my experiences working with pastors and started asking a lot of “what if” questions. What if a young woman thinks she knows what she's getting into, but the reality of losing who she is and becoming a “pastor's wife” is more than she can handle? What if some other tragedy pushes her over the edge? Would she run? And what would happen if she had to return to the scene of her heartbreak years later? All those questions eventually became The Pastor's Wife.
Jennifer ~ thanks so much for sharing with us. It sounds like a great book :)
On Monday, the spotlight turns to Cerella Sechrist's Sadie, Jasper & Dimitri from Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Relz Reviewz Extras
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Jennifer is kindly offering a signed copy of her novel to one of my readers!
To enter, post a comment on or before Sunday 14th February sharing what you admire in a pastor's wife! Be sure to leave contact details :)