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Relational expert Chapman rewrites his core message in fiction, teaming with prolific Christian novelist Palmer in this first in a projected tetralogy highlighting the concepts taught in Chapman's The Four Seasons of a Marriage. The plot and characters evince Chapman's thesis that marriage is a journey back and forth through different "seasons," while the neighborhood of Deep Water Cove and little town of Tranquility, Mo., provide the settings. Five local women start a club ("TLC") to help one another through problems in their relationships and their community. In a squeaky-clean nod to Desperate Housewives, a charming handyman is steaming things up with Brenda Hansen. Meanwhile, romance is brewing for Patsy Pringle, who runs Just As I Am, a "faith-based beauty experience." Palmer's descriptions can go over the top; the obligatory "autumn" character "was a windblown shock of wheat, a ripe apple hanging heavy on the tree, a mourning dove that gathered her little ones close about her and cooed in the wind." A homeless, mentally handicapped man gives Palmer some engaging opportunities to flesh out the other characters as they respond to his plight. However, the novel's scenes too often conspire to illustrate a counseling point, and the included study guide reinforces the idea that this is self-help disguised as fiction. (Jan.)
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GARY CHAPMAN is the author of the New York Times bestselling The Five Love Languages book series. He is the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc., and travels around the world presenting seminars. Gary's radio program airs on more than 100 stations. For more information, visit (www.garychapman.org.) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.See all Product Description