Tom is unexpectedly promoted to a new job that requires change for both he and Janine. Leaving her life in Triple Creek to support her husband's career took a leap of faith for Janine and was a risk so early in the marriage. But the bigger threat comes when Janine discovers some of Tom's darkest secrets and learns valuable lessons while she was there.
Janine makes new friends in New York, but she still misses her family and friends in North Carolina. She discovers that love is not always predictable when faced with new challenges. Can love truly conquer all? Or are some things best left behind? After seeing things that shock her, Janine feels betrayed by people who she thought she could trust.
This is the second installment written by author, Deanna Martinez-Bey, and focuses on Janine, a character we met in her first book, Twinkle, Twinkle Christmas Star. Told from the perspective of Janine and her funny southern humor, this story will move you while you share in this journey of discovery, love, betrayal, and the realization that you can make anything you like out of what life gives you.
I appreciated the struggle Janine went through trying to be the 'good Christian wife', even though it was at odds at times with her customs and habits. Combining the household goods of two adults who have been on their own for a while is never easy. But there are even bigger questions. Tom gets a lucrative job offer out of state...in Yankee territory. (Ya, I'm a Southern woman.) But Janine owns a bakery that she has built from the ground up.
And yet, she decides to sell to her assistant and follow her husband. Granted, Tom does sweeten the deal by buying a bed & breakfast inn for Janine to run. She settles in there, and they begin to look for a church home. Things seem to be going swimmingly...until they're not.
Janine decides to go back to North Carolina for a visit of a few weeks and trains an employee in taking care of the business end of the inn. But while she had missed her family in NC while in NY, she also missed her husband in NY when she was on her vacation. So she goes home early for a 'sneak visit' as she is planning on going back to NC. What she found at 'home' was a shock to her. I know it was to me. I did not see that coming at all.
Having been on the receiving end of that same kind of betrayal, it was rather difficult to read. I certainly had some uncharitable, un-Christian thoughts about her husband and what should happen to him. So Janine retreats to North Carolina, to her family and friends there....and prepares to divorce Tom.
I wholeheartedly agree with that action, but divorce is still a difficult experience for people who were trying to have the whole Christian marriage package. (Not saying that other religions don't have the same experiences, but Janine's faith was very important to her.) If they made weddings half as difficult to pull off as they do divorces, the divorce rates would plummet.
While she's going through the divorce, which apparently is quite difficult in the book's world of North Carolina (something about being 'separated' for a year, I believe) Janine becomes involved with another man. At first it is innocent and Janine struggles with reconciling her faith to her new relationship.
I had difficulty reading the parts where Janine loses her faith in God due to choosing certain actions in conflict with the practice of her religion. But it was not an easy choice for her to make, and came after several instances where people she had believed to be 'Christian' were shown to be hypocrites.
In that sense, When Life Gives You Lemons, Drink Coffee! was not an easy read for me. Sometimes, it is easier to read books where life ties up pretty and shiny with wrapping paper and curling ribbon. But life has a mind of its own, and things don't always happen the way we would like them to. Ms. Martinez-Bey's book gave me a lot of food for thought and will stay with me for a long time.
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(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my objective review. This post contains affiliate links.)