Here is a brief description of Need You Now:
When big-city life threatens the safety of one of their children, Brad and Darlene Henderson move with their three teenagers from Houston to the tiny town of Round Top, Texas.
Adjusting to small-town life is difficult for the kids, especially fifteen-year-old Grace who is coping in a dangerous way.
Married life hasn’t always been bliss, but their strong faith has carried them through the difficult times. When Darlene takes a job outside the home for the first time in their marriage, the domestic tension rises.
While working with special needs children at her new job, the widowed father of one of Darlene’s students starts paying more attention to her than is appropriate. Problem is, she feels like someone is listening to her for the first time in a long time.
If Darlene ever needed God . . . it’s now.
Experience a family’s triumphant defeat over lies, betrayal, and loss while still clinging to the One who matters most.
Need You Now is a story of a small family but very much focused on the main character, Darlene, hence you can say it is more suitable for women. I can quite connect with Darlene as she is also a mother. Darlene and her family moved to the suburbs after their kids had some problems in the big city. Her husband worked hard and long hours while she stayed at home as a homemaker for many years. The story started with her getting a part time job that she loved but also took her time away from her family, and her attention away from her husband. Then there was another man involved that made things complicated. Amidst all her family problems, Darlene found solace in the friendship of her neighbour but quickly had to face a loss that seemed hopeless. Somehow at the end of the story, hope was found in God again.
I first read this book without realising that Beth Wiseman normally writes Amish stories, but this one is not. This story is more a contemporary fiction about the modern American family. The story started as intriguing and caused me to be unable to put it down. Darlene is quite a perfect housewife and mother in the beginning, cooking for her family and taking care of house chores, whilst never forgetting to cover them with prayers daily. Then the story took a twist to show that no woman (or man) is perfect whatever their beliefs. Darlene had to deal with thoughts of infidelity and even made a grave mistake that nearly broke down her marriage with the seemingly perfect partner. I liked that the author created imperfections in the lives of a Christian family that would have been hidden from the people around them. It just made the story all the easier to identify with and all the more real. Darlene have 3 kids and all 3 of them had their share of problems in the story. It is as if she weaved the story with practical parenting tips and at the same time exposing the reader’s thoughts about our own parenting skills.
For example, when I read about how Darlene and Brad dealt with the kids, I wondered about my own ways of dealing with my kids. The most apparent problem in this story is faced by their second child, and it is a psychological problem that needed counseling. At the end of the book, Beth included ways to help if our kids faced the same problem or if we knew of others that are facing it. I think that is really helpful. Before reading this, I never knew of such a psychological condition and didn’t know how common it was happening with kids and teenagers. It kind of helped me to realise how important it is to allow my kids to express themselves and how not to condition them to think they need to be perfect at all times, because if so, they would never expose the real feelings they have. In a way, reading parenting stuffs in a fiction, I guess is so much more entertaining and less heavy. So I think this book is rather suitable for all mothers with kids, whether you believe in the ways of the Amish or not. (Note: This is Beth Wiseman’s first non-Amish fiction).