Forgive Us This Day (Anniversary Edition), by Barbara Joe Williams, is an inspirational romance novel. In this full length novel, an expanded version of the original novel written in 2004, husband and wife, Alese and Michael, struggle to save their marriage after infidelity.
Michael is a successful business owner that has been married to Alese for sixteen years. They are in the process of adopting a little girl because Alese has been told she is unable to have children. In addition to the main story about Alese and Michael, there are several other story lines. First, there is the issue with Ma Dear, Alese’s mother, and her health. Intersected with that story is the story of Vivian and Darnell, Alese’s sister and brother-in-law and their rocky marriage because of infidelity. Added in, is also the story of Lisa, Ranetta and Jolene; old friends from college that are reconnecting since Lisa moved back to town.
This expanded version of this novel has too many story lines going on at one time. While many are interconnected, some have no actual connection to the main story and do not necessarily add anything to the novel as a whole.
I have read many inspirational books and often find them to be refreshing. That was not the case with this book. I found this novel to be a little too preachy and stereotypically hypocritical. The author seems to have included almost every Christian stereotype there was in this book. From mother’s telling their daughters that no matter what your husband does, you should forgive him and not seek to get a divorce, to women not blaming their husbands for their infidelity, but the women they cheated with. The author also included way too much description of clothing. Every outfit, and often accessories, was described in detail, down to the trim, color, material, etc. These descriptions did not add anything to the story.
While I did eventually finish the book, I actually had to stop reading the book 3 times and read other books in between. I have not read any other works by this author and am not sure if I will do so in the future.
-Reviewed by Selina