Instead of the typical Friday review, today we have a second book review for the week. The Baker’s Wife is Christian fiction of a slightly different sort. Author Erin Healy’s writing style focuses on spiritual dynamics that are not typically explored in everyday Christianity combined with fast-paced mystery and suspense.
In The Baker’s Wife, pastor Geoff Bofinger has been forced from the ministry by an over-zealous elder named Jack Mansfield and the lie he wholeheartedly believes to be truth. Determined to continue ministering in whatever way possible, Geoff and his wife Audrey find themselves the new owners of a local bakery, assisted in their new business endeavor by their teenage son Ed. But then a horrible accident and the disappearance of Jack Mansfield’s wife Julie threaten to unravel the Bofingers’ lives even more. Jack, also a detective, is convinced that Audrey is responsible for his wife’s disappearance and possible death. In order to save her own family’s life, Audrey must find Julie. And in order to find Julie, Audrey must embrace her gift of fully experiencing the physical, emotional, and mental sufferings of others, no matter how crazy it makes her look or how sick she becomes in the process.
The storyline of The Baker’s Wife is fascinating and well-crafted, with a mystery and intensity that will keep the reader hooked to the very end. From a spiritual standpoint, the warped theology and Scriptural understanding of Jack Mansfield is clearly contrasted with the solid, Biblical beliefs of Geoff and Audrey Bofinger.
My one complaint is that Audrey’s gifting is a bit intense. It is as if psychic characteristics were borrowed and attached to a Christian character. For this reason I would not hand this novel to young believers who do not have a decent grounding in Scripture.
That being said, however, there were several characters in The Baker’s Wife who were clearly affected by the godly example of Geoff, Audrey, and Ed Bofinger, and the impact was traced back to the fruit of the Spirit shining through their lives, not Audrey’s strange gifting. The primary impact of Audrey’s gift was two-fold: a private leadership of the Lord to show her and Geoff where prayer and ministry were needed, and a tool for solving the mystery of Julie Mansfield’s disappearance.
Update: Author Erin Healy explains Audrey Bofinger’s “gift” on her own blog in a response to one reader’s letter questioning whether or not Audrey was psychic. Her response was very enlightening! I encourage you to read her post here, and then go read The Baker’s Wife for yourself!
This book was sent to me in exchange for my honest review.