In this humorous and heartfelt novel, a beleaguered young woman must shed her career, identity, and power persona to learn how to love and forgive herself, others, and God.
At age thirty-seven, Alice Ferguson has everything an ambitious, intellectual, self-made woman could want. She has captured a career as an editor of a tabloid magazine, launched her own website full of Hollywood gossip, and even clawed her way into a second-hand pair of Prada shoes. She has also finally landed a husband—no small feat, as it required getting pregnant with his baby.
But when Alice becomes pregnant and experiences health problems, her world is turned upside down. To save her life and the life of her unborn child, she must leave Los Angeles and the stress of her bicoastal career, exchanging the late-night parties of sunny California for the suburbs of Nashville. With a weak smile and an even weaker heart, she soon finds herself living with a husband she barely knows, ensconced in a gated community brimming with perky, plastic, pony-tailed housewives. And then, at the gentle urging of a new friend, she agrees to attend church one Sunday afternoon.
What begins as an experiment beyond her comfort zone sparks something much bigger, as Alice begins to look deep within herself only to find insecurity, fear, and loneliness. One Sunday charts an endearing character’s journey from moral ambiguity through madness, tears, laughter, and heartbreak to a connection with the only One who can help heal her.
One Sunday is not a book I planned on reviewing. I’d heard about it in passing. It sounded interesting, but I already had many books on my list to review. I borrowed it from the local library because I wanted something other than review books to read. But our plans don’t often match His. So here I am, sharing this novel with you. This is a book I read in less than 24 hours and one that left me with tears in my eyes at the end.
I’ll be blunt. One Sunday is not a pretty little Christian romance. It is raw, it is gritty, and sometimes the pain is masked with humor. It talks of things that many of us wish didn’t exist, such as drugs, casual sex and abortion. But it is real and that’s one of the reasons I fell in love with this book. It is the story of a woman who made her way from being a lonely, drug-addicted adolescent to being a loving wife and mother, via a superficial existence as a trashy tabloid editor with few morals. And yes, some might consider it “preachy,” but half of the book is set during the church service Alice attends and includes the sermon she hears.
One Sunday is semi-autobiographical. Carrie Gerlach Cecil stated that she “wouldn’t classify this book as either fiction or non-fiction,” and described Alice as “a grittier, more morally bankrupt version” of herself. I believe there are elements of Alice in most of us. I think we’ve all done things we’re not proud of but that have shaped us into who we are today. But One Sunday is a story of hope and a reminder that there’s one who loves us no matter what we’ve done.
Publication Date: 12 February 2013
Page Count: 288