Lambert's Codeby Rachel Hauck
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After three years of medical treatment, Julie Lambert faces the irrefutable truth: She will never have children. Devastated, lost, and alone, she buries her pain by making several life decisions that threaten her relationship with her husband, Ethan. Ethan Lambert can't imagine a life without Julie. Yet, his marriage is failing and he doesn't know how to save it. Urged by his grandpa, Ethan launches a journey to understand the Lambert Family Code - submit one to another. Can Ethan and Julie overcome the loss of their dream and rediscover their love for each other? Will they learn to live by Lambert's Code?
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I really like the fact that this book deals with a married couple. Their issues of communication and submission are applicable not just for married but also dating couples, because I was reminded of the kinds of fights my husband and I had before the wedding. The stress of Julie's infertility brings out the worst in both characters, which is sometimes comical and sometimes heart-breaking. It was hard for me personally to completely relate to their desire for children, because I don't feel as strongly about bearing my own kids versus adoption. However, their conflict is something I think most women will be able to connect with. I can't say I completely identified with Julie. I think her personality is just too different from my own. As a consequence, there were times I wanted to bop both her and Ethan over the head. But I also think that's an indication of how well the story drew me in, since I became invested enough to want to change the characters' choices! Ethan's family are all Christians, and it's neat to see their intense spiritual support since I am the only Christian in my family. There are no long monologues of preaching. There's a lot of sage advice from grandpa and practical application of the spiritual truths he teaches. As a writer, I'm blown away by the elegance of the craft. I would recommend this book to any aspiring romance writer as an example of excellent overall story structure, compelling scene construction, and smooth pacing and flow. Dialogue has multiple layers, and it's never just meaningless arguments or chatter--each line has a point and a colored emotion beneath the surface. I don't know if single women would appreciate this book as much, but any woman in a relationship (even teens) will find something meaningful in this story. A good, quick, light read.