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The Sunday Wife: A Novel

The Sunday Wife: A Novel

4.3 40
by Cassandra King (Illustrator)

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A captivating novel about one woman's journey toward independence and the life-changing friendship that guides her there.

Married for 20 years to the Reverend Benjamin Lynch, a handsome, ambitious minister of the prestigious Methodist church, Dean Lynch has never quite adjusted her temperament to the demands of the role of a Sunday wife. When her


A captivating novel about one woman's journey toward independence and the life-changing friendship that guides her there.

Married for 20 years to the Reverend Benjamin Lynch, a handsome, ambitious minister of the prestigious Methodist church, Dean Lynch has never quite adjusted her temperament to the demands of the role of a Sunday wife. When her husband is assigned to a larger and more demanding community in the Florida panhandle, Dean becomes fast friends with Augusta Holderfield, a woman whose good looks and extravagant habits immediately entrance her. As their friendship evolves, Augusta challenges Dean to break free from her traditional role as the preacher's wife. Just as Dean is questioning everything she has always valued, a tragedy occurs, providing the catalyst for change in ways she never could have imagined.

Editorial Reviews

Until she met Augusta Holderfield, Dean Lynch was content to be a Sunday wife, the proud spouse of Reverend Benjamin Lynch. But gradually she realized that her husband was a different person than the congregation imagined, and she was at the crossroads of becoming a different person, too. Josephine Humphreys called The Sunday Wife "smart and funny and alert to the nuances of the complicated South."
Josephine Humphreys
A stunner . . . smart and funny and alert to the nuances of the complicated South.
Rich [and] satisfying.
Boston Globe
An intelligent, witty novel, skillfully written.
Orlando Sentinel
. . .Delivers haunting messages about the nature of love, freedom and forgiveness.
Anne Rivers Siddons
Cassandra King catches these quirky, complex people and their world flawlessly. A wonderful book.
Sena Jeter Naslund
enticing . . . the reader will be rooting for the liberation of the courageous and talented wife, Dean, from her repressive husband.
Connie May Fowler
A dazzling tale of deception, heartbreak and transcendence . . . sparkles with vitality and truth.
Birmingham News
Joining a distinguished tradition of southern women writers, King explores the complexities of class and sexism.
Jackson Clarion Ledger
. . . the dilemma facing women [The role of wife? Can it be filled without losing yourself?] . . . what made it real.
Anne River Siddons
A wonderful book. Cassandra King catches these quirky, complex people and their world flawlessly.
Florida International Magazine
Shines without turning into a sermon.
Publishers Weekly
Finely drawn characters and complicated social intrigue make Kings second novel (after Making Waves in Zion) a charming read. When Dean Lynchs ambitious preacher husband, Ben, is assigned to a pulpit in the small Florida town of Crystal Springs, Dean is resigned to the prospect of yet another church-owned house and the necessity of putting aside her own beloved music (she plays the piano and the dulcimer) in favor of the congregations choir. Orphaned as a child, the retiring Dean has spent 20 years of marriage in the shadow of her overbearing, charismatic husband, always feeling out of place. But when she befriends Augusta, a wealthy, well-born, caustic beauty whose attendance at the Crystal Springs Methodist Church would be Bens greatest coup, Dean finds herself coming out of her shell"and tangled up in secrets she is not prepared to handle. The only false note comes from the gay couple Augusta befriends, who border on stereotype. The rest of Kings secondary cast, which includes a sympathetic psychic and the magnetic but sinister former preacher at Bens church, is a captivating bunch. King has written a truly heartwarming story, a tale of turbulent emotions and the vagaries of public opinion in a small Southern town; she has a sure winner here. Author tour. (Sept. 4) FYI: King is married to novelist Pat Conroy. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
It's difficult to know what to make of this novel. For the first two tapes, this could be an American version of the British novelist Barbara Pym's writing: a portrait of the well-intentioned but power-hungry preacher with his mismatched mate. King (Making Waves in Zion) does an excellent job of creating eccentric Southern characters whose sense of formality and manners lets them go about their everyday lives without their real personalities, or their haunting pasts, being exposed. But on the third tape, with the death of the book's most intriguing character, the sense of mystery ends, and we are left listening to a generic and unremarkable romance novel, predicting most events before reader Joan Allen mentions them. To make matters worse, the work ends with Dean, the protagonist, suddenly finding God all around her and spewing a sermon more worthy of her husband. This is ultimately a frustrating novel (at least in this abridged version). Many will enjoy it, but finding the right audience will be a question of trial and error.-Rochelle Ratner, formerly with "Soho Weekly News," New York Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Hachette Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
13 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Cassandra King is the author of The Sunday Wife, The Same Sweet Girls , Making Waves and Queen of Broken Hearts. A native of Lower Alabama, she lives in the Low Country of South Carolina with her husband, novelist Pat Conroy.

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The Sunday Wife 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
Connie1950 More than 1 year ago
Have never quite figured out why some authors think they are "entitled" to shove their political views down the throats of their readers. Keep it in the middle folks. Leave poltics out of your work. Trashing one political mindset to further your cause just shows how unable you are to control your own emotions and make your book fun and interesting FOR ALL OF US!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great characters, good story, but disappointed in lack of research; King placed Chapel Hill in the mountains of Western North Carolina.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, my book club picked this book for our April choice. It'll be interesting to see if we even have anything to discuss. The characters are shallow, the plot predictable. Ms. King clearly uses this forum to indulge her disdain for Christian conservatives, and does so without bothering to create likable characters. The protagonist is weak and thin, and most others are simply charicatures. Initially, I thought it might be interesting, slightly irreverent, but Ms. King never gave me any depth to sink my teeth into, and her not-even-thinly-veiled bashing of the church and church people was what made me finally return it to the library. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good irreverent novel, even when it critiques the church and her people. But, my goodness, please, attempt some depth of characters! Where's John Irving when you really need him?
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Sunday Wife is a powerful narrative depicting the trials and triumphs of Dean Lynch, a shy, middle-aged minister's wife, who must deal with her conflicting feelings of finding happiness or settling for what others expect of her. She is married to a dominating, self-absorbed, verbally abusive man whose piety is as shallow as his ambitions are great. With the help of a newly found friend, Dean discovers her true inner self and courage to make life-changing decisions that will turn her world and the church community upside down. This book is jam-packed with controversies concerning women's traditional roles in the church, bigotry, gay marriages and the sanctity of ministers. It has something to please and offend everyone. Cassandra King has suceeded in writing a novel that will incite heated discussions. A bit slow in places, but definitely a book to contemplate long after the final page is read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wish I hadn't known she was Pat Conroys wife. I kept hoping her writing would be more like his. I found so much of verbage to be cliche. I guess she should write a sequel and maybe it will be better. I was going to have book club read it for discussion but decided it was not a good way to spend the money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hard book to stay with somewhat boring
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I've ever read. I loved it and would tell anyone to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Spent a cold, rainy Sunday afternoon curled up on my couch enjoying this lovely book :)
cpk48 More than 1 year ago
This book was referred to me by a friend. I would recommend it highly too. Although Dean gets into some "fixes" that most would not, the protrayal of the expectations of ministers' wives and the dangers and expectations of successful ministers was very well done. Great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite of Cassandra's books.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Love Kings settings! The characters are excellent, well flushed out, even a few that really reach out. Great detail - An entertaining read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book as I was looking for a fun, less serious book to read. The story line moved along great and, in my opinion, nothing was predicable and I was kept guessing and surprised at the end. If you are very religious, this might not be the book for you, because the some of the characters in this book are religious and hold positions in various churches, and these characters are not portrayed in the best manner.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book and would recommend to friends!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was everything I hoped it would be. A fantastic read. Funny and very cute. Sad at times. Recommend this book !!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am not a dedicated reader & decided to try to make some time to read. I loved this book! It kept me on the edge. I never wanted to put it down. I stayed up late last night to finish it. I can't wait to start her next book!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm not an avid reader, but this book was good enough to keep my attention. I felt extremely sympathetic toward Dean because of the way her husband treated her. I cried when I found out what happened to Augusta. I recommend this book as a nice, casual, easy read...no technicalities here, nothing too deep to think about.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up at the free paperback book swap at our local library, and I am so glad that I did! 'The Sunday Wife' has to be one of the best books I've read in a long time! At first I wasn't sure about it and even thought it might be a little boring, but I literally could not put this book down. It was interesting, funny, sad, and descriptive about the location, etc...It was a wonderful story and it's the kind that stays with you long after the book is finished. I highly recommend it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I don't think it was a slow starter at all but the author developing the characters. I loved this book and now want to read everything Cassandra King has ever written.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is not ususally my type of book, but I had to do something while Hurricane Frances was howling. The book is a slow starter and although I am enough of a reader to stick with a book to the end, it took a long time for something to happen and up until then the reading was cliched and monotonous. The main character, Dean Lynch, whom I found annoying in the extreme, alludes to her background but that area of the plot is never fleshed out. The characters are stereotypically the 'good' and the 'bad' - I don't want to say more and ruin the read for someone who might like this book. And I though the ending cornball.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recently joined a book club to challenge myself to read more. My friends and I enjoyed reading this book and we were so happy that it was part of our book club! I most liked the journey that Dean experienced while finding her independence. I was glad that it ended the way it did. It was hard to put down!!