‘Til I Want No More – Robin W. Pearson – Tyndale House Publishers – Published 2 February 2021
If Maxine could put her finger on the moment when her life went into a tailspin, she would point back twenty years to the day her daddy died. She tells herself he’s the only person who ever really knew and loved her, and if he hadn’t left her behind, her future would’ve taken a different path. No absentee mother, no stepfather, no rebellious ripping and running during her teenage years. And no JD, who gave her wandering young heart a home, at least for a time.
But that’s over and done with. All grown-up now, Maxine’s heart and ring finger belong to Theodore Charles, the man she’ll pledge to love, honor, and obey in front of God and everybody. At least that’s what she’s telling anybody who will listen. The only folks buying it are the dog and the readers of her column, however. Her best friend and family aren’t having it–not even Celeste, the double bass-playing thirteen-year-old the community of Mount Laurel, North Carolina, believes is Maxine’s adopted sister. And apparently, neither is the newly returned JD, who seems intent on toppling Maxine’s reconstructed life. As her wedding day marches ever closer, Maxine confronts what it means to be really known and loved by examining what’s buried in her own heart and exposing truth that has never seen the light of day.
’Til I Want No More is a story to settle in with and enjoy. This is perfect for readers who like a slow read, a story that develops with care and love over time. As we learn more about these characters, especially our main character, Maxine, we learn that the secrets she is keeping run far deeper than first expected. As these secrets are slowly and agonisingly revealed, I was glued to the pages to learn how she would handle the unveiling of the things she had worked so hard to keep hidden.
Maxine is getting married and the countdown to her big day is ever present in this book. Maxine is also a writer and her columns are included in the book, giving the reader a deeper insight into her turmoil. She carries hurt from her childhood, the death of her father and her mother leaving her in her grandparents’ care while she left to deal with her own grief. She carries hurt from her older childhood, being reunited with her mother and her new stepfather. She carries hurt from her teen years, a failed romance and a baby that she handed over to her mother and stepfather to raise. All this pain simmers below the surface, recently brought to light thanks to her engagement and dreams that are preventing her from sleeping.
It is pretty clear to the reader that Maxine has a long road ahead of her- one that will bring the truth to light. She is carrying a heavy load. At first, I was slightly unsympathetic – just tell him already. But as the depth of her secrets is revealed, I became more and more sympathetic to her troubles and her desire to keep it under wraps. This story did not have the ending I was expecting. The plot is slow – far more about introspection, reflection and self examination than any great action. The romance is pretty low key and didn’t move in the way I expected. It is a book to sink into and enjoy. Yet, despite the time given to the plot and the unfolding of Maxine’s decisions, the ending is left quite open and didn’t give me the conclusion I was expecting.
I have to say I love, love the representation in this book. Maxine is black with Latino heritage, as are many of the characters. It is utterly genuine and so refreshing to see in Christian fiction, which is so often whitewashed.
A beautiful book about forgiveness and facing your past, perfect for readers of Southern Fiction.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Adult fiction
Genre: Christian Contemporary.
Themes: Family, marriage, romance, forgiveness, food, children, secrets, faith, marriage counselling.
Published: 5 February 2021 by Tyndale House Publishers
Format: Hardcover, ebook. 425 pages.