JUMPING IN SUNSET
About the Book
Reading Group Guide
"Pam, I'm leaving you."
At age forty, Pamela Thornton is suddenly aloneabandoned by the husband she has adored for two decades.
As she slowly regathers her wits and emotions at a rustic lakeside cabin, Pamela realizes that her married years may have been missing more than her husband's love. Amid the pain, she discovers the depth of true friendship, the solace of her artistic talent, and the comfort and compassion of God.
She hardly knows what to make of the attention she gets from Chad, a handsome, courteous poet, or from Ken, a reclusive musician with a past of his own. Will the new Pam cling to the sorrow of yesterday, or can she find healing by the waters of Sunset Lake?
Pamela Thornton has the perfect lifea comfortable faith, a 20year marriage, prestigious friends, a great job as a photographer for a tourist magazine, and a solid relationship with her college-bound daughter, Angie. But all falls apart when her husband, Paul, announces he's leaving her to marry Cindy, a friend from their church.
During the early, hardest weeks, Pamela's long-time friend Starla insists that Pamela join her at a lakeside cabin near their mutual home town in Northern Minnesota. Armed with her camera and pen, Pamela journals the tumultuous emotion that initially controls her days and nights.
Though divorce is immanent, Pamela never quite gives up the prayerful hope that their marriage can be pieced back together. And then, her daughter tells her that Paul and Cindy are no longer together and that Paul is coming home! All hope is dashed when she realizes the "purpose" of his trip is to finalize the financial issues regarding their divorce and to gather advice on how he should handle his relationship with Angie.
When it becomes clear God will not answer her prayers, Pamela questions the faithfulness of a God who seems to act contrary to His Word. Even Angie, distanced as she is from home, yearns to move on and work toward forgiving her dad and accepting, if not approving, his choices.
During her recurring visits to the cabin on Sunset Lake, Pamela develops a friendship her neighborKen Taylor, a slightly off-beat musician who whose own scarred past has made him somewhat of a recluse. As differently as they have lived their livesPamela and Ken have much in common, including their faith in the Lord. Over time, Ken's time-worn wisdom becomes yet another instrument of healing in Pamela's life.
Paul, who had always been a neglectful father, is burdened to make amends with his daughter. He flies to Chicago to visit her at school. In his hotel room, the night before he is to see his daughter again, Paul has a heart attack. Angie arrives at the hospital just as her dad takes his last breath. She calls Pamela, who flies to Chicago immediately.
Pamela's grief is laced with confusion and unresolved bitterness. As the novel draws to a close, Pamela comes face to face with her need to forgive when Angie shares a letter she received from Cindy apologizing for all that happened and detailing the tumultuous life she lived with Paul. Though Paul's heart was clearly never softened toward the pain he caused their family, Cindy's own repentance and regret is clearly evidentas is her intent to soon ask Pamela for forgiveness. Pamela knows that it is only the beginning, but armed with a renewed understanding of the miracles God can work in human lives, she is determined to move forward and embrace the future with a heart open to all He has in mind.
Divorce is not just a fact in Christian circles, it's a common occurrence. Yet most Christian fiction dealing with marital struggles insists that reconciliation is always possible. JUMPING IN SUNSET shows how God's abundant love works through situations where the neat, accepted answers don't. Meet Pamela Thornton, who has a comfortable faith, a twentyyear marriage, and a solid relationship with her college-bound daughterwhen her husband announces he's leaving her to marry another woman. Slowly, Pamela learns to understand and experience God within the impossible truth that her marriage has come to an end.
Excerpted from JUMPING IN SUNSET © Copyright 2003 by Dawn Ringley. Reprinted with permission by Multnomah. All rights reserved.
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