Focused by Julie B. Cosgrove

This the first book of Ms. Cosgrove’s I have read. I have never seen a Christian fiction novel dealing with the subject of middle age and all the new struggles that come with it: aging, empty nest, insecurities about personal value, appearance, and starting a new chapter of marriage without children. While I have not experienced some of the issues her character Christina did, the author was very accurate in describing the emotions and confusion that goes with this time of life. I still enjoy the books about young women stepping into the prime of life, but I found it refreshing to read about the years to come. This is a great read for those facing that time, but would be good also for those who have yet to experience it.
Christina was close approaching her 50th birthday, and her only son had recently moved out. After years of nurturing and focusing on her son, she was suddenly left in limbo. The reality of how her marriage had shifted after years of putting all her energies into raising her son and caring for her home and family, hit home in a hard way. Who was this man she was left with? She didn’t know him, nor did he seem to know her. She could remember the handsome young guy she fell head over hills in love with, but the one that lived with her wasn’t him anymore Too make matters worse she had lost both her parents a few years back. She felt so alone. The curtain has dropped and she glaringly sees what her life has become, and in some ways only what she perceives it to be.
After what she terms a “non-fight” with her husband Jeff that morning, she allows her menopausal emotions to run way, calls in sick to work and on impulse takes off to her parents old summer cottage miles away. Stranded there by unexpected flooding and taking refuge in the home of two seniors she knew as a child, she is reunited with her old boyfriend, their son, who is visiting. (Don’t worry, no adulterous affair happens.)
Sitting in the old cottage, surrounded memories she is able to do some real soul searching and crying. There she feels the Lord speaking to her about her life. She decides then and there she is going to make big changes in herself, her attitude, and her marriage. Of course decisions like these never come without being tested. I liked the fact the story dealt with real life feelings and obstacles. This helped me relate even more to the characters.
The title is so appropriate. As with most women their early years are focused on raising a family and all the responsibilities that go with it. The change was so gradual she didn’t realize she had become focused on how she expected things to be; focused on how she felt her husband should be, focused on what her needs were in the marriage, focused on what others thought of her, focused on taking care of others and neglecting herself, and in all this focusing, she forgot to focus on God. Mixed in were all the misunderstandings that go along with a couple that has quit communicating. This is real life! There are surprises and lots of wonderful humor along the way.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Ms. Cosgrove did a brilliant job of genuinely portraying this time of life we must all face. I look forward to reading more of her books! I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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