Willowdean "Dean" Lynch is the wife of a Methodist minister, who happens to be an ambitious and self-serving rising star in the church. Dean had a difficult childhood and ended up in foster care. She carries a number of scars from her childhood, the number one being low self-esteem. But one thing that enriches her life is her musical heritage and her musical talent.
She falls for a young, handsome preacher, Ben Lynch, and somehow "wins" this lucky prize. But what Dean quickly discovers is that it is not easy being the wife of a minister. Not only does she live in a fishbowl, but everyone (including Dean) is expected to orbit around her husband. She is expected to suppress all personal desires including the desire for a musical career and a family.
The bulk of the story begins as Ben takes a job with a prestigious parish in the Florida panhandle. The adjustment isn't easy for Dean. But she becomes friends with the "rebel" Augusta, who slowly gets Dean to open her eyes to the fact that she is not living life on her own terms, and that she is certainly not meeting her potential. When a crisis occurs, Dean is finally faced with making difficult decisions about her life and her future.
The Sunday Wife appealed to me as the cast of characters found in this fictional parish can be found in almost any church. There were women that were jealous of Dean, women that were overly critical of her, and those who continuously and unashamedly flirted with her husband. There were control freaks, divas, gossips and those who feigned friendship for the wrong reasons. Many of them were superficial, holier-than-thou hypocrites. But there were one or two who truly cared about Dean and opened their hearts to her.