“Amber and Eric are back in the third installment of the Wife 101 Series and they are bringing some old friends plus a few new ones along for the ride! When relationship educators Martin and Lydia Woods decided to host their church’s first marriage retreat on Miami’s sultry South Beach, they expected it to be eventful, yet they got much more than anticipated. With the help of psychologist Dr. Andrea Wilson, the couple is prepared to teach the art of war by placing their pupils in an environment full of people, parties and forbidden pleasures.
“Amber and Eric are nearing their second anniversary. Their relationship would be smooth sailing, but Amber’s empty womb is causing tension both in and out of the bedroom. Eric’s friend Carl and his wife Kelly just wanted a vacation. But when the lights and music of South Beach beckon for Kelly, will her desire to reclaim her youth lead to the detriment of her marriage? Amber’s pastor and first lady, Franklin and Tamela Day are also on deck as well as Sarah from the Wife 101course and her hubby, Jordan. With five couples to counsel, Dr. Wilson certainly has her hands full. Nevertheless, when unforeseen financial issues surface in her own marriage, will she still be able to help her new clients, or will her own husband be the iceberg that sinks her career?
“Prayer at sunrise, playtime at sunset, and even a picture perfect dinner cruise, this retreat is guaranteed to be a week these couples will never forget…for better or worse.”
I’ve always been a fan of the Wife 101 Series so my opinion of author A’ndrea J. Wilson’s latest installment may seem to lack the necessary objectivity to write a review. I say “may” because after reading Couples 101, I came away feeling refreshed…as I have come to expect when reading this particular series.
Wilson knocks it out of the park with the creation of memorable characters. Her skillful blend of circumstances that coincide with the biblical verses are genius. One of the things that I mentioned to her when I sent her the Pros and Cons of her work is that “I come away learning a little bit more about my faith every time I read one of her books.” Couples 101 is no exception.
The author has a unique way of telling a Christian based story without coming off as over-bearing or preachy. The problems that face the main characters of Eric and Amber Hayes in particular struck a chord with me. In general, men can be visual and physical while women tend to lean towards feelings and emotions. Wilson demonstrates that these characteristics exist in both sexes and does so without coming off as condescending.
The inclusion of herself as a main character in certain circumstances could be deemed as off putting. I’ve always been of the mindset that if you are going to include yourself as a character in your own work, it should be non-fiction and stand firmly within the realms of an autobiography. Wilson manages to pull this off superbly.
Couples 101 takes real people with real issues and places them in circumstances that they either sink or swim. This is a book that both the married and single readers could glean a bit of biblical wisdom that is necessary to keep relationships on track.
Each couple brings an element essential to making this tale as well-rounded as it is engaging. Some of the dialogue between the characters are spoken with such genuine heartfelt conviction that you as the reader may be tempted to take sides with whatever character that you happen empathize with the most.
I take my hat off to A’ndrea J. Wilson as she has done it again!
~ J.L. Whitehead