Leona Harper has no identity of her own. She’s been a small town pastor’s wife for almost thirty years. She’s poured everything into being the best helpmeet for her husband, until the day JD drops dead in the pulpit.
When the well-meaning parishioners (and some not so well-meaning) gather round, her caustic mother comes to comfort(?) her, and her resentful adult children arrive to say goodbye to their beloved father, Leona puts on the mask she’s always worn. She helps arrange the funeral meal and makes sure everything is running smoothly. After all, this is what a pastor’s wife does.
But the chairman of the church board is in a hurry to replace JD, and what will that do to Leona? Will she be forced out of the dilapitated parsonage before she’s ready? Who will be the new pastor? And does Leona have any marketable skills of her own?
It all boils down to, who is Leona?
Once upon a time a friend told me of a woman who’s husband was a pastor, but the woman didn’t ‘feel called’ to be a pastor’s wife. How could that be? Wasn’t this one of those career paths (callings, if you will) that requires a couple to be on the same page? And yet, why? Is someone married to a banker ‘called’ to be a banker’s wife? Does it matter if she is? In Reinventing Leona, the author employs a wry voice as she explores the death of Leona’s husband AND her calling. Though it is a story of coping with loss, the tone is far from morbid. You’ll find yourself rooting for Leona as she struggles to figure out who she really is.
Lynne Gentry trained in theater arts at Oklahoma Christian University. Instead of going to Broadway, she’s used her dramatic abilities in the church, serving as the Drama Minister at the Dallas church her husband pastored for nine years. Now she teaches private acting lessons as well as stage presence and body language seminars to worship teams, pastors, and public speakers. Over the years, she’s written, produced, and directed countless worship sketches, plus two full-length musicals for the Christmas and Easter holidays.
She loves to inspire others by speaking at retreats and conferences and has recently sold her first novel to Tyndale House Publishers. Still, her greatest accomplishment has been having a happy marriage and raising two of the best kids in the world.
Reinventing Leona was a free Kindle download when I picked it up. It is part of Tyndale Publishers’ venture into digital-first publishing, and one in which I hope they find great success.