The Shadow of Your Smile
The Shadow of Your Smile
Tyndale House Publishers
A beautiful blanket of snow may cover the quaint town of Deep Haven each winter, but it can’t quite hide the wreckage of Noelle and Eli Hueston’s marriage. After twenty-five years, they’re contemplating divorce . . . just as soon as their youngest son graduates from high school. But then an accident erases part of Noelle’s memory. Though her other injuries are minor, she doesn’t remember Eli, their children, or the tragedy that has ripped their family apart. What’s more, Noelle is shocked that her life has turned out nothing like she dreamed it would. As she tries to regain her memory and slowly steps into her role as a wife and mother, Eli helps her readjust to daily life with sometimes-hilarious, sometimes-heartwarming results. But can she fall in love again with a man she can’t remember? Will their secrets destroy them . . . or has erasing the past given them a chance for a future?
Praise for the Shadow of Your Smile:
“A book of second chances, Warren is at her best as she plumbs the human heart.”
“Quiet yet powerful … At the end, hope is in full bloom.”
“A warm and charming tale that features well-developed characters and a solid story line.”
“This is a beautifully written book.”
Behind the Pages:
Ever look back on your life and think: What happened? I know I do – where is the woman who wanted to work in a New York Ad agency? Where is the runner, the outdoors enthusiast, the girl who wanted to own a ranch in Colorado? (I clearly had mixed goals!) Oh, wait, she married this cute guy who wooed her from the back of his motorcycle and whisked her off to be a missionary in Russia. Then she had these four kids. And then she started writing books (and spending a lot of time in her office rather than outside!) I’m not complaining – I love my life. But looking back, I couldn’t have imagined twenty two years ago being where I am today.
What if you could reset your life? Would you do the same things? And, what parts of your life would you keep…or cut out? These were the questions that hounded me as I began to write the Shadow of your Smile. I read an article about a man who had fallen and lost his memory of the past twenty-five years and from his story I launched my own exploration into the what-ifs of starting over. It also happened to be my daughter’s senior year of high school, and watching her prepare to be on her own, while exciting, also strummed sorrow in my heart. I will miss her. I let my imagination wander into dark places a bit and wondered how, if anything should happen to her, I might go on without her. I have met women who have lost their children and their wounds are deep and abiding. I myself have lost four children to miscarriage. That dark place of grief made me wonder – would it be better to start over, without the pain, or would the joy of the memories be worth the pain?
Maybe our grief comes not from the loss of a child, but a different loss, a regret, a mistake…anything that has wounded us so deeply we long to erase it all. But we can’t erase it, so what do we do?
That question drove me to the verse in Psalms: “How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? . . . But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.”
What does it mean to have the Lord be good to us – especially with our open wounds? I think the answer lies in this verse also – because of God’s unfailing love for us, because He has rescued us from death, we have hope.
One of my favorite verses is Romans 15:13. ‘I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.’ Our job is to trust. God’s job is to overflow us with joy.
That’s hard to imagine when we’re sitting in dark places. I know – I’ve been there. If you’ve read any of my other books, I’ve shared some of my stories in the author’s notes. But even in those dark places, I think hope is found in something Noelle discovered, “Maybe the key to going forward with her life was simply being grateful for it.” Grateful for all we have, grateful for all we will have, grateful for the unfailing love of God. This is the foundation of hope.
Psalm 16 says, “Apart from you, I have no good thing.” This is the one thing I hope to never forget. This is the one thing that I take with me into the future. I have God. I have good things.
I hope you’ve been encouraged by the power of love through Noelle and Eli’s story. There are new beginnings even for “worn out” marriages. There is hope because of God’s unfailing love.
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