When I met the Alabama novelist Cassandra King, I liked her so well I married her. Now we both write novels in the same house, in writing rooms that overlook a saltwater lagoon where great blue herons hunt, ospreys dine, and egrets line the banks like pillars of tule. In this house, I have taken great pleasure in watching a novelist other than me form the blueprints, first drafts, and patient architecture of a novel. For two decades, Cassandra was married to a Methodist minister, an experience she fictionalized in
The Sunday Wife. The book revealed a whole new world to me because it reads like a field manual of survival in a regiment about to go into battle. The intrigues and power struggles among the clergy are both hilarious and shocking. Her descriptions of the church committees are devastating, her ear for dialogue as accurate as Jane Austen’s. I loved this book, but hey—I’m prejudiced.