Madi McCall, mother of twin teens and a spunky nine-year-old, is sure she’s on the losing end of way too many battles. There’s the battle of boundaries with her kids, the battle of the bulge, where Madi versus Edy’s Dibbs and usually loses, and the constant struggle to tear down the walls around her mother’s heart. But the toughest of all is the crusade to stay Christ-centered when she suspects her husband is cheating on her. A smudge of lipstick on his shirt is all the ammunition she needs to kick him out, leaving her alone with her insecurities, her kids, a freezer full of those Dibbs, and the Bible she hasn’t touched in a week. But Madi doesn’t know that her husband has not crossed enemy lines, and her God will not let her be defeated.
"Readers will keep turning pages to discover the outcome of this sometimes funny, sometimes poignant journey with Madi as she seeks to find her inner princess."
All men cheat. It’s the mantra Madi has lived with since her parents divorced when she was a child --- a mantra her mother drummed into her head. And though it was true of her father at the time, he has since found the Lord, settled down with a Christian woman, and is leading a happy, faith-based life. Not so with Madi’s mother, whose bitterness still hovers over her like a storm cloud. When Madi sees her husband, Richard, talking with the scantily dressed Fawn Witchburn at church, and later finds her lipstick on his collar, she hears that mantra resonating in her head. It drowns out logic and rationality, leaving only raw emotion in its wake. She does not stop to consider that Richard has always been a loving, faithful husband and great father, who has never given her cause to doubt him. Richard tries to explain, but Madi has no interest in listening. He moves in with his brother, to the dismay of the children as well as Madi, who really doesn’t know what she wants or how to control her emotions.
Desperate for answers, feeling abandoned by God and betrayed by Richard, Madi enlists the help of Sarah Price, a friend from church and clinical psychologist. Sarah suggests that Madi gives Richard a chance to explain and tells her she is a princess, unconditionally loved by God. Following Sarah’s advice is no easy task for Madi, who, in addition to her marriage issues, is dealing with a potential lawsuit, an irritating brother-in-law, and the newfound knowledge that her best friend’s boyfriend is….well, you’ll have to read the book.
Before Madi can talk to Richard, she spots Fawn getting into his car. Soon after, Fawn turns up at Madi’s high school reunion, where emotions erupt with unexpected consequences. Harsh words spew like lava, but will Madi have to eat them like a carton of Dibbs? Read the book to discover Fawn’s role in Richard’s life, and whether Richard is still Madi’s knight in shining armor…or the prince of darkness.
MIND OVER MADI combines clever dialogue, likable characters and relatable emotions. Moms will nod their heads and smile at the conversations between Madi and her kids, as well as the parent and in-law scenarios. Readers will keep turning pages to discover the outcome of this sometimes funny, sometimes poignant journey with Madi as she seeks to find her inner princess.
This is author Lynda Lee Schab’s debut novel and, fortunately, the first of a three-book series. We’ll soon be seeing more of Madi, her family and friends in MADILY IN LOVE and SYLVIE AND GOLD. Like a good chick flick, these are the kinds of books women will love to share with sisters, mothers, daughters and friends
Reviewed by Susan Miura on December 14, 2011