The Ex Files: A Novel About Four Women and Faith” is written by Victoria Christopher Murray. It tells the story of four completely different women whose lives are interwoven by “destiny” as they face the “ending” of various interpersonal and intimate relationships, and move on toward their uncertain future. The author does an outstanding job as she introduces us to four different faces of heartache: Kendall Stewart, whose husband left her for HER SISTER; Asia Ingrum, who is in involved with and has a child by an ex NBA player who suddenly decides to make it work with his wife (Who is NOT Asia); Vanessa Martin, whose husband has just committed suicide and left her with immeasurable pain and so many unanswered questions; and Sheridan Hart, the leader of the group whose husband left her for A MAN! They are brought together when they are hand selected by Pastor Ford to be apart of a Woman’s Prayer Group, wittingly called “The Ex Files”.
Throughout the story, you see how each woman’s decisions from the past still affects her in the now present. Kendall’s refusal to forgive her sister Sabrina and her ex-husband causes her to push away and close herself off to any meaningful relationship that comes her way. Her sister even comes to apologize and “face Kendall’s wrath” and is almost mowed down by her sister. It really hit home to me then how much pain both women were in as the author writes that “they looked at each other through the tears in their own eyes”. Kendall’s hard-heartedness seems to not waiver even when her father tells her that her sister is really sick, and has been diagnosed with leukemia. Kendall is the only person who can help her, but when she flat out refuses to, her father basically tells her he is done with her.
But what was impressed on me the most is that it was through an adulterous affair that her sister was even conceived. Then, when Sabrina’s mother‘s (who was white) family makes her give the child to the father (Kendall’s dad), it destroys Kendall’s mom, who eventually dies from a broken heart. Its funny that the seed that was produced in such an immoral way would go on to destroy the other woman in Kendall’s father’s life: Kendall. It saddens me that he was not more repentant on what he had done, but tried to force Kendall to forgive her sister. I think if they had stopped trying to force her to forgive her sister and her ex-husband, and just let her come around on her own, that the story would have had a happier ending than the one that it does. She does make the “effort” to save her sister’s life in the end (even though they found out that she was not a match either/Kendall found Sabrina’s mother’s other children) but the relationship between Kendall and Sabrina was not to be redeemed.
Asia, to put it mildly, was a TRIP! She was so hurt by the rejection and “betrayal” of her MARRIED lover, that she concocted a story that I saw unfolding, but still refused to believe. She used her own daughter to seek revenge on her ex…but the person she hurt the worse was her daughter. My favorite part was when she went to confront Caroline, the wife, an educated southern belle who DID NOT PLAY GAMES! I thought it was very amusing that when she went to speak with the wife, she just knew that “the news of her affair with Caroline’s husband” would just devastate her, but Caroline would just have to get over it, but when she (Asia) was the one in tears when she was told to GET OUT, she grew vengeful immediately. I never understood how people could cause other people pain but then when it comes back to them, they think the world owes them something. Wow!
Now Sheridan was a SURVIVOR! But the thing that also survived were feelings for her ex-husband (Quentin) who she thought was GAY, but now claims to be “bi-sexual”. As the story unfolds, we see that he is still very much in love with Sheridan, who is in a relationship with a younger guy who is also in love with her. However, Sheridan keeps making excuses as to WHY she could not marry him. Everyone (including her ex) knows the real reason is because she is still in love with Quentin, but she didn’t admit it until it was almost too late. Now, she has to make the choice of whether to move on or to let go!
Vanessa’s story saddens me. I think she had been battling with depression since a very early age. I feel her marriage helped mask it, but when her “fix” was no longer around, she could no longer deal with the pain she had truthfully been feeling for years. I think it may have even went deeper with her own father’s untimely death. I think her resentment and impatience with her mother’s being “too emotional and dramatic” shows that she doesn’t deal with issues. She covers them, and resents anyone who gets too emotional or would “force” her to live through the pain. I also think she had self-esteem issues that hid behind long skirts and an out dated hair do. Her death disturbed me because there were so many signs, but no one caught them.
Overall, it was a really touching and well-written book. I encourage anyone who wants to get lost in a world of fiction to read it! You will enjoy it. Proverbs 31 rating is 4 stars. Until next time ladies…
BE A WITNESS FOR THE LORD AT ALL TIMES, AND IF NECESSARY, USE WORDS.