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Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite
Jonas and Shayna Ambrose have been married for four years but their marriage doesn't seem to be thriving. Shayna has a job that pays well so that she can give her needy mother, Estelle, gifts and support checks on the side. Jonas deals in real estate and feels that he supports Shayna well even though he engages in extra-marital affairs and goes off at nights leaving her alone. Shayna comes from a single parent household with a mother who drinks and a sister who is drug-addicted while Jonas's father was a minister but beat his wife, Jonas's mother, and abused Jonas and his brother Jeremy. Shayna turns to God and her faith for help but Jonas wants no part of religion as he cannot forgive his minister father for long-ago abuse. Then Shayna suffers a miscarriage and Jonas is shot, badly wounded, and then accused of rape. Can Shayna and Jonas's marriage survive all this?
Author Alicia Hill Jones has created a readable, delightful story of Christian faith surmounting difficult odds in "When Two Become One". The difficulties in Ambrose's marriage are real ones, not storybook imaginings and Jonas's gradual acceptance of Christian faith will ring true with all readers, religious or otherwise. Jonas's wayward character is totally believable and the reader will want to "smack him upside the head" in frustration before he turns his life around. Shayna is a totally acceptable character for she is not the saintly wife waiting for her straying husband but a real character with flaws of her own. The other characters, major and minor, add to this tale of a marriage in trouble that is turned around with God's help.