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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
368 pages
Oct 2003
Bethany House Publishers

If I Gained the World

by Linda Nichols

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


"Let the caged bird fly away and if it comes back to you, it truly belongs to you. But what if your treasure never returns? This is the dominant question in the latest novel by Linda Nichols, author of Not a Sparrow Falls. Her story circulates around Lenore Vine, Daniel Monroe, and their son Scott. Lenore pleads for a personal commitment, which sends Daniel bolting for bachelorhood.

"The reader then trudges through 15 years of separation, following Lenore and Scott as they establish their own family in a new town. Meanwhile, Daniel goes to Hollywood and seeks wealth and fame. Lenore eventually finds comfort in her newly discovered Christian faith, but Daniel falls into an abyss of alcoholism, despite his success with stardom, women, and money.

"The story fluctuates between these two worlds in a way that adds life and interest to the plot while providing "back story" for the three central characters. The intricacies and flaws of each person are explored in such a way as to help the reader find something to identify within each character.

"Lenore's growth as a mother and as a believer makes this book especially engaging to women who are new mothers or who are searching for God's truth. Secondary characters in the book, ranging from a retired cop to a Christian Jew, add valuable dimensions to Lenore's life.

"Author Linda Nichols gradually and steadily draws the reader into the story and concludes with a long-awaited ending that is satisfying. True, some happenings in the book seem a bit hard to believe, but perhaps that is how God works the greatest of His miracles." -- Laura Johnson, Christian Book Previews

"Lenore has almost everything: a life with Daniel, a strikingly attractive rising actor, and their beautiful son, Scott. She knows Daniel loves her and their son, but the one thing he will not give her is the one thing she cannot live without, marriage. Haunted by her own insecurities, Lenore knows that she must have the strength to walk away from their indefinite life together, so she and her son move to Seattle to start a new life. However, she is not prepared for the depths of depression she will face nor for how long the climb back out of it will take. Through the support of Christian friends she meets, Lenore builds a contented life without Daniel. When she does encounter him again some 15 years later, neither is the same person as when they lived together. Only this time, Daniel realizes how much his past mistakes have cost him. Nichols's follow-up to Not a Sparrow Falls is rich and unsentimental. Her main characters are skillfully developed and draw readers into their struggles. This high-quality relationship novel is highly recommended for most collections." -- Library Journal

Book Jacket:

Lenore hadn’t planned on changing their lives forever when she posed her question to Daniel….

Daniel’s body tensed. Lenore stayed perfectly still, though somehow hoping his words would make things right. But no words came. She knew then what his answer would be, and she knew she had taken everything, everything, and in one foolish gesture, she had wagered it and lost.

Lenore and Daniel have a cozy home and a wonderful son, a mirror image of his father. Lenore loves her life and wants nothing to change—except one thing….

As innocent as it seemed, her request is the beginning of the end, and their life together unravels. Lenore takes little Scottie and begins her quest for meaning, purpose, and a new start—as far away from those bittersweet memories as she can get….

How will these broken hearts move past their pain and find their way to faithfulness, grace, and love?