A Vow to Cherish touched me deeply--for many reasons. To me, this story is about having no regrets and allowing God to work things out in our lives with His perfect timing. I remember seeing the movie when it first came out and holding my breath as I watched John fall in love with Julia. I recall the same conflicting feelings when I read this book. Part of me wanted John to be happy with Julia. I truly felt for the guy. Part of me also cared deeply about his commitment to his wife.
The author did a fabulous job taking a difficult situation and covering it with flesh. The emotion and the loneliness were real as was the temptation both John and Julia experienced. Many people would justify John and Julia's relationship outside of marriage--especially for John. I hurt for the man. My mother was bedridden with MS for twenty years and my father cared for her until the very end. He cherished her and remained faithful when so many men in the same situations dumped their spouses when they could no longer perform their wifely duties.
John Brighton honored his vow to cherish his wife until they parted at her death. I'm convinced it made all the difference for his enduring happiness. John could then marry Julia free from guilt and knowing he gave his wife his undivided love and attention to the very end--once he overcame the temptation to vault his flesh into a forbidden zone that he would end up regretting later.
I've never read a book that more vividly portrays the deep pain of loneliness and all of the issues that go with it. My heart swelled and my throat tightened more than once through this beautiful story. I loved it!
A Vow to Cherish was re-released in June 2006 and published by Steeple Hill.