cover image The Ex Files: A Novel about Four Women and Faith

The Ex Files: A Novel about Four Women and Faith

Victoria Christopher Murray. Touchstone Books, $15 (416pp) ISBN 978-1-4165-3551-5

In Murray's powerful testament to Christian fellowship and friendship (after 2006's A Sin and a Shame), four members of an L.A. prayer group find spiritual growth and heartache as they struggle with broken dreams. Drawn together by Hope Chapel's Pastor Beverly Ford, these African-American women stand at crossroads in their lives. For Sheridan Hart it's trying to choose between marrying her lover or going back to the bisexual Ex who left her for a man. Kendall Stewart deals with her rage over her younger sister and Ex falling in love, but must make a life or death choice when her sister becomes seriously ill. Asia Ingram wants revenge on the father of her six-year-old daughter, a retiring, married LA Laker who's decided to end their decade-long affair. Vanessa Martin copes badly in the aftermath of her husband Reed's shocking suicide, grappling with a growing depression that threatens her ability to go on. The engrossing transitions the women go through make compelling reading, but some readers might find some of Pastor Ford's wisdom a little off as she assures Sheridan that Quentin, her bi-sexual Ex, ""wasn't born that way."" Still, Murray's vivid portrait of how faith can move mountains and heal relationships should inspire her growing conservative fan base.