3 out of 4 stars
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In a matter of months, Dorothy Denise Hayes went from being swept off her feet by romantic gestures to experiencing the heartache of an adulterous marriage. The Hidden Affair: The Story of a Former First Lady Determined to Shatter the Silence is the cautionary first-person narrative exposing the lies that can sometimes lurk under the guise of church leadership.
After two divorces, DeeDee (Dorothy Denise) was content to live her life focused on her career and pursuing her relationship with God. When she was introduced to Pastor Dorian at a church conference, she wasn't interested in dating. However, she eventually succumbed to Dorian's extravagant romantic gestures to win her over and started dating him. After observing several red flags regarding the relationship, she attempted to slow things down. When those closest to her encouraged her to move forward, she began to have self-doubts; after all, he was a dedicated pastor. Against her better judgment, she accepted his proposal just a few months after meeting him. Once they were married, things quickly deteriorated. Dorian was manipulative and eventually unfaithful. The author cautions women not to settle for anything less than integrity. From courtship to being the wife of a pastor and then divorce, DeeDee shares her experiences with the hope of warning other women not to fall prey to the same traps she did.
I found this dialogue-driven narrative to be very relatable. The book's format was organized, and the chronological storyline was easy to follow. What I most enjoyed about the book was the author's conversational writing style. Her sassy and outspoken personality was reflected in her narrative which made a book about an unpleasant subject more enjoyable to read. I also admired her transparency in admitting her mistakes and failure to trust her judgment.
What I disliked about the book were the excessive details related to the couple's arguments. I don't think anyone cares to read chapters of arguments verbatim. I can appreciate that the author was probably trying to illustrate the point. However, I believe this may be the exception to the show vs. tell rule. In this case, the pattern of sharing too many details actually detracted from the narrative. Another problematic distraction was the author's tendency to use all caps for emphasis.
Most of the errors I noted were related to punctuation, but there were quite a few. Combined with the other issues I mentioned, detracting a star is necessary, so I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. Cleaning up some of the excessive dialogue, and correcting the punctuation could bring this otherwise enjoyable read to the full rating. I should also note that there are some racial slurs and profanity used during the arguments. I recommend the book to readers who are hoping to avoid or who may have experienced similar marital issues. Non-Christian readers will probably want to skip this one.
The Hidden Affair
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