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When you commit to marrying another person, you are making a commitment to continue learning who that person is as your life together goes on. What many people don’t expect to happen, however, is to learn that their spouse is somebody else entirely. Who could imagine such a journey?
It Was Out of Love is James Marr’s story of living that journey. He fell in love through letters and phone calls before ever meeting his future wife. Small deceptions in their courtship and thirty-year marriage led up to a startling revelation that came only weeks before she passed away, turning the grieving process into a search for truth.
Marr begins with his background leading up to being set up with Melissa by a mutual friend. As they communicate more he falls deeply in love with her, and writes a journal entry that Valentine’s Day in which he swears he will marry her. But he also chronicles the inconsistencies that arise when he decides to go and meet her in person. Despite these, the two marry and Marr continues his Air Force career with Melissa at his side.
Though there were signs throughout their marriage that something was off, Marr did not learn the depth of the deception until six weeks before Melissa’s death.
This memoir is a catalogue of red flags and would prove useful to someone trying to avoid traveling Marr’s path. However, that is not his purpose for writing it. Instead, Marr reflects on the joy of their marriage and the love that kept him by her side. “It was out of love”, he believes, that she deceived him in the first place, and it was his love for her and his walk with God that allowed him to forgive her. He ends his tale with his hope that we who read it will “also put [our] trust in God.”
I finished this book wanting more answers – has Marr managed to fit the missing pieces together to figure out what his wife didn’t have time to tell him? But in the grieving process I imagine Marr has had that same question for himself a great number of times. And I realized, as he very well did, that maybe having all the answers in this case was less important than remembering the real moments they created and focusing on what lies ahead.
I would recommend It Was Out of Love to anybody who appreciates a story of love and faith and forgiveness, no matter the reason for it.
Visit James Marr’s website to learn more about the book
Shannon lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her husband, son, and two cats. When she isn’t reading, getting paid to play on social media, or running her own business she enjoys playing with her baby and cooking.
Review copy was provided by James Marr. Compensation was received but in no way influenced the thoughts and opinions expressed in this review.