The Wager: A Romantic Comedy as Christian Allegory ... by Mike Brister

Sarah Morgan Leigh Dumont is rich, successful and famous. Matthew Ezra Shepherd is none of those things. Sarah, raised in Connecticut, is the oldest child in a prominent family. Matt, raised in Mississippi, is the youngest child in a farming family. Sarah is a winner in life’s lottery and has a home in Malibu. Matt, a former Marine, is putting the pieces of his life back together. Sarah is driven, focused, difficult, and intimidating. Matt is friendly and smiles easily. Sarah is full of herself. Matt is full of mischief.

They meet under false pretenses in New Orleans, the city built on false pretenses. She sees him only as the object of a wager; he sees her as an object to be avoided—and yet.

What happens when love is uninvited, inconvenient, and demanding? When it keeps you up at night and distracts you during the day. When it counsels unreason, folly, and ruin. When it can breach any locked door, scale any high wall, or whisper above any noise. Fortunately, when it happens to someone else, it can be very funny.

The story is told primarily through dialogue which is presented in the style of a play. Descriptions are rarely used to explain how something is said. That is left to the imagination of the reader.

The story includes a Southern, gothic ghost story; an epic poem; a suggested playlist of thirty-five songs; and three recipes: Ruth’s chocolate pie, Matt’s buttermilk biscuits, and Lester’s pound cake.

Buy a book and help buy a goat for a family in Haiti.


I was totally taken off guard at first reading of The Wager by Mike Brister. Thinking that this book was going to be your regular Christian romantic novel with a bit of humor, I was in for an amazing surprise.

The story sets the background of two opposite characters, giving vivid descriptions of their personalities, while not using the extra verbiage of when the character speaks, leaving it up to the reader to add our own interpretation or feeling of what we have imagined in our  mind. While the story continues of how these two unlikely characters meet under the unusual circumstances, I found myself actually reading it in a Southern accent, which is a credit to Brister in his style of writing.

I will say, I had that "ah-ha" moment when I connected the title to the story.

The humor is a flow of unbelievably funny and sarcastic banter, making it reminiscent to me of Lauren Bacall in How to Marry a Millionaire. I wondered how the two main characters could even tolerate each other, but found myself actually laughing out loud, especially at their encounter on the plane and dinner at the parents.

As the story progresses, you gain a deeper understanding of why these two act the way they do to each other, and immediately your emotions are racing to find out what happens, in fact I went back to the beginning to re-read about their personalities and whoa, I even had more intense feelings for these two.

Not to give any spoilers, but I will say my heart broke and yes, I needed my tissues since I fell in love with these characters. I appreciated the authors wrap up of the book, and will understand why buying this book will help a family get a goat in Haiti.



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