More Background to Returning to Amanda
So far, we’ve looked at:
Today, we’re going to spend a little time getting to know Owen, whom I discovered to my amazement is actually the antagonist in the story. I always used to think the antagonist was the bad guy, the enemy, a villain of some sort. But when I took a closer look at Owen, I saw that he was in fact the antagonist to Mandy, who of course is the protagonist.
Why? Because he’s her main opponent. He is the one that gets in the way of her fulfilling her dream.
His Appearance and Character
When I originally wrote this story, I saw Owen as tall, dark and handsome. However, during one of my final edits, I came to realise he should rather be a darkish brown. So he now has mocha brown hair, the colour of his much loved coffee.
He still had gorgeous dark brown eyes which twinkle when he’s having fun, which happens less often since coming to the ALoevale Community Church.
He boasts a well-tanned skin which contrasts with Mandy’s fair complexion, and contrary to what I originally anticipated, he does not have a naturally neat hairstyle. His hair is often tousled and this, together with his one-sided smile, adds to his natural charm. So it’s really no surprise that Amanda fell in love with him!
One of my ARC readers wondered why on earth Mandy would ever have ended up married to a guy like Owen. Well you see, Owen is not really a bad guy. Let’s take a look at some of his strengths and weaknesses—and of course, I’m sure you’ll agree, we all have those.
From a young age, Owen dedicated his life to following the Lord. He studied for the ministry, and qualified as a young minister. His first appointment was as an assistant to a minister in a church in Durban, KZN, South Africa.
By way of explanation, KZN stands for Kwa-Zulu Natal, pronounced Quah-zooloo-na-tahl. So you understand why it was more commonly called KZN!
After a few years, he moved on to a new church of his own, in a small town a few hours from Durban, called Riverston. His predecessor at that congregation had been an elderly widow who preached on Sundays, prayed for the sick, and buried the dead. And that was about all. As a result, the members of the congregation learned if they wanted to do something, it was up to them to do it.
This was ideal for Owen. He was free to pursue his gift of teaching the Word of God. He worked hard, started Bible studies and took the Gospel to shut-ins. He loved all his teaching opportunities, and the congregation loved him. They also loved the young lady with stunning strawberry-blonde hair who entered his life during this period: Amanda Kirkpatrick.
Owen and Amanda married and produced three gorgeous babies, and the congregation was happy and satisfied with their ministry couple. Mandy, as she was now known, was free to be herself, and Owen was a supportive and loving husband and father.
After fourteen years as pastor of the Riverston congregation, Owen accepts the challenge of a new church, much bigger and more active than his previous one. The Aloevale Community Church, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa was about ten to twelve hours from their previous congregation, but the distance was the least of the problem.
This church’s previous ministry couple had both been deeply committed to the life and work of the congregation and demanded almost nothing from their parishioners. The result is a congregation that expects their pastor, and his wife, to run the church on their own and fulfill all the roles, regardless of whether they feel equipped or not.
Owen rolls his sleeves up and goes to work. He anticipates Mandy doing the same. However, she finds the congregation’s requirements way out of her comfort zone. She also has three children who miss the involvement of their father and start to rebel against the expectations of the church for the “pastor’s children”.
I mentioned Owen was deeply committed. Sadly, his commitment turns from enjoying Bible study times with the Lord, to trying to be all things to his demanding congregation . As a result, he soon becomes overwhelmed. He resents his wife’s lack of involvement, and their relationship comes under strain. What future is there for them as a family? As husband and wife? Or as a congregation? Something has to give.
Read Returning to Amanda to see what that is.Returning to Amanda available now on Amazon.com on pre-order at a discount. Cost will go up after launch on 22nd September. Click To Tweet
What interests you about Owen, the antagonist of Returning to Amanda?