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Tending the Fire:
The Story of a Marriage

What makes love endure?  How do we keep the fire burning?  Jeannie DuBose, award-winning author and illustrator, answers these questions by sharing an intimate look inside her marriage as she and her husband grow through junctures both bumpy and beautiful. Accompanied by original illustrations, this inspiring meditation invites you to explore the evolution of your own love, whether you’re with a longtime partner, on the precipice of new romance, or flying solo at the moment. Read Tending the Fire and be illuminated by the eternal truth: love’s journey is not just about the blaze in the beginning, but about finding ways to ignite the flame again and again. 


“The art of this book is not only in its lush and touching illustrations, which serve as icons of the married life. The greater art is the author’s ability to tell a universal story with such intimacy that it ends up being the reader’s story as well. The longtime lovers in this book have no faces, which means they have your faces. Like you, they know how their story started without knowing how it will end. Wherever you step into it, this book will welcome you home to being human.”

—Barbara Brown Taylor, author of Learning to Walk in the Dark


Tending The Fire mirrors so many of our stories: we fall in love, we dream, we pursue the dream. Yet this is where the story gets complicated—in the pursuit, sometimes we lose not only each other, but ourselves as well. DuBose’s story is both familiar and inspiring, reminding us of the deep work and refining fire of love.”

—Amy Grant, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter


“How do we create space within the sacred covenant of marriage to know, enjoy, forgive, and embrace each other in authentic and faithful ways? This particular story of one beautiful marriage invites meaningful conversations, mutual learning, and understanding for all couples. A great addition to our work with small groups, couples retreats, pre-marital counseling, and anniversary celebrations!”

—Rev. Katie Sundermeier, executive director of the Samaritan Counseling Center of Atlanta, and Rev. Dr. Tony Sundermeier, senior pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta


Tending the Fire is the perfect gift for people in love or hoping to be so. The beautiful visual and verbal art play off each other to express love’s passion and challenges, growth and joy. Although the book portrays one marriage, its message reaches toward a broad array of relationships. Anyone wanting to create an intimate and enduring relationship will find here a way to enter love more deeply.”

—Kathleen M. O’Connor, professor emerita at Columbia Theological Seminary


Tending the Fire is powerful, courageous, authentic, and touching. A reminder that the path to meaning and joy is winding—and that anything worthwhile takes work.”

—Kenneth Pucker, former chief operating officer of Timberland


“I, a stodgy old husband, read Tending the Fire with amazement, laughter, and lingering wonder. Nan, my anything-but-stodgy wife of fifty-four years, read it as well, prompting a series of shared memories and reflections. We agreed that this exquisite book was a wonderful challenge for each of us, and a gift for our life together.”

—Erskine Clarke, professor emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary