Monday, December 21, 2009

Sweet By and By, by Sara Evans & Rachel Hauck

A redemptive story from multi-platinum recording artist Sara Evans.

Jade Fitzgerald left the pain of her past in the dust when she headed out for college a decade ago. Now she's thriving in her career and glowing in the light of Max Benson's love.

But then Jade's hippie mother, Beryl Hill, arrives in Whisper Hollow, Tennessee, for Jade's wedding along with Willow, her wild younger sister. Their arrival forces Jade to throw open the dark closets of her past--the insecurity of living with a restless, wandering mother, the silence of her absent father, and the heart-ripping pain of first-love's rejection.

Turns out Beryl has a secret of her own. She needs reconciliation with her oldest daughter before illness takes her life. In the final days leading to the wedding, Jade meets the One who shows her that the past has no hold on her future. With a little grace, they'll meet in the middle, maybe even before that sweet by and by.

My thoughts:

The good:
I enjoyed this book. It had likable and colorful characters. The story itself is somewhat of a romance, but more of a story of forgiveness and finding God. The authors showed how even someone who has lead a rough life, been let down and betrayed by everyone in their life, can find forgiveness in Jesus Christ, and turn around and forgive those who have hurt them so badly.

I quickly became engrossed in the story, and though this is not a novel of suspense, it was still a a page turner as I got caught up in the story and couldn't wait for the outcome.

The bad:
Those in the story who were already Christians - the groom-to-be, Max - and his family in particular, seemed to have a very shallow Christianity. Both Max and his father were smoking cigars - and I am adamantly against the idea of Christians smoking - shouldn't be in a Christian book - and Max also seemed to have gotten drunk at his bachelor party - I again fall back on even those who excuse Christians drinking do still condemn drunkenness. The book also seemed to have more than its share of slang, which is better than outright curse words.


The book is still worth reading. Even though the Christianity of some in the book seems shallow, there is a definite change in the heroine of the story, and even in fiction, it is good to see how God can heal, forgive, and change.