Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Book Review: The Sweet By and By

I like Sara Evans’ music, so I jumped at the chance to read her first book, written with Rachel Hauck.

The past is over and done with. Jade and her fiancĂ©e Max told themselves that what was behind them didn’t matter, that they had started their relationship with a clean slate. But when her hippie mother Beryl shows up a few weeks before their wedding, all of the hurts, regrets and disappointments Jade thought she’d buried begin forcing themselves to the surface. Jade must not only come to terms with her past, but open her heart to God’s grace and recognize that by accepting God’s forgiveness, she can begin to forgive herself.

Despite some unexpectedly heavy and potentially touchy subject matter, this book was overall a light, enjoyable read. It wasn’t quite as sugary-sweet as I expected; I found myself drawn into the complexity of the characters and their relationships with each other. They, like all of us, are flawed in a myriad of ways that perhaps don’t always turn out ok in the end. One off-putting aspect was the amount of brand names the author used; I felt sometimes like I was being subject to product placement. On the whole, though, a great story of redemption and the transformative power of God’s grace.

*I am a member of Thomas Nelson's (the publisher) Book Review Bloggers. A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review. No other compensation was received.

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