I just finished reading The Sweet By and By by multi-platinum recording artist Sara Evans with best-selling author Rachel Hauck. Set in the Southern United States, the main character Jade is preparing to marry Max, a successful lawyer. As she struggles with whether to invite her mother to the wedding, she revisits difficult events from her past. This is achieved in the novel through the use of flashbacks.
The book does not shy away from addressing tough issues. An interesting and engaging story, we come to understand the problems that have faced Jade from early childhood. We meet the grandmother who raised her, and get to know Jade’s mother and siblings who are also experiencing their own troubles.
The writing style is straightforward and the book is an enjoyable, easy read. Jade’s character is appealing, as are those of her family and friends. Some of the minor players seem a little flat though: Jade’s mother-in-law and the minister, for example. They are almost caricatures of the wealthy, controlling woman and the Baptist preacher. As well, the spiritual aspects of the book were not particularly convincing, as they seem to appear out of nowhere near the end of the book, in an episode that seems rather contrived.
This is the first in a series of books about Jade from this collaboration of Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck. I would recommend this book to someone interested in light romance coupled with an encounter with the Divine. An interview with Sara Evans about the book follows:
[The book was provided to me free of charge by Thomas Nelson, the publisher. If you are interested in becoming a Thomas Nelson Book Blogger, please visit them here.]