County music star Sara Evans’ first novel (co-written with Rachel Hauck) is an engaging and gripping novel that reflects the truth of Christ’s love and forgiveness now matter what the offense has been and how long ago it occurred.
I will admit that I am a Sara Evans fan and that is the reason I jumped at the chance to read this novel. However, I will also admit that it was a stretch for me to read the book as I normally view such novels as “chick lit.’ (My wife was proud of me for stretching myself and choosing to read this book!)
Set in the hills of southeastern Tennessee, the novel centers on Jade Fitzgerald, a young woman with a promising future and marriage to Max Benson. But, as her marriage day approaches, Jade encounters a series of situation that force her to ultimately take responsibility for her actions and be faced with an experience with God that liberates her from her guilt and shame.
In The Sweet By and By is the telling of the common human experience of dealing with one’s past in order to experience a hopeful and peaceful future. Well written, the story easily took me in and I read several chapters in succession without realizing how much time passed as I read. The characters and the story are plausible and their struggles and issues are very contemporary to today.
I believe that Evans’ faith shines through the book as reconciliation takes place between key characters at key moments. Moreover, this theme underpins the entire book as Jade moves toward reconciliation with God and her family.
Simple, but not simplistic, In The Sweet By and By is a novel that will resonate with many readers including, I hope, men who will see themselves in this story. A story, which is a retelling, at a certain level, of the Lost Son.
(Acknowledgement: This is review is done as part of the Thomas Nelson’s, the publisher of this book, Blogger Review Program. In exchange for a free electronic copy of this book that I get to keep, I agreed to read the book and then write a review of the book that is posted to my blog and to a commercial site, of which I use Amazon.com)