My Review: The Sweet By and By by Sara Evans (with Rachel Hauck)

The Sweet By and By
by Sara Evans
(with Rachel Hauck)

Christian Fiction / Womens / General

Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Copyright 2009
Pages: 311
ISBN: 9781595544896

From the author/back cover:

"All my songs tell a story. But this one's special. My first novel. A story about Jade. Her search for real love, her one-eyed mutt, hippie mother, and quirky vintage shop. It's about looking backward while moving forward. About chasing dreams, endless country roads, and tender faith. A breath of fresh air that'll take you away and leave your heart humming a song of joy." ~ Sara

Small excerpt ~ Chapter 1:

"The October sun warmed the Blue Umbrella's office. A pool of light washed over Jade's paint-chipped desk and the box of ruby-red invitations shoved against the windowsill."


Quick read, great first novel, quirky dialogue, easy to identify with the characters


Flashbacks become a little annoying, the ending came too soon :)

My Thoughts:

As some of you already know, I'm trying to branch out and read other genres besides just Romance. This was one of those instances. I'm happy to say that this was a great jaunt into a different "world"!

In my teens, country music was the music to listen to, here in my hometown...so, I grew up listening to Sara Evans' songs. A couple of them were among my favorites, i.e., I Could Not Ask For More, and No Place That Far, to name a couple. If you enjoy books revolving around music, hippies, heartache, forgiveness, and finding the way to Christ, all with a little bit of love thrown in...this book is definitely for you.

You will immediately be drawn into the heart-breaking journey that is Jade's life. Her whole adult life has revolved around a very hard decision she was forced to make when she was only sixteen. Her family became very dysfunctional when she was still really young, and she hasn't had a close relationship with her parents ever since. She has never felt safe, or truly loved, since that terrible day when she was 8-years-old.

As the story opens, we meet Jade after she's all grown up, and is about to be married. She is the owner of The Blue Umbrella, her vintage shop in Whisper Hollow, TN. She lives in the loft above her shop with her faithful, one-eyed companion, Roscoe. The whole town of Whisper Hollow is made up of unique and unusual characters, as well as cozy businesses, up and down Main Street, where Jade's shop is located.

When Jade and her fiance meet with the minister to plan the ceremony, tough questions come up concerning Jade's relationship with God. She feels unworthy of Christ's love, though she knows He exists. She just doesn't think He can forgive her for the horrible decisions/mistakes she's made in the past.

It's very easy to become immersed in the lives of the Fitzgerald family. By the time you get to end of this book, you're really sad to see them go...at least I was. I'm hoping this will turn out to be the start of a series. I would love to find out what happens to Jade's siblings: Aiden and Willow...maybe they will share there own stories with us at some point.

To find out how more about Sara's debut book, or how to get your own copy, please visit her at: her website

* I would like to say "thank you" to Thomas Nelson for providing me with a complimentary copy of The Sweet By and By for me to review. In no way, shape, or form did their thoughtfulness have any reflection on my opinion of this book. *



Lee Smith said...

Great review! You always do a good job. :o)

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Oooo girl so glad that you liked this book and got it finished today LOL! Thank you for another interesting review! I read every one that you write! ;-)

XOXO~ Renee

Blanche said...

I saw this beautiful book at B&N today but I wanted to wait to get it until I read your review!

Great review, I'm going to be putting it on the TBB list! :)

Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

Thank you for your kind comments, ladies! :)

This turned out to be a really great book...I wasn't sure what to expect, so I was pleasantly surprised.

@ Blanche: what's TBB? To Be Bought? LOL If so, that sounds like me!


Blanche said...

Yep........to be bought! LOL

Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

Good one, Blanche! At first I thought you mistyped, but them thought ...hmmm... To Be Bought sounds good to me! :p

Angie said...

Great review! This is already on my wish list but now I'm really anxious to get it in my little hands. ;)

CeeCee said...

Great review Lori. I hope this is a series too.

Colleen said...

This sounds really good...and I love Sara Evans music!

ibeeeg said...

Last year I read a book by Rachel Hauck,Love Starts With Elle, I loved it.
I want to read more books by Hauck but was a bit hesitant about this one since it was co-authored. Your review has chased away my hesitancy. I want to read this book.

Michelle said...

I'm not a country music fan, so I had no idea who Sara Evans was! This book sounds really great, though. I'll have to check it out.

Cym Lowell said...

I love your reviews and how much thought you put into them!

Thanks for joining in the party and I am glad I stopped by to read this!


Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

@ Angie ~ I think you will really enjoy this book!

@ CeeCee ~ Thank you. I saw an article somewhere that this IS the start of a series...woo-hoo! :D

@ Colleen ~ Sara has some great songs!

@ ibeeeg ~ I've only read a couple of Rachel's books, but didn't enjoy them as much as this one. I'm so glad you're gonna give it a try. :)

@ Michelle ~ LOL Since I've been married, I'm not much of a country fan anymore. DH likes Oldies, 80s, etc., so now I enjoy those. This truly is a great book!

@ Cym ~ WOW! Thanks so much for your kindness. I work really hard on my reviews, and hope they turn out okay.

I'm so glad you've started "Book Review Wednesdays" back up...I've missed it! :)