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.
I see a lot of promise in the collaboration between singer and songwriter, Sara Evans and seasoned author, Rachel Hauck. I have adored all of Rachel’s previous novels and wondered how this merger of songstress and writer would turn out. The Sweet By and By has all the hallmarks of a good Southern read, sassy characters, a tender yet tragic romance and a heart warming feeling as the last page ends! Jade’s struggle to overcome her wounds as a neglected child, Beryl’s bumbling attempts at reconciliation and the return of a lost love give Evans and Hauck plenty of scope to delve into the complexity of the human heart, our desperate desire to be loved and the pain of regrets that refuse to stay buried. While the story ended in an unexpected fashion for me, this pairing of two talented writers is sure to produce more uplifting stories of faith and family readers will long for.
With thanks to Thomas Nelson for my review copy