Thursday, October 20, 2011

Softly & Tenderly by Sara Evans with Rachel Hauck



Description:
Maybe out there in the country she could catch her breath, learn to breathe again.
Happily married and owner of two successful boutiques, Jade longs to begin a family with her husband, Max. But when she discovers that Max has an illegitimate son—who he wants her to help raise—Jade’s life is turned upside down.
She flees to her childhood home, a rambling Iowa farmhouse, with enough room to breathe. There—while her mother’s health grows fragile, and the tug of her first love grows stronger—Jade begins to question everything she thought she knew about family, love, and motherhood. In the wide-open landscape, Jade begins to see a future that doesn’t rest on the power of her past but in the goodness of God's tender mercies.
This book surprised me. First, it dealt with subjects not typically addressed in Christian Fiction: adultery, deception, divorce, etc. Secondly, Sara Evans is a surprisingly good writer. Jade and Max have a seemingly perfect marriage. They are dealing with infertility and miscarriage, but everything else appears to be wonderful. Until Max has to come clean to Jade that shortly before their wedding, he fathered a child with another woman. He just assumes she will forgive and forget, but Jade is deeply wounded by this revelation. 
On top of everything else, Jade's mother is dying, and her in-laws' marriage is crumbling. Her mother longs to die at home in Iowa so Jade, her mother, and her mother-in-law embark on a road trip to her hometown. While there, she re-connects with her first love and finds herself in a position of having to make some difficult choices.  This is a story of love, hope, forgiveness, redemption, and faith. 
This book kept me interested enough that I read it in two days. I liked the fact that the characters all had flaws...deep flaws. I found myself confused at times - typically during Jade's flashback sections - but I think that may be because I never read the first installment of this series. Other than that, this book was very easy to read and quite enjoyable. 
 I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 

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