Jade Fitzgerald and Max Benson find their wedding day fast approaching with all the assorted relatives, and past baggage along with the joy, of their special day. Jade thought she left her past behind a decade ago, but when her gypsy-like mother, Beryl Hill, shows up with her younger sister, Jade's old insecurities come barreling to the surface. Can God's grace help to mend her family's broken hearts and somehow meet in the middle before it's too late?
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Grab yourself a cup of coffee and get cozy. You will be in for a long night of reading and you won't need the coffee to keep you awake. This novel will take you on a journey through the life of Jade Fitzgerald. A young woman trying to move forward, but forever stuck in yesterday. She has many regrets caused by poor choices. Many pains brought to her from simply coming from a broken family. Many memories that haunt her.
We journey from her past to her present. I have read books that take us from yesterday to present time and have had a struggle keeping up, but this one just seems to flow. From reading of today and then taking a glimpse back in time, we get to see the full view of Jade and her many mysteries to be uncovered.
Who knew, Sara Evans, could write? Rachel Hauck is at the top of my favorites list. Now, both of these ladies together bring a story of redemption and grace. I had purchased, Softly and Tenderly, the second book in the Songbird Series at the ACFW conference this year. I began reading and realized it was part of a series. I quickly got on line and ordered, The Sweet By and By. I waited patiently for it to arrive and was not disappointed at all. I encourage you to read them in order. The Sweet By and By is the backbone of the series.
This story takes us into the heart of Whisper Hollow, Tennessee. Here is something I love. Jade is almost hollow inside. She has carried such pain for so long and all she needs is to hear the whisper of God. Faith was always near Jade. It flowed from her grandmother's heart. But Jade felt she wasn't good enough for God. She thought she had made too many mistakes in life. Who of us hasn't been there? I know I have, but that is where the sweet grace of Christ comes in.
This is a journey of not just one woman, but many characters that jug at your heart as we watch them move through each trial of life. On some level you will fall in love with each of these broken people. This story opens with Jade inviting her mother to her wedding. A choice she isn't sure of, but one that will change her life. It's awesome to see how each choice Jade makes brings her closer to a God she didn't think loved her at all.
To say I loved this book simply isn't enough. It is one that you read and pass on to your friends. It's just that good.
Review : The Sweet By and By - Book #1 Songbirds Series - Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck - Jan 2010 Jade Freedom Fitzgerald's life is for once looking up - she owns an antique shop called The Blue Umbrella, she has a good set of friends and she is about to get married to lawyer Max Benson. Jade wants a nice, quiet intimate wedding but her interfering mother-in-law is planning an extravagant event including expensive red-enveloped invitations. The story starts with Jade contemplating whether to send an invitation to her hippie mother, Beryl, who's still living like it's the 1960s. As the wedding nears, all Jade's secrets from her past start to surface, such as ex-fiances, her estranged father and her dysfunctional family. Armed with her two close friends whose dreams are to go on Oprah, her trusty one-eyed dog Roscoe and her quirky antique shop, can Jade move forward into married life without losing who she really is and will she fit in with her husband-to-be's socialite friends and family or will it just be too much for her to handle? This collaborative effort by country singer-songwriter Sara Evans and Christian author Rachel Hauck is an amazing read which tells a story about chasing dreams, travelling endless miles to get where you want to be and having the faith that no matter how much you focus on the future, you have to open and accept the past in order to move forward.
As a fan of country star, Sara Evan's music and Rachel Hauck's novels, I was excited to discover that both women have joined forces and released an inspirational novel. The Sweet By and By is a collaborative effort that successfully blends the emotional story lyrics present in Sara Evan's songs with the character development and humor that defines Hauck's novels.
In The Sweet By and By, Jade Fitzgerald is a young woman who is the owner of a vintage, antique shop and just weeks away from marrying Max Benson, a successful lawyer from an upper-class family. With pasts that they both wish to forget, they agree to live in the present while embracing the future. After Jade reluctantly sends a wedding invitation to her estranged mother, Beryl, memories from the family's past set ripples of pain and regret into motion. These ripples soon turn into a wave of emotion that they must confront. While the women struggle to reconcile their past, Max also faces the return of his former fiance and a secret that he wishes to keep from Jade. Will Jade's and Max's love for one another surmount the obstacles that they face?
The Sweet By and By skillfully displays the complexities of family relationships and the power of forgiveness as individuals struggle to come to terms with their past actions and decisions. While reading this novel, I was drawn to the unfolding story of Jade's and Beryl's tumultuous relationship. Like this story, real-life is complex with no "perfect" endings. Our lives are always a work in progress.
I look forward to Sara Evan's and Rachel Hauck's upcoming novels in the Songbird series. Hopefully, readers will once again re-visit the lives of some of the characters in The Sweet By and By, especially Jade's younger sister, Willow.
Great read! I love books where characters must confront their pasts to move forward. I think we all relate to that kind of tension.Great cast of characters. Believable plot. Sweet romance. Thought-provoking themes. It reminds us that the great Redeemer makes all things are possible.A debut novel to be proud of!
Everyone loved Jade Fitzgerald. She got along with everyone. But just the thought of inviting her mother to her wedding freezes Jades very insides. This book can bring hope to any estranged mother daughter relationship. Healing does not come easy. Healing has a price that must be paid. I especially enjoy a story where family relationship healing is attempted. I highly recommend this book. It is truly a book with take home value.
I recently finished reading "The Sweet By and By" by recording artist, Sara Evans with Rachel Hauck. I really did enjoy this book. The descriptive words drew beautiful pictures on each page. This is the story of Jade. She grew up being abandoned by almost everyone that she loved. As she prepares to marry the man of her dreams different pieces of her past unravel. She struggles to share each piece of the story worrying that Max will leave just as everyone else had. This is not a deeply spiritual book full of verses. She's known of God through her grandma and brother and in the end choses His forgiveness which changes her heart.You can purchase this new book at CBD or at Thomas Nelson's website.
I am not normally a reader of the books some would call touchy-feely books. When I saw that Sara Evans had written, The Sweet By and By, I decided I would give it a shot. Having left the pain of her past, Jade looks to move on when she heads to college. We catch up with Jade as she is in the midst of her wedding and a new step forward. Jade eventually sends an invitation to her mother, who shows up for her eldest daughters wedding. Jades mom has her own issues with a hidden illness and a need to have a relationship with her eldest daughter. Her presence brings back the past the Jade has tried to leave behind. We read along as Jade searches through her past in order to find what she seeks most, a relationship with her father and reconciliation with her mother. This was a different read for me as I stated but I would recommend this book to those who would like to read about love, hurt, anger, reconciliation and how a family can truly live together and not seem like a perfect family. I was captured by the changing twists that I didnt see coming and had thought it was going another way. All in all, I would recommend this novel to many of the people I know. If you arent into the touchy-feely novels this one might still grab you as it grabbed me.
I am not normally much of a novel reader. I tend to stick with non-fiction, Christian Living or biography type books, but the fact that the lead character has the same name as me...and it was written by a musical artist, definitely caught my interest.Sara Evans is known in the music world as a singer/song writer and multi-platinum recording artist, but she is now attempting to take on another form of art... as an author of a novel... actually several. The Sweet By And By is the first in a series and introduces the lead character, Jade, as she is preparing for what is supposed to be the happiest day of her life. Jade has seemingly succeeded to keep her dirty and painful past in the past, even from her fiance, up until just a matter of days before the couple unites in matrimony. Suddenly a flurry of memories, lies, pains and troubles are brought to the surface and despite Jade's best efforts, they must be dealt with including having her free-spirited, hippie mother around with her own secret to reveal. The story is tragically heart-breaking, but as Jade discovers herself and her faith... quickly turns to a sweet story of surrender and forgiveness.As an author, Sara vividly describes the scenes, the emotions and the senses. You are taken through a wild ride of emotional highs and lows in this book, so be ready for it.
The Sweet By and By its a story about jade and other family/soon to be family. Her struggles in secrets of the past the hurt the anguish of family and keeping the secrets. It all comes out but in this amazing story it all turns out in the end by Gods grace only.This book was really amazing it flowed super amazingly it was one of those quick fast can't put it down kind of books. One that really draws you in loved it a lot. One of the quotes in the book that really got me was We like to put God in a box, determine when and how He can speak to us, but He can relate to us anyway He wants. just even that line is so inspiring like this book is. Jade overcomes all of it so well with grace.
Have you ever listened to a song and thought that would make a great book to read. Sweet By and By is just that. Evans with Hauck has a unique voice that uses the English language in a delightful way.Whisper Hollow is the place Jade has come to escape painful memories. Shes building a new life, getting married and loving the way this life is turning out. Then it begins to crumble. Unwelcome surprises from her past show up on her doorstep, prince charming seems to be a bit tarnished and then there is the pushy mother-in-law to be. Having read several books by Hauck I can see her story telling presence in this book. And as a collector of Sara Evans music I can hear her voice. This was one of those books you want to read again and again.
Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck's book The Sweet By and By is an interesting tale of love, faith, heartbreak, joy and loss.It follows the growth of the relationship between Jade and her mother, Beryl, from its very roots to present day where Jade is about to be married. The Sweet By and By is a very easy read and you will find yourself wrapped up in the story to the point that you just can't put the book down. I was impressed with how much this book made me stop and think about my own relationships with people and with God. I know this is one that I will be going back to read again in the future.One of my favorite parts of the book is when Jade is speaking with the Reverend who is to marry her and her finance. The Reverend asks if she knows the story of Paul, "...He was a passionate young man in his day, running around Jerusalem arresting and beating Christians in defense of the synagogue. One afternoon, right in the middle of his mission, God dropped by for a visit." Jade tries to tell the Reverend that this is a different era. The Reverend responds by saying, "'But He's the same God. He doesn't change. He's the same yesterday, today, and forever..." What a wonderful truth that is!
I received The Sweet By and By through the Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger programme. The story is about 29 year old Jade who is about to get married to the man of her dreams. It follows her in the run up to the wedding and her relationship with her semi-estranged mother through a combination of "present day" commentary and flash backs to relevant past events.Although I didn't hate this book, it wasn't that great - indeed I only completed it because it is a requirement of the review programme to do so. I realise that it can take time sometimes to set the scene but more than half way through the book I was feeling bored and waiting for it to get to the point. Maybe they were trying to create suspense or something but it didnt work for me.I felt that a lot of the Christian bits in it seemed contrived almost as if someone had been deliberately trying to find every opportunity to put things in rather than them flowing into the story naturally.When the story ended, I wasn't satisfied. The story was complete and it stopped at a natural point but it just all seemed to end a little too nicely especially considering what had gone before. It was just all a bit too syrupy for me. Perhaps if you like reading "chick-lit" you would enjoy it but it wasn't really for me and I would hesitate to recommend it.
The Sweet By and By is the story of Jade, a young woman on the brink of marriage. When she finally mails the invitation to the mother she hasn't spoken to in 3 years, old wounds are opened and finally allowed to heal.It is beautifully written and will draw you in. I really enjoyed reading this book and found myself crying at the end. I am finding this review very hard to write because there is a mystery (why Jade and her mom are estranged) and I don't want to give away too much. I also have a great relationship with my mother and so didn't relate personally to the story - it was beautifully written but I never thought "that is how I felt".Would I recommend it? Maybe.
"The Sweet By and By" is a poignant story of love, dysfunction, wrong choices, anger, abandonment, heartbreak, bitterness, and multiple secrets haunting Jade Freedom Fitzgerald before she gets married to Maxwell (Max) Charles Benson.Jade was born into the home of hippie parents, who later divorced, setting her up for abandonment issues and bitterness to run her life, and leaving Jade responsible to help raise her siblings, with the help of her grandmother, while her mother toured the country with multiple husbands for her own selfish ideals of life.Underage, Jade and her high school boyfriend secretly marry, which was to be annulled once their parents found out. She makes a deadly decision that also haunts her for years to come. And, unfortunately, she finds herself still married to this young man just weeks before her marriage to Max.Then Jade's mother and younger sister come three weeks before the wedding. Untold secrets unfold, along with having to reconcile with her mother, dealing with a pushy mother-in-law-to-be, and run her vintage shop.Oh, but God had a plan for her to reconcile with this decision and the years of estrangement from her parents, just as He is ready, waiting and willing to remedy your own issues! A quick read, but a great message of honesty and forgiveness.
As part of the Thomas Nelson book review program I received this book to review. My Momma always taught me that if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all so this will be short :) . It is about a young woman coming face to face with reality and relationships. It is a bit too heavy on the romance and too light on the relationship with Jesus. In my opinion a good book is the other way around. It is actually well written enough which probably is due to editing. All in all it reads like a country song, and I don't listen to country music most of the time unless there is a lot of Jesus involved. I think maybe I expected more from a Christian publisher.
I wasn't sure what to expect with the Sweet By and By since Sara Evans was a singer rather than an author, but I was pleasantly surprised by the story of redemption and how the main character, Jade Fitzgerald, makes peace with her past and the mother that she blames for the biggest mistake she's made in her life.Initially, Jade and Max Benson, Jade's fiance, have an agreement that their past was in the past and there was no need to share or rehash it. That agreement becomes difficult to adhere to as skeletons slowly come out of the closet. Although Jade has long blamed her hippie free living mother, Beryl, for a sin that continues to haunt her - it is a series of unfortunate circumstances that cause Jade to come face to face with the truth of this sin, to reconcile with her mother, and to finally see the truth of what relationship with Christ and true forgiveness involves. I especially enjoyed a discussion that Jade had with the pastor that was to marry her and Max, as she shared how the Lord caused her to finally have the peace she had sought for so long, Reverend Girden shares with Jade, "Sounds just like Him (Jesus). He loves relationships. We make it about rules and regulations. But God, He loves to be in a relationship with people." Further in their discourse, as Jade explained that she felt disqualified or unfit to be loved by God, he answered with a great reminder from Romans 8:38-39, that nothing can separate us from the love of God.Sweet By and By was an entertaining story peace and how only the Lord can give it.
I am usually not drawn to books, especially novels, written by people who have gained their fame in other arenas. Sara Evans, a multi-platinum winning recording artist, may have changed my mind. Characters that are rich, real, and not involved in the music industry bring this story of a young woman with a bright future, but a dirty past, to life.Jade is a young woman who seemingly has it all. A job she loves, her own business, a handsome, successful fiance. But just under the surface secrets from her past are keeping her at arms length from the One who can truly make her life complete.I appreciated the role the pastor of the church the young couple plans to be married in conducts the pre-wedding meeting, not allowing the couple to gloss over some very important questions about their faith and the future. I really wanted to dislike the character of Max's (the groom) mother. But even she had depth beyond the standard nosy-mother-in-law. As the truth is revealed, bit by bit, I could relate to her wanting to protect and defend her son.This was a great first novel and should appeal to many of us who grew up on the fringes of the boomer generation.
Book Review: The Sweet By and By from Sara Evans with Rachel HauckEvery now and then, when I'm looking through available books from Thomas Nelson's Book Review Bloggers program, I pick something a little out of character for me. Why? So it can sit on a shelf until I'm right up to the deadline, then I read it in a short time span. This time, I picked up The Sweet By and By. I've been a fan of Sara Evans' music for some time, and was curious to see how she did as a novelist. And yes, it's not really a novel geared at the male audience. Most novels with nice romance aren't.I was pleasantly surprised, though, to read this book. It was, first of all, not a fluff novel. The characters have real issues, they have frailties, and not everything is straightened out by the end.So how is it? Well, the book develops well. The characters are not the stereotypical Christian novel characters that have everything together or whose problems are really molehills made into mountains. (Although, to be honest, I've only read a few that fit the stereotype.) The center character is a young woman named Jade and the plot revolves mainly around the path to her wedding. It consists of current occasions mingled with flashbacks that establish what all is happening.In all, this is not a bad novel for a first attempt. It's not even bad for a second or third attempt. True, from the masculine perspective, there are no car chases, explosions, or dramatic showdowns. It's a soft, easy read. It can be thought-provoking, it can also be read a little closer to the surface as a light weekend novel.Would I recommend this? Certainly. It's probably a good read for the anyone 13 or up. I'd give this one 3.5 out of 5 stars.