Sunday, October 30, 2011

Softly and Tenderly.



I read "The Sweet By and By" last year, and I don't remember being especially impressed with it. It felt too heavy to me. So I wasn't sure what to expect when I got my hands on the sequel (in what is going to be a trilogy).

The details of the first one were a little foggy in my mind, but I remembered the major plot and details came back to me as I read the sequel. I would think that anyone could pick up this book and be just fine without having read SBAB first.

I enjoyed "Softly and Tenderly" so much more than the first book. It is heavy as well, dealing with issues almost as big as those in the first book. It touches on things like adultery, illegitimate children, anxiety, deception, addiction, and death. Sometimes I felt like things couldn't get much worse for poor Jade- she was hit with so much in this book! Speaking of Jade, she seemed more likable than I remembered from the previous book (though I could have done without the Dustin thing).

The faith element of this series is much more understated than in most Christian fiction. It's subtle but comes out when it needs to, which I think is nice. And while I do love definite happy endings, it was refreshing to have an ending that is hopeful but not wrapped up perfectly (there is one more book coming, after all).

I think my favorite part of this book was Beryl. I remember not really liking her character in the first book. I just loved her in this one, though, and her relationship with Jade. I loved how Jade was able to look beyond the not-so-good aspects of her past relationship with her mother and come to appreciate Beryl and what she had done in her life.

Overall, a pretty enjoyable book. I usually stick with historical fiction, so contemporary Christian fiction always feels a little strange to me. But "Softly and Tenderly" is real and heartwarming, and in my opinion, a big improvement over the previous book in the series. I definitely look forward to reading the conclusion!

{I received this book free from Booksneeze. In exchange, I'm required to write only an honest review, not necessarily a positive one.}

Until next time,

1 comment:

  1. This series is of interest to me because of Sara Evans but I've at yet to read it. Perhaps this winter I'll get around to it. =D

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