Customer Reviews for

Secrets over Sweet Tea

Average Rating 4.5
( 80 )
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5 Star

(46)

4 Star

(22)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

Denise Hildreth Jones has long been a favorite author. I've been

Denise Hildreth Jones has long been a favorite author. I've been patiently anxiously waiting a new book for TWO YEARS, so I was STOKED when I received a copy of Secrets Over Sweet Tea for review two months before it was "technically" available!

Denise starts ...
Denise Hildreth Jones has long been a favorite author. I've been patiently anxiously waiting a new book for TWO YEARS, so I was STOKED when I received a copy of Secrets Over Sweet Tea for review two months before it was "technically" available!

Denise starts by introducing readers to a fantastic—and diverse!—cast of characters. I immediately connected with Grace—feeling both sorry for her situation and frustrated that she wouldn't stand up for herself. She seemed like such a feisty, independent woman, except in her marriage. I suppose we all have our secrets and "masks" that we slip on and off depending on where we are and who we're with.

And Scarlett Jo! She was gregarious, hilarious, and outrageous! But her love for the Lord and for the people around her was palpable. I loved her habit of praying and walking every morning and actually think it's something I'll try in my own neighborhood. She's a force to reckon with, but her compassion for Grace and Zach (and others) really drove the story. Of course, Scarlett Jo has her own secrets as well, and I really loved how the roles reversed between Grace and Scarlett Jo. I thought it was a great picture of the give and take in relationships.

Denise has outdone herself with this emotional yet hopeful story. Tackling such a bevy of heart-wrenching topics (divorce, reconciliation, adultery) could have taken over the story and/or left readers in despair. Instead, the author used these subjects to move the story along and show God's grace in life-like circumstances.

Secrets Over Sweet Tea is a beautiful story about friendship, hope, and grace. My recommendation? Rush out and purchase a copy as soon as it becomes available next month! I believe you will be as touched as I was by this incredible book. [5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale in exchange for my fair and honest review.

posted by iblog4books on February 21, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Secrets Over Sweet Tea is saturated in Southern comforts and Chr

Secrets Over Sweet Tea is saturated in Southern comforts and Christianity-that's not a bad thing, but at times both topics get a little heavy handed in this book.
Set in the South, the book follows the lives of a handful of characters whose lives continue to cross paths...
Secrets Over Sweet Tea is saturated in Southern comforts and Christianity-that's not a bad thing, but at times both topics get a little heavy handed in this book.
Set in the South, the book follows the lives of a handful of characters whose lives continue to cross paths-in church, as neighbors and friends.
Although a little preachy- the stories are entertaining, especially the character Grace.
Her relationships and career are pretty interesting.

posted by nj2az on July 4, 2013

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  • Posted September 15, 2013

    Light read

    Fun, quick and light read.

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  • Posted August 26, 2013

    It grew on me!

    Normally, my first impression of a book after a chapter or two, holds throughout the rest of the book. But not "Secrets Over Sweet Tea'" this book "grew on me." Early on, I was put off. The author, Denise Hildreth Jones, did a super job of developing most of the characters, showing how they evolved into their present selves; however, I felt she gave "Sylvia" short shrift. I have known a few "Sylvia's" through the years, and I have found that they have good reasons for being the seemingly crotchety way the are. For example, perhaps they are "strict" because they truly do care about the youngsters involved and want the best for them. And let's be honest. How many times have you ever heard an adult later bemoan how strict his parents were? Most complaints are about parents that were too permissive, and for those who weren't, most of us thank them - later, of course. Otherwise I felt I knew all the characters! Chances are, if you attend church regularly, you know these people - and one of my favorite aspects of this book is that the people are REAL. No sugar-coating. They are not all-bad or all-good; sure, they mess up, but they also have good traits, which the author allows us to see, as she reveals their past, their hopes and dreams etc. The resoultions weren't as predictable as I feared at the beginning of the book; most of the time, unfortunately I can accurately predict the endings of a story or book and most television shows, including every episode I ever watched, of "Law and Order." (I can even do it just by reading the episode description.) But the more I read of "Secrets over Sweet Tea, the more I liked this book and appreciated the author. It was a book that I mentally took along with me through the days - and I found myself thinking about the Ecclesia folks when I was in my own church. In fact, lo and behold, as I sat in the choir loft, awaiting the beginning of the service, I realized with a start, "Why, I AM Scarlett Jo!!" I'm not married to a pastor, but my husband does fill in for ours at times, and is a teacher. And I am definitely passionate a.k.a. opinionated, and eager to reach out and help people, whether they know the need it or not tee hee. The ONLY complaint I have about that character relates to her weight. There is the assumption that she is a big gal because she eats a lot; as more studies are showing now, it just isn't that simple. Some folks can take in as few as 1000 calories a day for long periods and still not lose weight, and there are more cases of hypothyroidism than most people are aware of; estimates range from 5% to 20% of the popluation. Putting that into a storyline - the frustration of going to bed hungry, consistently taking in diet-leve (1000-1200 per day) calories and still not losing - would make it a little less simplistic and more true-to-life! But otherwise, it was a wonderful book, and I found myself sad that it was over. I think that Jones' writing would make a GREAT series on Hallmark. They made one from Debbie MacComber's work, and I think a show based on the people of Franklin Tennessee would be a breakaway hit. Anyone from Hallmark listening out there?! ; )

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2013

    Smaltzy

    Characters interesting but no plot and lots of religous psychobabble. And i say that as a minister and psychologist. Light reading but i still barely finished it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2013

    I found the book annoying.  I loved the characters but they had

    I found the book annoying.  I loved the characters but they had only been invited to the podium as crowd draw for the author's testimony meeting.  As a writer myself, I know that Ms. Jones should have  known better that to use a fiction book as a soapbox.  The proof of that is in her "note to the reader" which was after the story and should have been the preface.  The Discussion Questions section reads like a Sunday School lesson.  If you prefer that religion steeps in everything you do including your recreational reading then this is the book for you.  If not, you may be as annoyed as I was for the story of well-written characters, with all their warts and bumps to screech to a halt so that the author's voice could be heard making her case for the reason she wrote the book.  Despite the frustration, I gave it two stars for the fine characters she created.  I hope she will write another book about the protagonist, Grace.  If you would like to read Ms. Jones's story, without the frustration, try the "nonfiction counterpart, which she introduced in her Note to the Reader.  It's entitled, RECLAIMING YOUR HEART: A Journey Back to Laughing, Loving, and Living.

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