Customer Reviews for

The Sweet By and By

Average Rating 4
( 88 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(40)

4 Star

(33)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(4)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Page turning, hard to put down book!

First off I have to say I was really skeptical when I saw that Sara Evans (yes..the country singer) wrote it with the help of another author. I automatically think "OK..how much of this did she actually write?" I don't know- but I do know it was a good book.


The st...
First off I have to say I was really skeptical when I saw that Sara Evans (yes..the country singer) wrote it with the help of another author. I automatically think "OK..how much of this did she actually write?" I don't know- but I do know it was a good book.


The story is of a woman named Jade, who had a not so ideallic childhood and clearly not coping with her abadonment issues. I have to say I hate characters, and people in general, who aren't able to move past things in their past. OK- so your dad left you. GET OVER IT. So this book really frustrated me because you just want to slap Jade up and let her know she's being an idiot. Get over yourself. But I did like how the book went back and forth from the present day to the past and how the story of her past unraveled as you went through the book. Jade is preparing to get married and her motto (and her fiance's) is "the past is the past" and neither has really talked about each other's pasts and so a lot of things are learned in the weeks/days leading up to the wedding.


I thought the relationship between Jade and her mother, Beryl, was relatable if not frustrating. I can definitely see a "part two" of this book happening because the ending left some loop holes (i.e- the relationship with the dad- what happens? What is it like for Beryl at the end? What happens with Willow? How does Jade and Max handle marriage? Are there more secrets to come out? etc)


Overall? It's a good story. It's a page turning, hard to put down book. It's a fast read and the story progress quickly and doesn't get lost in descriptions and plot set ups.

posted by Sara_Strand on December 24, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Not my cup of tea

I offered to review this book for Thomas Nelson Publishing. I must mention right away that I am not a huge fan of light "chick lit" so it didn't surprise me that I didn't love this book. It's probably not fair of me to even give a review.

I tend to read lots of n...
I offered to review this book for Thomas Nelson Publishing. I must mention right away that I am not a huge fan of light "chick lit" so it didn't surprise me that I didn't love this book. It's probably not fair of me to even give a review.

I tend to read lots of non-fiction, deeper theological works, more literary fiction or fiction with intense drama and depth of character. (I hope that doesn't sound pompous, I just don't enjoy reading light books with predictable endings).

As I read the book, I was a little confused. I saw that Sara Evans along with Rachel Hauck wrote it. I know who Rachel Hauck is because I follow her on Twitter. I was not familiar with Sara Evans until my daughter came home from college. When she saw the book, she informed me that Sara is a country singer and was on a TV dance show. I'm not really hip on pop culture. Anyway, that would have been nice to know before I began the book. It seems the publisher assumed I knew this, although to their credit it does mention lightly across the top, "multi platinum recording artist."

Now that you know my frame of mind, I'm guessing that many readers of Christian fiction will enjoy this book. It's about Jade, a 20-something gal who is about to get married. The setting is in the deep south where tradition and charm rule. Jade is in a quandry about inviting her mother to the wedding. Her mom was not a good enough mother, divorcing her husband and raising her children during her selfish hippie days. This story is about the healing that must take place before one can move forward.

It reads a lot like a Kristin Hannah book. Lots of quaint scenes but not really a page-turner. At least not for me.

posted by LucilleCO on January 5, 2010

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Page 1 of 5
  • Posted December 24, 2009

    Page turning, hard to put down book!

    First off I have to say I was really skeptical when I saw that Sara Evans (yes..the country singer) wrote it with the help of another author. I automatically think "OK..how much of this did she actually write?" I don't know- but I do know it was a good book.


    The story is of a woman named Jade, who had a not so ideallic childhood and clearly not coping with her abadonment issues. I have to say I hate characters, and people in general, who aren't able to move past things in their past. OK- so your dad left you. GET OVER IT. So this book really frustrated me because you just want to slap Jade up and let her know she's being an idiot. Get over yourself. But I did like how the book went back and forth from the present day to the past and how the story of her past unraveled as you went through the book. Jade is preparing to get married and her motto (and her fiance's) is "the past is the past" and neither has really talked about each other's pasts and so a lot of things are learned in the weeks/days leading up to the wedding.


    I thought the relationship between Jade and her mother, Beryl, was relatable if not frustrating. I can definitely see a "part two" of this book happening because the ending left some loop holes (i.e- the relationship with the dad- what happens? What is it like for Beryl at the end? What happens with Willow? How does Jade and Max handle marriage? Are there more secrets to come out? etc)


    Overall? It's a good story. It's a page turning, hard to put down book. It's a fast read and the story progress quickly and doesn't get lost in descriptions and plot set ups.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 22, 2009

    A Compelling, Thought Provoking and Pain filled Love of Family

    I am not a Sara Evans fan as far as her music goes, but after reading The Sweet By and By, I can see that her calling should have been in writing! I was so moved by this story! I am a mother of a daughter so this story really takes a special place in my heart. It is an emotional, twisty story. It's about faith, letting the past be the past, and hope and forgiveness. It is about life being the most important thing above all. Truly something that I, as a mother and grandmother, hold dear to me now, after reading this heart wrenching, moving story. This book deserves to be at the top of the best sellers lists! This book is 5 stars and highly recommended by me!

    ~A Copy of this book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publishers.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2010

    Not my cup of tea

    I offered to review this book for Thomas Nelson Publishing. I must mention right away that I am not a huge fan of light "chick lit" so it didn't surprise me that I didn't love this book. It's probably not fair of me to even give a review.

    I tend to read lots of non-fiction, deeper theological works, more literary fiction or fiction with intense drama and depth of character. (I hope that doesn't sound pompous, I just don't enjoy reading light books with predictable endings).

    As I read the book, I was a little confused. I saw that Sara Evans along with Rachel Hauck wrote it. I know who Rachel Hauck is because I follow her on Twitter. I was not familiar with Sara Evans until my daughter came home from college. When she saw the book, she informed me that Sara is a country singer and was on a TV dance show. I'm not really hip on pop culture. Anyway, that would have been nice to know before I began the book. It seems the publisher assumed I knew this, although to their credit it does mention lightly across the top, "multi platinum recording artist."

    Now that you know my frame of mind, I'm guessing that many readers of Christian fiction will enjoy this book. It's about Jade, a 20-something gal who is about to get married. The setting is in the deep south where tradition and charm rule. Jade is in a quandry about inviting her mother to the wedding. Her mom was not a good enough mother, divorcing her husband and raising her children during her selfish hippie days. This story is about the healing that must take place before one can move forward.

    It reads a lot like a Kristin Hannah book. Lots of quaint scenes but not really a page-turner. At least not for me.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A good read

    Jade Freedom Fitzgerald is getting married. Marrying a young lawyer, Max Benson from Whisper Hollow TN. A match she feels very unworthy of, although Jade feels unworthy of nearly everything. She has major baggage she is carrying from her childhood. The daughter of a original flower child/hippie lawyer the actions of her parents have left huge scars in Jade. Scars she has tried to bury deep within her to never be dealt with.
    As wedding preparations take place however, old wounds start to resurface, as her mother-in-law to be pushes Jade to invite her mother to the wedding, and Jade's mom shows up three weeks early. Pre-marital counseling reveals to Jade that there are things she is definitely holding on to. Will Max and Jade make it down the aisle, to be wed and to live happily ever after? This book is a story of a wild tale of seemingly bad luck. Poor Jade, if it is something bad that can possibly happen, it does happen. Three full weeks of scrambling around trying to make everything right that has appeared from her past and that is major wrong, has Jade stretched to the point of snapping.
    Sara Evans and Rachel Hauk have brought us a modern day fairy tale, the princess meets her prince and longs to live happily ever after. However the monsters and dragons they face are the haunting hurts of a past. A book that will keep you reading into the wee hours of the morning (ask me how I know). 305 pages $19.99 US 4 stars

    This book was provided for review purposes only, no cash or payment of any type was received for this review.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2009

    A sweet debut novel

    The Sweet By And By is a sweet debut novel. A lighthearted read that will leave you longing to spend more time with the characters you have grown to love. Sara Evans has a lyrical touch to her prose that sometimes read like a song-no surprise since she is a country singer and writes her own music! She uses flashbacks like a pro and the plot twists keep coming and coming and coming.
    I don't know that I've ever read a character so wounded as Jade Fitzgerald. And Jade comes a long way, emotionally, in this novel. Sara has created complex, deep characters that take the reader to an emotional level with them. And the characters don't always do what you expect. I felt complete and satisfied when I finished this novel. Great read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great read!

    I was given a chance by Thomas Nelson to review 'The sweet by and by. 'This book was written by country singer Sara Evans. After I agreed to read and review this book and it showed up, I got kind of worried. It has all the look of a 'chick lit' book. And to a large extent it is.

    This is the story of Jade and how her life comes crashing in right before her wedding. As the story unfolds we learn both about Jade and her mother and the various choices that they made and how they have affected their life since then. We see how worried Jade is that her past is 'catching up with her' and will ruin her perfect present with Max, her fiancée. What we find out is that Max isn't really perfect either and that everyone has sides to them that aren't always the prettiest.

    My thoughts on this book are first off, this is a really great read. 'chick lit' or not, I really enjoyed this story. The realistic dialogue was especially refreshing. The way that the story is revealed a little at a time from both Jade and Beryl (the mother) is also a nice touch

    But most of all I really liked how this story examined how we all have things in our lives that we wish others wouldn't know about. And that we will never get past or over them until we face them head-on and rather then blame others and circumstances realize our own responsibility.

    This being a first novel, I am hopeful that there will be others from Sara Evans.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2009

    Caused me to Reflect...

    I enjoyed this book because it caused me to reflect on my own childhood and my responsibility for my decisions and who I am. But, let me back up a moment. This story is about Jade Fitzgerald who owns a vintage shop in a small town and is about to get married. She has significant baggage but is about getting married. She and her fiancee had decided that they would let the past be the past and not dig into each other's baggage or dredge up the past. But, Jade isn't able to avoid this because of several circumstances in the weeks leading up to her wedding. The story flows smoothly and easily. It is interesting and I enjoyed the characters. There was only one major flaw for me but it has to do with how little attention her fiancee received and his baggage. It seemed very disproportionate.

    I have noticed that in our society today we are reticent to take responsibility for our actions and it was such a refreshing and convicting part of this story for me as Jade does this. It caused me to think about my childhood and how my actions affect my own life.

    There is a good quote in a conversation between Jade's sister and her mother early in the book at the end of one of the chapters about the 60s generation and the wars they started--I thought it was very well put.

    Christian fiction today is much like this book. It fits well within its genre. It isn't the best book I've read, but it is an enjoyable read and it's one you could sit down with a cup of tea and a blanket with and settle in to read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Sweet By and By

    Jade is about to get married but there's a sticking point--she has to decide whether to invite her mother to the wedding. She's been estranged from her mother (Beryl) for years, and she isn't sure whether it's worth the drama to have her there. Beryl used to be a hippie and spent much of her three kids' childhoods on the road with one musician boyfriend (or husband) or another.

    You should know that this is Christian fiction, although that wasn't too noticeable until the end. So if that would bug you, this probably isn't a book you'd enjoy. (Although you'd probably like it until the end.)

    I liked the pacing of the book a great deal. The details of Jade and Beryl's relationship was revealed in a timely fashion and there was a decent twist that kept changing everything.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Sweet By and By is a beautiful story and a must read.

    The Sweet By and By written by Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck is a beautiful story that touched my heart deeply and will stick with me for a long time.

    The authors practically bring these characters to life. After reading the book, the characters seem more like real people that I know and I find myself wondering how they are doing and what happened to them after this story. Jade Fitzgerald, the story's heroine, has been through so much in her lifetime that she has tried to run away and close off her past and pretend it never existed. I felt myself relating to her on so many different levels and rooting for her.

    The story gives a beautiful picture of God's love and mercy. From the very beginning of the book I was drawn in by the dynamic relationships between these characters and the drama of a wounded family. No matter how wonderful our family is, we all have relationship problems at times, and the issues in this book just felt so true to life for me. It's a story about people who are more "real" and I truly enjoyed this book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone. In fact, I would say that this book is at the top of my list of books from 2009 that I would consider a must read!

    Rachel Hauck has been a favorite of mine for awhile, and I am hoping these two ladies will collaborate again in the future. They very obviously write well together!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    Interesting

    It was pretty good. I liked the story until it got all spiritual at the end. Those parts were pretty hokey to me. Think they could've done a better job with the wrap up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2014

    I am just becoming an avid reader and I really loved this book.

    I am just becoming an avid reader and I really loved this book. So heart felt. I like the Iowa connection as I am from Iowa myself. Great story line . Can't wait to finish the other 2 books and see how the story plays out. 

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  • Posted June 14, 2013

    I thought The Sweet By and By was an excellent story of redempti

    I thought The Sweet By and By was an excellent story of redemption and learning to let go of your past and your fears to deal with the future. The Lord was certainly guiding Jade in this book. Look forward to reading the other two.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2012

    One of my favorites

    I was just looking around the book store one day and just so happened to come across this book. I bought it impulsively. Had no idea that this book would become one of my favorites. I would recomend this read to everyone. It is a heart warming book about healing and love. Its not a fake love. The characters really have to work to make their relationship work. It is never good to keep secrets from the ones you love.

    Definetly read this book and the other two also.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2012

    Really good christian book!

    I reccomend this to all! I love it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2012

    I'm not a fan of singer or actors turn fictional authors but I w

    I'm not a fan of singer or actors turn fictional authors but I will say
    this book surprised. It was one of those books where I started to read
    it and had to keep reading. I kept thinking this is what is going to
    happen and I was wrong. My only concern is that parts of it didn't seem
    to give too much closure and the character's seemed to forgive without
    just a look. It is a good book and I can't remember if it was a Free
    Friday and Daily Find book but it was well worth the time I spent
    reading it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2012

    Such a Sweet Story

    I cannot express how much I love this series by Sara Evan & Rachel Hauck!!! I have recommended it to all my friends. I read all three in a week. I was so sad when I was finished. You will be so attached to the characters. Each book in the series gets better and better.

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  • Posted July 26, 2012

    Great Reading

    I was shocked to see that Sara Evans wrote a book and was so surprised to see that she truly wrote a great book. Such a great story with christian values and I hope to read the other books written by her. I love Sara Evans music and now I am a fan of her writing!

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  • Posted July 25, 2012

    Very good read

    Wasn't sure what to expect from a country singer, but thoroughly enjoyed the story. Look forward to reading the next book in the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2012

    A nice story

    This was a nice story and an easy read, but not really terrific.

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  • Posted July 19, 2012

    Great story and an easy read!

    Great story and an easy read!

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