Once upon a time my literary diet consisted primarily of works of fiction. I felt there was plenty of reality in my life already and if I was going to enjoy my leisure reading time it would have to offer a means of escape. For some reason the past couple of years I’ve drifted away from fiction and concentrated on other things.
When Thomas Nelson Publishers provided an opportunity to review Sara Evans’ new book, The Sweet By and By, I was anxious to find out if I had missed a “made up story” as much as I thought I would. I’ll admit I didn’t have very high expectations especially since this was a “Christian Novel” and they usually prove to be so watered down and sugary they are barely realistic.
Well, this story is full of three-dimensional characters with flaws, pasts, problems, and issues. It’s a story of a family’s journey through the years where everyone makes mistakes and uses less than perfect judgment. But you’ll also find the elements of forgiveness, redemption, and mercy woven in among the anger, resentment, accusations and fears we all face in our real lives.
Other than a few instances of “typical Sunday School” talk, the dialogue in The Sweet By and By is real and believable. There are unexpected plot twists around each corner and the anticipation as main characters are drawn to an unexplainable place of peace in the midst of adversity will keep you turning pages until the very end. I am certainly looking forward to “escaping” with these two gifted storytellers more in the future.