A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Faith. Family. Fiction. Fun.

Review: Softy and Tenderly by Sarah Evans with Rachel Hauck

From The Publisher:
Maybe in the wide-open country she can learn to breathe again.

Happily married and owner of two successful boutiques, Jade longs to begin a family with her husband, Max. But when she discovers that Max has an illegitimate son-who he wants her to help raise-Jade's life is turned upside down.

She flees to her childhood home, a rambling Iowa farmhouse, with enough room to breathe. There- while her mother's health grows fragile, and the tug of her first love grows stronger-Jade begins to question everything she thought she knew about family, love, and motherhood. In the wide-open landscape, Jade begins to see a future that doesn't rest on the power of her past, but in the goodness of God's tender mercies.

My Thoughts:

As a fan of Sara Evan's music, I was excited to have the chance to read this novel, co-written with Rachel Hauck. After receiving the book, I realized this was actually the second in her Songbirds series. While I would certainly like to go back and read 'Sweet By and By' and learn more about these characters, I did not feel completely lost in the story having not read it.
There is certainly a lot going on in this book, I'm not even sure where to begin! From the first pages, we see this 'southern soap opera' start to unfold as Jade and her mother-in-law June walk in on June's husband Rebel having an affair. This is only the beginning of the craziness that will come. We learn of Jade's struggle to have a child, Rebel's previous affairs, Jade's husband Max's struggles with addiction and the failing health of Jade's mother- losing her battle with leukemia. As if this were not enough already, Jade's world comes crashing down when she discovers her husband has a son, conceived just days before their wedding. She returns to her childhood home with her mother and June where things get even more interesting (but I'll let you read all that for yourself!) It is a wonderful story of forgiveness, love overcoming obstacles and finding peace with God.
To be entirely honest, the first part of the book moved rather slow for me. I'm not sure if it was just trying to catch up with all of the characters, or my mood on that given day, but despite being beautifully written I had a hard time really getting into the story. BUT, towards the end, once they'd returned to Prairie City, that changed and I was able to breeze through the second part and was left wanting more. One particular scene (from which the book gets it title) was especially moving, though I don't want to give that away! This is definitely a tearjerker! I look forward to going back and reading the first book of the series and to find out what comes next for the family. I'd definitely recommend this book to all.

You can purchase this book here.

*I was provided a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are my own.


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