SOFTLY AND TENDERLY, the sequel to The Sweet By and By captivated my mind and heart from the first paragraph.
I read my copy in just over a day. What I loved- among several things about this story- is the faith message. While most books shy away from a strong “come to Christ” message- this book tackled the issue head on-earning my quick respect.
This definitely has a “soap opera” feel to it as the back of the book suggests. But where the two part company is a soap opera never shows hope, this book while filled with great conflict and characters in trial, the end message is filled with great hope for the future. I don’t think I gave anything away there… The characters are flawed and broken, but what I love about them is as they are brought to their weakest, they must learn to stand on the Rock- Christ.
The only thing I struggle with is the issue about divorce and remarriage. Not that I mind that topic, but it does open it up for controversy. It can be a sticky issue, especially when marital unfaithfulness isn’t necessarily involved.
However, that aside, I was gripped from beginning to end. The writing is excellent, the story flows naturally forward and in the end I found myself with great eagerness for the next book. Winter of 2012 is a long way off unfortunately!
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publisher for my copy to review.