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The Sweet By and By

(Songbird #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,452 ratings  ·  168 reviews
Jade Fitzgerald left the pain of her past in the dust when she headed out for college a decade ago. Now she's thriving in her career and glowing in the light of Max Benson's love.

But then Jade's hippie mother, Beryl Hill, arrives in Whisper Hollow, Tennessee, for Jade's wedding along with Willow, her wild younger sister. Their arrival forces Jade to throw open the dark clo
Hardcover, 313 pages
Published January 5th 2010 by Thomas Nelson (first published September 15th 2009)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,452 ratings  ·  168 reviews

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Nov 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I'm not usually a women's fiction fan, but I am a huge Rachel Hauck fan and her collaboration with Sara Evans did not let me down. Like her other stories, this book was filled with her signature multi-layered characters.

Beryl is an aging hippie trying to reconnect with her estranged daughter Jade. Unfortunately, Jade carries a lot of bitterness and anger toward her mother. As the authors deftly reveal her hurts to us one layer at a time, we ache over her past but cheer her on as she finally lear
Maggie Carr
Oct 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
🎶🎤💃✍📖 "All of my songs tell a story. But this one's special. My first novel. The story about Jade. Her search for real love, her one-eyed mutt, hippie mother, and her quirky vintage shop. It's about looking backward while moving forward. About chasing dreams, endless country roads, and tender faith. A breath of fresh air that'll take your breath away and leave your heart humming a song of joy."
Singer's, songwriter and now author Sara Evans. 🎶🎤💃✍📖
Faith Ann
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was really not a 4 star but close. Very interesting storyline although some of the story development was too unrealistic. Kept me turning pages however and it ended wonderfully. A very enjoyable quick read.
Dec 30, 2009 rated it really liked it

Reviewed by Cindy Loven

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 w
Jan 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Sometimes the past is better left in the past. That's what Jade Fitzgerald is convinced would be best for her, but as the weeks count down before she marries the man of her dreams Jade is haunted by her broken childhood. Should she invite the mother who abandoned her? Just how much heartache is she willing to expose herself to in order to reach out?

Beryl never grew out of being the free-spirited flower child of the '60's. She's lived life on her own terms with little thought of the impact her ch
Feb 10, 2010 rated it liked it
I think I was looking for another book by the same name or a similar name. This one is ok, it's a romance/finding Jesus novel co-written by the singer Sara Evans. In the interview she does at the beginning, she says that this is not her life story, just a novel she had in her head. I guess the moral is that with all life experiences that are bad, we need to forgive and move on in order to be happy...even when we are the victims.
A very good book. I would love to read the other two!
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a great book! I wasn't sure what to expect. I hadn't picture Sara Evans as an author. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this is written. I expected the conversations to be stilted and awkward, but that wasn't the case at all. It easily intertwined faith and forgiveness throughout the story. Good reminders to all of us that God forgives, and we must forgive not only others but ourselves as well.
Kathy Mizell
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Jade had blamed so many people for all the hurts she had from the time she was 8 years old to the week before she was to marry Max Benton, the love of her life. Sara Evans wrote a wonderful book of a young girl and all the years of growing up, the most important night that she spent with the man that helped her forgive and who forgave her. Read this book and you will cry from sorrow and happiness.
Oct 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
Yeah...this was not for me. I borrowed the audiobook from my local library because the title fit a prompt in a reading challenge I'm doing this year. I didn't really read what it was about. All of the characters made horrible choices throughout the book that had me rolling my eyes almost constantly. There's a way to do sweet romance with some conflict that ends in a happily ever after and this isn't it.
Janet Friesner
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This first book of this trilogy was wonderful. It was written a long time ago and this trilogy as far as I can find is the only Christian Fiction written by Sara Evans. Rachel Hauck, a wonderful Christion Fiction Author joined her in this endeavor. I am looking forward to reading the next two books in this series. Wonderful story showing the need for second chances and our need for a personal relationship with Jesus. Highly recommend.
Pam Chaffin
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A christian trilogy, (Book 1), filled with family, faith, and real life issues of all kinds that can and do surround and break down families. The trilogy also shows what faith in God, and following His will can do to help rebuild marriages, relationships, and to heal broken hearts.
Definitely worth reading!
Crystal Ellyson
The Sweet By and By Review.

It was okay book. It took me forever to get into it. I like the book. The main character, Jade was the only thing that kept me from giving up on this book.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
I was pleasantly surprised by this story. I wasn't really expecting much but it turned into a sweet and touching family story. Reading book number two.
May 30, 2018 rated it liked it
A sweet family novel. Wonderful to read about family relationships being healed. Great Christian element.
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This sweet romance involves just the right amount of family chaos and redemption through faith, prayer, and divine intervention. I really enjoyed this novel of forgiveness and faith.
Oct 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: listened-to-it
A read that made me consider the many things that people consider worth hiding or keeping away from those they love. And the number of cases when the decision to do so is not the best choice.
Cathy Kaufman
May 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book began very slow, but ended ok.
C Davis
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! A very quick read.
Ambrosia Waives
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A nice little story that I enjoyed. I read it because Sara Evens wrote it.
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
I found that it did not coincide with my moral standards.
Janet Merrell
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
Sweet story of forgiveness. Interesting family dynamics. Excited to read more.
May 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Jessica Till
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I like Rachel Hauck's books, but this wasn't my favorite. The characters' problems were complex and reasonably well-portrayed, but the resolution of them was overly simplistic. I also take exception to the number of boundary violations that are glossed over because someone "meant well" or was a person of faith. Forgiveness is indeed divine, but that doesn't erase the need to respect others; some supporting characters get an egregious pass on that one.

Trigger warning: Graphic discussion of abort
Dec 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
From the author/back cover:

"All my songs tell a story. But this one's special. My first novel. A story about Jade. Her search for real love, her one-eyed mutt, hippie mother, and quirky vintage shop. It's about looking backward while moving forward. About chasing dreams, endless country roads, and tender faith. A breath of fresh air that'll take you away and leave your heart humming a song of joy." ~ Sara

Small excerpt ~ Chapter 1:

"The October sun warmed the Blue Umbrella's office. A pool of ligh
"The Sweet By and By" is a contemporary Christian fiction/romance set in a fictional, rural Tennessee town called Whisper Hollow.

Centering around Jade Fitzgerald, who finds herself confronting a difficult and conflicted past as she prepares for her upcoming wedding to Max Benson. Jade struggles to come to terms with her past and a mother haunted by her own personal choices.

"The Sweet By and By" shows promise as it follows Jade and her attempts to come to terms with her past and the choices she
Jan 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Jade finally found the man to love her forever. When Jade’s mother is invited to her wedding, her presence dredges up the past Jade worked so hard to keep hidden. Will her secrets stay buried, or is it time for Jade to tell the whole truth?

The Sweet By and By has characters so real you can substitute their names for someone you know. From looking at the cover, you may think this is going to be a warm fuzzy book to read by a fire. Go ahead and read it by the fire, but let me tell you: the charact
Sara Strand
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 " 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
Dale Harcombe
Should she send the wedding invitation to her mother or shouldn’t she? That is the situation facing Jade at the beginning of this book. The fact that she even has to think about it tells you there are severe problems in this mother /daughter relationship. And with good reason, the reader discovers as more of the past between Jade and her hippie mother Beryl are revealed. Jade is happy in her relationship with Max and in Whisper Hollow, ( love the name of that place)even though her past still hau ...more
Dec 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Jade Fitzgerald has a painful past. After being abandoned by her mother and father and her high school sweetheart, she feels like she will never find true peace, until she meets Max Benson. Max is the man of Jade’s dreams. In the days and weeks leading up to Jade and Max’s wedding, Jade must face her painful past and heal her wounds. She must learn to forgive others and herself.
When I first saw this book and read the back cover, I was expecting The Sweet By and By to be a light and relaxing sto
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