Sep 19, 2011

Softly and Tenderly by Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck

Maybe out there in the country she could catch her breath, 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.

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Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 4, 2011)

Softly and Tenderly does not start out soft and tender, but it is full of turmoil, broken hearts and broken dreams. Jade thought her life was almost perfect, and she longed to finally have a child of her own. Several miscarriages have her wondering if she is barren, and it breaks her heart.

When Jade learns that her husband had a son that he never told her about, her world comes crashing down around her. Her mother is dying from leukemia, and Jade and her mother head off to the family farm to spend their last days together. Not only does Jade have to deal with losing her mother to a terminal illness, she doubts if her marriage can be salvaged, and she questions whether God even exists.

I loved this story, and couldn't help but feel Jade's pain and heartbreak. She finally learned to let go and trust God to guide her steps and give her strength. I absolutely recommend Softly and Tenderly, as well as the first book in this series titled The Sweet By and By. (But be prepared for some tears, this one will definitely tug at your heart strings.)

Disclosure: Ebook received through Net Galley, courtesy of the publisher Thomas Nelson. I was not compensated for my thoughts.

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