Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Secrets Over Sweet Tea [A Novel] By Denise Hildreth Jones: A Book Review

Secrets. Moments kept quiet, shames never told, painful memories tucked away for another day… Secrets. The title does not disappoint – this book is full of them, and they aren’t of the playground variety.

Scarlett Jo, with her vibrant heart and plucky personality seems to draw out the secrets of others, but she may be hiding one of her own.

Grace, a TV personality for the local news station hides behind a mask of smiles, a façade of “fine” that thinly veils her broken marriage and hurting heart.

And Zach, success written across all he does, turns from the family he once desired, in to the arms of another.

Let me begin my saying I absolutely LOVED the southern charm of this novel. Scarlett Jo in her hot pink slippers sipping sweet tea is enough to make anyone smile. Her outward appearance, boisterous and unpredictable did little to deter you from her beautiful heart beneath.

Both Grace and Zach’s stories were wonderfully told.

As Grace struggled to define herself amidst her turmoil, I found myself relating to her desire to keep the peace, put on a good face, and keep going. But her struggle for honesty and genuineness was uplifting to read. Watching her story unfold was both emotional and encouraging.

Zach, with a similar story of faith and forgiveness mirrored Grace’s struggle.

The bridging storyline though, was that of Scarlett Jo and Jackson Newberry. Their love for the 
church and desire for faith reflected such an affection for the Lord throughout their community, and in turn, to the reader.

I have many a page dog-eared with gospel centered truths that truly uplifted my spirit.

(I did, however, have a challenging time with the divorce layer of this book. I felt so many issues were addressed with a Godly perspective but that this topic was somewhat lacking – I continued to read hoping some sort of resolution would come to that situation – just something, anything, but did not find what I was looking for.)

*** With thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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