Sunday, April 21, 2013

Book Review: Secrets Over Sweet Tea

Secrets Over Sweet TeaAuthor: Denise Hildreth Jones
Publication Date: February 18, 2013
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers

Secrets can be funny things. We think they keep us safe, but more often than not, they spill out when we least expect and make a mess out of everything. It's a truth Scarlett Jo Newberry knows all too well--a truth Grace Shepherd and Zach Craig are about to learn the hard way. As the lives of this boisterous pastor's wife, polished news anchor, and beleaguered divorce attorney intersect in the tree-lined streets of Franklin, Tennessee, scandal threatens to topple their carefully constructed worlds. Grasping at survival, they embark on a journey of friendship and courage, desperate to find a way back to laughter, love, and life.

“Don’t mock me, Jackson Newberry. Northerners are a different breed, baby. They don’t like you to touch them. They don’t want to be called sugar or sweetie or honey pie or darlin’.  They’ve never heard of lard. They have no clue on God’s green earth what fixin’ to means. And if you say y’all, they look at you like you probably marry your second cousin or something.”

Like most fairy tales this side of Walt Disney World, that one had evaporated, leaving her with one less glass slipper and no sign of Prince Charming.

The girl’s thighs needed biscuits.

What she really longed for was to be the kind of person who, when people wanted prayer – the real kind of prayer that reaches down to soul places and up to heavenly places – they’d know to come straight to her. Unfortunately that had only happened one time in the two years she and Jackson had lived here. Proving that sometimes denial is a strong-willed companion. Or that she still had some growing to do. Probably both.

I have always said that it takes a special person to be a preacher’s wife, and everyone needs someone just like Scarlett Jo Newberry to serve as a friend and someone they can talk to. This is a great southern fiction novel that takes us into the life of Scarlett Jo, her husband, the pastor, and some of the local church goers in Franklin, Tennessee. This was a light read that changes perspectives almost every chapter, and allows readers to bond with characters that are going through every day problems, some common and some not so common. Their bonding agents are Scarlett Jo and a sweaty mason jar full of sweet tea!

By the time I had finished reading this novel I felt like I had developed lifelong friends. The main characters in this novel, like Scarlett Jo, Grace Shepherd, and Zach Craig were beautifully written with just enough character flaws for my liking. These weren’t your every day fairy tale characters, but instead they were people who were going through real problems, mostly marital problems. Scarlett Jo, being the caring preacher’s wife that she was, was often times there in their time of need, and even though she was a bit obnoxious at times, I still found her heart to be big and beautiful! The character development and depth make this novel all the more enjoyable!

Now those of you that have heard me speak know one thing about me; I’m a southern belle! I loved the southern accents that were added within the pages of this novel. The dialect was thick and Scarlett Jo said things that only southerners could really appreciate. The best part about reading this book was the fact that I got the small town feel from the characters and their surroundings. This was my first read by Denise Hildreth Jones, and I am anxiously anticipating more to come!

***A copy of this book was graciously provided by the publishers at Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review***

1 comment:

  1. I love southern fiction and the synopsis has definitely got me intrigued. Thanks for a great review.