I've read my share of Christian fiction authors over the years, and it is a delight to find those who can hold my interest, challenge my thinking and make me believe I've encountered real-to-life characters who love God, not perfectly, but authentically. Denise Hildreth Jones definitely fits into this category with her novel, Secrets Over Sweet Tea.
The colorful pastor's wife, Scarlett Jo Newberry, is sometimes obnoxious, sometimes hilarious, but always ready to give love away. Scarlett and her husband, Jackson, get involved with two young couples in the church who are struggling in their marriages. Their stories provide a great framework for the author to show how Christ's love can break down walls of self pursuit and self protection.
I was drawn into the pain of the characters as they dealt with infidelity, divorce and loneliness. Scarlett and Jackson give friendship and practical counsel to those they seek to help, and as a reader we benefit from the knowledge they share. The author lets us in on how the characters process their faith, or lack of faith, in the midst of crisis and in any healing that follows the crisis.
Scarlett and Jackson are raising 5 boys, some of them teens. Their parenting style is very relational and warm. Are they too casual when addressing the issue of cussing or manners related to male behavior? Maybe, but on the other hand, their parenting offers a refreshing mix of firmness and fun.
I'm impressed with the author's ability to create characters from different generations with depth and validity. She moves skillfully between characters and story lines, and resolutions are not always predictable. Christian witness and standards are not compromised. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Jones' writing.
I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House.
received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House. - See more at: http://www.tyndaleblognetwork.com/5_nav/guidelines.php#sthash.qZ9HsAL3.dpuf