Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Book Review: "Sweetwater Gap" by Denise Hunter

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Sweetwater Gap

Thomas Nelson (December 16, 2008)

Denise Hunter


Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!


A story of new beginnings from best-selling Romance for Good™ author Denise Hunter.
When Josephine's family insists she come home to help with the harvest, the timing works. But her return isn't simple benevolence-she plans to persuade the family to sell the failing orchard.

The new manager's presence is making it difficult. Grady MacKenzie takes an immediate disliking to Josephine and becomes outright cantankerous when she tries talking her family into selling. As she and Grady work side by side in the orchard, she begins to appreciate his devotion and quiet faith. She senses a vulnerability in him that makes her want to delve deeper, but there's no point letting her heart have its way-he's tied to the orchard, and she could never stay there.

A brush with death tears down Josephine's defenses and for the first time in her life, she feels freedom-freedom from the heavy burden of guilt, freedom to live her life the way it was intended, with a heart full of love.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Sweetwater Gap, go HERE

Second chances means no more regrets

This is a wonderful story that is destined to be one of Denise Hunter's best. I really feel like I got to know the characters and their plight throughout the story. Both Josie and Grady have been hurt from their past and are trying not to let it happen again. The chemistry between them is wonderful and I liked seeing their relationship grow as the story progressed. The description of the orchard was wonderful. I could see the fields with the apple trees, and I could smell and taste the apples themselves. I loved reading about the movies mentioned in the book. I agree with the pick of The Lake House as it is one of my favorite chick flicks and it's actually quite guy friendly. Even though Josie's dad is only described in flashbacks, I did not like him. I know I've never been in that situation, but I cannot stand it when a parent blames the child for the death of a spouse or other family member. I really hate seeing a child being punished for something they had absolutely no control over. It pained me to see how it affected Josie for the rest of her life, trying to please her dad and never being able to.

However, while I felt dreadfully sorry for Josie and everything that happened in her past, I really wish she had just told her sister what was going on. I understand not wanting to tell her during the pregnancy but after that she should have. I don't get why people think that by keeping secrets they will spare the hurt. Like all Denise Hunter books, the story draws you in and makes you want to keep reading. While the book is a wonderful allegory of Christ's love, it is not a preachy novel. It's just a beautifully written story that will leave you thinking about it long after you've finished reading.

Sweetwater Gap
by Denise Hunter is published by
Thomas Nelson (2008)

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