Softly and Tenderly by Sara Evans with Rachel Hauck
Published 2010 by Thomas Nelson, 289 pages
Genre: Christian Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Jade lives in Tennesse in a small town dominated by her in-laws, under pressure from her lawyer husband to get pregnant. But she keeps having miscarriages. Then she finds out her in-laws’ marriage is a wreck under the surface. Her husband is addicted to prescription pain killers. Her mother, who has come to stay with her, is dying of leukemia. It sounds like she’s living a Southern soap opera. But at least her husband is faithful.

Or is he? Turns out he has a son who is younger than their marriage. Not only that, but the child’s mother is now dead. Her husband wants custody of his son, age 18 months.

Full of conflicting emotions, Jade takes off for Iowa with her mother and her mother-in-law. Her mother just wants to die in the old homestead in Iowa, and now there’s nothing preventing Jade from taking her there. But in Iowa awaits a temptation for her–her first love, who still pines for her.

This is a wonderful book which I hope you will read. It’s full of rich symbolism and taut prose, with a faith journey woven into the physical journey. I loved this book.

Five stars: *****

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