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Sweet Caroline Paperback – Bargain Price, February 12, 2008
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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About the Author
Rachel Hauck is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Wedding Dress, which was also named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and two pets and writes from her ivory tower. Visit her online at rachelhauck.com Facebook: rachelhauck Twitter: @RachelHauck --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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I make a point not to read anything God-related...my own personal reasons, it usually makes me feel uncomfortable since my own beliefs are somewhat...scattered. However, with this book, I didn't mind so much. Don't get me wrong, there was much eye-rolling going on in the beginning, but I was really into the story and wanted to see where it went, so I kept on. The more I read, the more okay I felt with the story, and where it was going, and even the presence of God (no, I'm not gonna start going to church and singing bible hymns, but hey, it's a start).
As for the story itself, COMPLETELY surprised by the ending! I thought this would be your typical, sweet, southern fiction book with the fairly predictable ending...HA! Not at all. I loved how it ended, and I really came to love all the characters. I even teared up a little (ok, a lot) at the end, when Caroline presented Henry (her brother) with his Christmas gift to her. Overall, a GREAT book, and I will absolutely read more from Ms. Hauck. Still slightly uncomfortable with all the God talk, but the way Ms. Hauck writes it, I almost wish I could find what Caroline found...but that's a battle for me and myself to work out. So glad I read this, and can't wait to read more...thanks Ms. Hauck!
She has lived in small town South Carolina all her life, but when a friend tells her of a job opportunity in Barcelona she decides to throw caution to the wind and go for it. But when the owner of the cafe where she works dies and leaves the cafe to her, it throws a big kink in her new plans. She feels the weight of responsibility to keep the cafe going and the other employees from loosing their jobs.
As if that's not enough, Deputy Sherriff J.D. Rand steals her heart and then her first love, Mitch O'Neal comes back to town. Who knew so much could happen in Smalltown, America! Caroline has some big decisions to make and she's going to need some big help.
I especially loved Caroline's humor and how her head and her heart would literally talk to each other in the middle of certain situations. I also like that Caroline is grounded and not flighty and helpless. The pain she's lived with because of her mother's abandonment guides all her decisions. It's made her who she is, but does she have to be controlled by it? She never understood the God-thing and I like how he got her attention.
I don't want to spoil the ending, but she had to make some really tough decisions and trust that they were all for the best. I think she made the right ones, but someone else may disagree. You'll have to decide for yourself!
This book is a wonderful example of "If I'd known what all I'd have to go through, would I still do it?" So many times we just want the answers. We want to know what to expect in life. But then we go through hard times and we have to make hard decisions. Looking back, if we'd known ahead of time would we choose to go through all of that? Or would we back out and miss what God wanted to teach us. The blessings from hardships.
My main worry about the story was that I was afraid that Caroline was going to end up sacrificing herself over and over again. While I know that sometimes it's absolutely necessary to give up your dreams to help others, it bothers me that in Christian fiction this is the ideal life to lead. I didn't want to see Caroline become a pushover or a doormat. Throughout the story, Caroline kept getting ready to move on with her life and then something would happen to hold her back. It was literally like a roller coaster ride with all the ups and downs to see if she would get to her final destination. I don't want to spoil the ending but I was most pleasantly pleased with her final decision.
I don't normally pay attention to chapter titles or headings but I will say that I loved the menu specials that were included in the chapter headings of this book. First off they sounded absolutely delicious. Second, they were so cheap!!! I mean, for less than $9, one could get a main course, side dishes, a drink and dessert! It totally made me wish that the Frogmore Cafe was real so I could go visit and have a good cheap meal with great company.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Caroline's story is really interesting to read and I loved the colorful characters that floated in and out of the story. I also loved reading about the running of a diner and all that yummy food. There is talk about faith throughout the book. For some it may be heavy handed but at least for me, it was what I needed to hear. I'll be looking forward to reading the rest of the books set in Lowcountry.
Most recent customer reviews
selfless. I love it. She inspires me, to be more generous.