Sunday, March 16, 2008
When a Southern waitress inherits the Lowcountry cafe where she works, she suddenly has to balance more than just her next food order.
Caroline Sweeney has always done the right thing--the responsible, dependable thing--unlike her mother who abandoned her family. But when her best friend challenges her to accept an exciting job adventure in Barcelona, Spain, Caroline says "yes" to destiny.
Then, without warning, ownership of the run-down cafe where she’s been waitressing falls right into Caroline’s lap. While she’s trying to determine the cafe’s future, handsome Deputy Sherriff J.D. Rand captures Caroline’s heart.
But when her first love, Mitch O’Neal, comes back to town, fresh from the heat of his newly-found fame as a country music singer in Nashville, Caroline must make some hard choices about love and the pursuit of the sweet life.
Read the first chapter HERE
I wasn't sure what to expect with this story. At first I thought it would be a straight chick lit, and in some ways it was. However, Sweet Caroline touched me in a deeper place than most lits do. I actually got choked up a few times. I rarely do these days. There were some very funny moments, some truly enjoyable girl times, and some romantic interludes that sizzled and popped. Best of all, though, was a spiritual awakening and a discovery of one's place in this world that was breathtaking and yes, sweet.
I loved this story. It was hard to put down once I got past the first few chapters. I loved the old folks, the lowcountry charm, and the author's voice. The honesty and self-examination Caroline had to deal with in order to grow was truly inspirational. She was strong, yet totally emotionally vulnerable, and for good reason. I loved how Caroline was so perceptive of other people's needs. She was also brave and willing to tackle her issues.
When she helped her brother tackle his bitterness there was a genuine God moment that was unforgettable. I am rarely as moved as I was during that pivotal point in the story. Of course I'm being vague so as not to spoil the surprise. At any rate, this story is probably my favorite story penned by Hauck. Does it get any better than this??? Seriously.
Sweet Caroline was published by Thomas Nelson and released in February 2008.