The Sweetest Thing by Elizabeth Musser

I found this book to be a VERY enjoyable read.  It was so well written.   I found many spiritual lessons to be learned that I could apply to my life. 

The setting is the 1930’s during the depression in Atlanta, Georgia.  Mary Dobbs was the daughter of a very poor but dedicated evangelist.   She had her family had little to spare and often times not enough.  Instead of this being a negative, their poverty had strengthened her faith in God and her focus was on sharing Christ and living for Him.  She was a very happy vivacious young woman, untouched by their hardships.  Her family sends her to live with her wealthy aunt and have the opportunity to receive an education they cannot afford.

When she moves to Atlanta, she meets Perri Singleton, the exact opposite of Mary.  She has only known wealth and privilege all her life.  She is unappreciative, intolerant, and petty.   At first the two girls do not like each other then tragedy brings them together and they become fast friends. 

Mary is strong in sharing her beliefs and living by them, but the longer she lives in affluence the more she begins to stray from her strong faith.  As her faith wanes and weakens she becomes more shallow and worldly like Perri. At the same time her sowing of the seed of God’s Word has taken hold in the hearts of the other socialite girls and Perri and they grow in faith.

I found such a lesson in this about how the focus on worldly things can crowd the Lord out of one’s life, and the more we have the more discontented we will become if we not careful.  It also showed the  strong influence of one’s peers on personal choices and beliefs. 

Both characters face many heartaches and struggles, yet the author always brought Bible principals into dealing with their problems.  Some parts made me really think about accepting my circumstances as God’s will and asking “what” He wants me to do, not “why”.   My thoughts were also directed to the fact that what we think is best for us may not be God’s best no matter how things appear or our feelings.

I like the way the author went back and forth between Mary and Perri, sharing each girls thoughts a view point of the situation.  It was fun being able to see both sides of the story that the other character wasn’t privy to knowing.

This book was like driving an Arkansas road; lot’s of twists and curves when you least expect it.  It was hard to put down!  There was definitely romance in the book but it was handled so tastefully. 

I really liked the ending, it was complete and I felt very satisfied, not like with some books where you are left hanging or expecting more.  I highly recommend this book!  I was sad when I finished it!

I have received this from book Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

 

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