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Be Sweet

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Description

Same mom. Same dad. Completely different lives. Who's to say which sister has it sweeter?

Viney Haverford always told her daughters to "be sweet." But the only thing sweet about Charlene Haverford these days is her sweet tooth. Little sister Janni is the nice one. The one with the intact marriage, the great kids, the stable life on the family homestead in Tappery, Michigan. Charlene's the sister who left town heartbroken and humiliated but built a sweet life for herself half a continent away: High-octane job. Red BMW. Seaside cottage. And an uncomplicated relationship with a great-looking man.

Charlene might not be the sweet sister, but she still craves sweets, like the incomparable maple syrup from her family's own maples. Which is why she's finally come home. And to make sure her tightfisted sister doesn't botch plans for their parents' 50th anniversary bash. And to show the local gossips that she's not the loser they think she is.

But Charlene's time in Tappery proves stickier than anticipated. Sweet Janni has turned moody, Mom's acting paranoid, Dad may be sneaking around with a local widow, the local police seem to be stalking them all, and the little twinge in Charlene's mouth has morphed into a full-blown, sugar-induced toothache. A hunky local dentist offers delicious diversion. But just when things get cozy, a series of revelations open both sisters' hearts to sweet possibilities they never even imagined.

Reading Guides

Reading Group Guide

  1. Charlene thought she had her life all together, but once she arrived at her childhood home, she realized she had merely moved away from the problems. Have you ever felt as though you had worked through something only to have it crop up later when you least expected it?
  2. When Charlene saw people from her past, it brought back bitter memories. She had to move beyond her past and forgive those who hurt her. Is there someone in your life who has hurt you that you need to forgive? If you haven't forgiven them, what is holding you back?
  3. Charlene has issues with her mother, and yet she still wants her approval. No matter how old we are, we never outgrow the need for our parents' approval. Have you experienced that? How do you handle it when you feel you don't measure up to their expectations?
  4. Charlene and Janni were as different as night and day, as are many sisters. Charlene always saw Janni as the saintly one, but when she discovered Janni's crown was a tad off-kilter, Charlene was shocked to the core. Have you ever put anyone on a pedestal only to have them fail you with their human weaknesses? Did that help you grow stronger in your own determination to do what's right, or did you want to give up? Could someone be watching you?
  5. Charlene's Mom struggled with a few insecurities of her own. She misjudged her husband's behavior and things got a little crazy. Have you ever misjudged someone and said things you wish you hadn't? Do you make it a rule to always apologize?
  6. Has anyone ever misjudged you? How did it make you feel? Did you confront them with the truth or let it go? Did it help you be more compassionate toward others whose situation you don't understand?
  7. Gail Campbell was the town gossip. As we know, the Bible warns against gossips, and for a good reason. They can divide the closest of friends. Has your life ever been affected by gossip? What did you do? If you know someone who gossips, would you consider telling them that what they're doing can hurt people and break up relationships?
  8. Charlene seemed to have it all, a seaside cottage, a lucrative career, and all the amenities that they bring. Still, she longed for something more. Being with family made her realize just how much she had missed by being away. Do you struggle with trying to balance what's important in life? Are there some steps you can take to remedy that problem?
  9. Charlene not only had to deal with her husband's betrayal but also her one chance to have a child was forever gone while the "other woman" bore Charlene's husband's child. Sometimes there's just no way around it, life can be unfair. Have you had situations in your life where you've said, "Life is hard, but God is good"? Explain.
  10. Ultimately, Charlene realized she didn't always "feel" sweet, but as she learned to let go of her past and trust God with her future, then she could experience the true joy and peace that Jesus gives. Have you gone through a similar experience that eventually brought you to this same place?

If your book club has ten or more members and you choose to read one of my books, I would be happy to "visit" your group (free of charge) by telephone and discuss the book. If you're interested, drop me a line at diann@diannhunt.com to schedule a date! I will also send you free autographed bookmarks!

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Be Sweet, Diann Hunt
  • Be Sweet, Diann Hunt

Details

Same mom. Same dad. Completely different lives. Who's to say which sister has it sweeter?

Viney Haverford always told her daughters to "be sweet." But the only thing sweet about Charlene Haverford these days is her sweet tooth. Little sister Janni is the nice one. The one with the intact marriage, the great kids, the stable life on the family homestead in Tappery, Michigan. Charlene's the sister who left town heartbroken and humiliated but built a sweet life for herself half a continent away: High-octane job. Red BMW. Seaside cottage. And an uncomplicated relationship with a great-looking man.

Charlene might not be the sweet sister, but she still craves sweets, like the incomparable maple syrup from her family's own maples. Which is why she's finally come home. And to make sure her tightfisted sister doesn't botch plans for their parents' 50th anniversary bash. And to show the local gossips that she's not the loser they think she is.

But Charlene's time in Tappery proves stickier than anticipated. Sweet Janni has turned moody, Mom's acting paranoid, Dad may be sneaking around with a local widow, the local police seem to be stalking them all, and the little twinge in Charlene's mouth has morphed into a full-blown, sugar-induced toothache. A hunky local dentist offers delicious diversion. But just when things get cozy, a series of revelations open both sisters' hearts to sweet possibilities they never even imagined.

More Information

Length 320 Pages
Publication Date July 10, 2007
Company
  • Thomas Nelson
ISBN-10 1595541942
ISBN-13 9781595541949
Height 8.3"
Width 5.3"