(This was originally posted on my main blog, Notes in the Key of Life, May 2008)
When you head off to the beach or on vacation, be sure and tuck a copy of Rachel Hauck's Sweet Caroline in your tote bag. It's the perfect, pleasant diversion for a carefree summer's day.
Caroline Sweeney has a dilemma. Should she stay on as owner/manager of an iconic small-town Southern cafe, or accept a once-in-a-lifetime job with Spain's version of Donald Trump?
Either choice has major implications for other people besides Caroline. If she ditches the cafe, its longtime employees could lose their jobs and the little town could lose a beloved landmark. If she accepts the job in Spain, she could lose the re-budding romance with her ex-boyfriend, who is now a major country singing star.
"Sweet Caroline" is one of those appealing novels in which you truly enjoy spending time with the characters. Caroline is lovely, funny and relatable. Her spiritual journey from near-agnostic to joyful new convert is unforced and believable. The character of her ex-boyfriend, Mitch O'Neal, is attractive and appealing.
What choice will Caroline make? You'll enjoy finding out. Rachel Hauck's writing is fresh, breezy and contemporary, and this book is as refreshing as an ice-cold root beer on a hot summer day.
I'm participating today in Semicolon's Saturday Review of Books--click on the icon for more info!