by Denise Hunter
Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2008
In her author's note, Denise Hunter indicates that Sweetwater Gap (Women of Faith Fiction) was inspired by a news story in which a soldier suffered from survivor's guilt after his friend jumped on a grenade to save his life. In this case, the one who was saved wasn't a soldier, but rather a simple country girl involved in a careless accident. Josie has felt the burden of survival for a very long time and has attempted to run as far away as possible from her home town in order to escape. It hasn't been the solution she hoped for, however. When a potentially fatal disease comes her way, she feels that the wrong can be righted. She thinks that finally God has exercised his justice.
She doesn't plan on ever going back home, but life, and her sister's pregnancy intervenes. When her brother-in-law asks her to come home to help take care of the apple orchard so that her sister can rest, she feels she has no choice. She returns reluctantly, clashes with the Grady, the orchard manager, who she finds very attractive despite her best efforts not to. She struggles to keep her illness a secret, to take care of the orchard just long enough for her sister to give birth so that she can return to her life with none being any the wiser. God, and the orchard manager, complicate her plans, however, and she forced to reconsider everything that she thought she believed.
“Sweetwater Gap” is an enjoyable Christian romance, a pleasant way to spend some leisure time.