For the third time now, I’ve been invited to read one of Chautona Havig’s books before publication and help her to launch it! What fun. She is one of my favorite authors; I haven’t been disappointed with any of her books that I’ve read.
Here is my review, which will be here until it publishes on Esther’s website:
I discovered one of Chautona Havig’s books a couple of years ago, and loved it, but didn’t read any of her others till about a year ago. Once I got started, however, I was hooked. I love her books! Most of them are fairly light, easy reads, but they all make you think. She has a knack for showing how Christians should live in the form of a gripping story. Her books are not preachy, but very definitely portray people living out their faith in Jesus.
Sweet On You is a little different from a lot of this author’s books. The main character is Madeline Brown, a young lady in a midwestern city sometime around 1901. She knows what society demands of young ladies, and what her aunt’s expectations are. She also knows that if she oversteps conventions she’ll harm her father’s political career. Therefore, she will not join the suffragettes or the temperance movement. However, she can’t stand to just sit at home and do nothing!
One evening, when Madeline is at a party at her friend’s house, she notices that Edith is receiving special attention from a man new to the city. Then, she notices something strange. She starts wondering about Vernon—and ends up finding herself becoming a detective!
I loved reading Sweet On You and watching Madeline investigate clues around the city while trying not to shock her aunt too much. Of course, I was fairly sure what the outcome of the investigation would be long before Madeline arrived at a conclusion, but it was quite intriguing to watch her using the resources at her disposal to learn the truth. I look forward to reading the next book in the series and seeing Madeline’s growth, not only as a sleuth, but also as a Christian. Her faith seems to be very shallow in this book, not at all like most of the author’s characters. There are a couple of friends of Madeline’s who seem to have a very strong faith in God, and Madeline considers them to be fanatics—I will be very interested to see what Havig does with her in the sequel! I can’t wait to read the next book, especially with the cliff-hanger with which this one ended. There are supposed to be six books in the series eventually.
I enjoyed the vocabulary used in this story as well. Havig did a lot of research into the way people talked and wrote around 1900, and her characters consistently use appropriate language. Another thing I found interesting was the way people thought about new inventions that were just coming into use—their reactions seemed quite natural. I highly recommend Sweet On You if you are looking for light, inspiring reading.
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. You can buy it, in Kindle format, here. Edited to add: I forgot to mention this at first, but if you buy the book this first week, you can get a free bonus short story about one of the minor characters in the book. Find the details here.