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Inspiring,
Optimistic,
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Sweetwater Gap (Women of Faith Fiction)
by Denise Hunter

Published: 2008-12-16
Paperback : 320 pages
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A story of new beginnings from best-selling Romance for Good™ author Denise Hunter. When Josephine's family insists she come home to help with the harvest, the timing works. But her return isn't simple benevolence-she plans to persuade the family to sell the failing orchard. The new manager's ...
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Introduction

A story of new beginnings from best-selling Romance for Good™ author Denise Hunter. When Josephine's family insists she come home to help with the harvest, the timing works. But her return isn't simple benevolence-she plans to persuade the family to sell the failing orchard. The new manager's presence is making it difficult. Grady MacKenzie takes an immediate disliking to Josephine and becomes outright cantankerous when she tries talking her family into selling. As she and Grady work side by side in the orchard, she begins to appreciate his devotion and quiet faith. She senses a vulnerability in him that makes her want to delve deeper, but there's no point letting her heart have its way-he's tied to the orchard, and she could never stay there. A brush with death tears down Josephine's defenses and for the first time in her life, she feels freedom-freedom from the heavy burden of guilt, freedom to live her life the way it was intended, with a heart full of love.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

Chapter 1

Josephine Mitchell was up to her wrists in dirt when she heard the whistle. She looked past the ornamental iron railing down to street level where Cody Something shut the door of his ’79 Mustang.
He approached her veranda, shading his eyes from the sun with his hand. “Hey, Apartment 2B, my friend came through.” Cody tugged two tickets from the back pocket of his khaki shorts. “Louisville versus UK.” ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. What role did each of these characters play in Josie's life? Aunt Lola, Laurel, Josie's dad, Grady?

2. How did the attitude of Josie's father toward her shape the way Josie felt about herself?

3. What characteristics of Grady appealed to Josie?

4. Josie didn't feel she could live with the guilt of Ian's sacrifice. What are some things she did to assuage the guilt?

5. How was Ian's sacrifice like Christ's? How are Josie's responses to Ian's sacrifice similar to our response to Christ's sacrifice?

6. How did Grady's love for Josie demonstrate selflessness? How did his love for Josie lead her toward God?

7. Josie reached a point of despair where she felt there was only one way out. What could you say to a friend in desperate straits that would give them hope?

8. The gospel seed had been planted in Josie from the time she was young. Why do you think it took her so long to accept it? What was it about her present situation that made her ready?

9. What meaning do you think the title Sweetwater Gap has?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

I conceived of the idea for Sweetwater Gap when my editor sent me a newspaper clipping. The article was about a man who was dealing with survivor guilt after his fellow soldier had fallen on a grenade to save his life. He was left with questions: Why had his friend done the unthinkable and how could he live up to this incredible sacrifice?

I did further research and found one particular soldier whose life had turned chaotic following a similar incident. Unable to deal with the guilt and pressure to be worthy of his friend's sacrifice, he changed, becoming reckless and distant from his family.

I began thinking about how Christ died for mankind and wondering how mere mortals can be worthy of that act. Seeing the parallels lit my creative fire. What kind of love story could I write that illustrated the value of this gift?

The creative journey led me to a wounded photographer named Josephine Mitchell, an apple orchard in Shelbyville North Carolina, and a Sweetwater Gap was born.

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Member Reviews

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  "Sweetwater Gap"by soonergirl (see profile) 03/24/09

I really enjoyed this book. I felt that the author did a good job of making the characters and setting very real and believeable. I also thought that the story of personal pain and self co... (read more)

 
  "actions speak louder than words"by 8feetfast (see profile) 09/07/11

Touches on topics of guilt and feeling unloved and the impact those topics can have on a life. This is a sweet, realistic story. Written so that I felt like a member in the community; I felt like I knew... (read more)

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