All good things must come to an end, right? Sad but true. And for the gals of Sweethaven, it had to happen sooner or later.
The third and final book in Courtney Walsh’s Sweethaven series, A Sweethaven Christmas, released earlier this month and has me ready to trim the tree, make cookies and play endless hours of Christmas music. (It’s too soon, right?)
The holidays are in full swing in Sweethaven as the families start celebrating this special time of year. With the hurt and healing of the summer still fresh in their lives, Campbell, Jane, Lila, Adele, and Meghan look to the future with promise of good things to come.
Courtney has done an amazing job creating the community of Sweethaven, and the Christmas setting of this book had me pining for a small-town Christmas celebration. If you’ve never had the pleasure of attending a Christmas walk or seeing a winter holiday parade, you’re missing out. Both my hometown and the town where I live now have a Christmas/holiday celebration that warms my heart despite the chill in the air. The Sweethaven celebration was everything a small-town holiday event should be.
Jane’s weight-loss journey in this book was particularly moving for me, although for a couple of chapters I got tired of her whining and insecurity about her weight. (Then I was reminded how tiring my own whining and insecurity about my weight are. Touche.) Her insecurities may be the most obvious of all the women, but they all deal with it in different ways. And that’s what I’ve loved about this journey. After three books, I feel like I know these women. Shoot, I AM these women, in some way or another. Courtney has encapsulated in these women the myriad issues we women deal with. And she’s given us hope that with God, good friends and gumption, we can get through, and even over, the stuff that messes up our lives.
I didn’t realize how much these women meant to me (I know they’re just characters in a book, but they’ve become my friends!) until I found myself crying, on the brink of a major sobfest, as the book drew to a close. The only reason I didn’t have a complete breakdown is that my husband was sitting on the couch across the room, and I didn’t want him to think something was wrong with me. (Confession: Something IS wrong with me.)
The road these women have traveled was long, and I’m glad to have been a companion on the journey. The end of Sweethaven is bittersweet, and I imagine as an author, that takes on a new meaning. Personally, I can’t wait to see what Courtney has cooking next.