Written by Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck, The Sweet By and By is a great story of family relationships. Jade is a girl with a past. And in that past, her mother, Beryl, doesn't have much of a role. But Jade's upcoming wedding causes both women to look at and talk about the past. Beryl was a hippie chick and more interested in what her love (at the moment) was doing rather than the upbringing of her children. Jade grew up without a mother, for the most part, and is trying to forget the past and move on with the love of her life, Max.
The story goes back and forth between the past and the present as Jade tries to put the past behind her. Several times during the book, you wonder how she could have turned out so well with her mother not in her life. But she had great relationships with her grandparents and also friends in college along with another very important relationship that she wasn't even sure existed.
I would encourage you to read The Sweet By and By if they are looking for a "real" storyline. I enjoyed getting to know the characters. They are people that live in the real world. That fact made the book more enjoyable for me to read.