Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sweet Olive by Judy Christie {Booksneeze Review}

Camille is a young woman working in the family business because she felt obligated to her uncle, who "rescued" her has a child.  So she works as a landman for his big oil and gas company, convincing landowners to lease their land for drilling and mineral rights.  She's been traveling for years, though, and all she wants is that cushy office job, to own a home and to volunteer at the art gallery owned by her best friend.

Her uncle promises her the corporate job in Houston, if she will close "just one more" deal for him.  He sends her to Sweet Olive, a small town in Louisiana.  She's there to to negotiate with the artists guild, as many of them own the homes where the oil company wants to drill, but she's up against their corporate attorney, who's a local and also the son of one of the artists.

While there, Camille's love of art draws her in, and she falls in love with the folksy art of the small town, and those who create it.  Obviously, this conflicts with the purpose of her visit, but she can't help herself.  The town also brings back a lot of suppressed childhood memories that Camille has never really dealt with, and she spends a lot of time reflecting on this.  Sometimes it felt like too much of the story was dragged out around this element, but it did fit into the overall story line.

This is a typical women's fiction, love story, all's well that end's well, story.  It started a little slow for my liking, but once the story got going, it was very good.  There were a few surprises in the book, though, that altered the path to the somewhat predictable ending.  I enjoyed the small town feel, and the feeling of belonging.  There is a religious theme woven throughout the story, but I wouldn't particularly label it Christian fiction.  Overall, it was an easy enjoyable read, and I would read the next book in the series.

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