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by Christina Baker Kline

Download Sweet Water epub
ISBN: 0747245940
ISBN13: 978-0747245940
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Contemporary
Author: Christina Baker Kline
Language: English
Publisher: Headline Review; New Ed edition (December 15, 1994)
ePUB size: 1978 kb
FB2 size: 1416 kb
Rating: 4.1
Votes: 934
Other Formats: mobi lit rtf docx

First of all, let me say that I enjoyed reading "Sweet water." The characters were likable, the pace was spot on, and the storyline had potential. I say "had" because it started getting too pat about halfway through. I think the premise was fine, and, as I've said, there were some good characters, albeit a couple bordering on stereotype, but there were places where the author needed to dig deeper and places where no matter how deep she dug, she never struck credibility. Unfortunately, the love interest storyline eventually took center stage and that's where the novel began to go south, even farther south than Sweetwater, Tennessee. I think if Ms. Kline had another shot at this, she would do it differently. I'd like to think so because I think she's a talented writer.
All families have secrets some better to die. Do you ever really forget this story makes you think of your own family and the secrets it holds. This is the second book I read by Ms. Kline and both I couldn't put down. She makes you reflect on you own life and puts you right into the story I thank her for that,
It is no secret that I, like so many others, loved Christina Baker Kline's Orphan Train, which was her most recent novel. Sweet Water was her first novel, and it shows how much she's grown as a writer.

That's a polite way of saying this book is downright painful.

First off, a warning...I will probably tiptoe into spoiler territory. I try to avoid that when I write reviews, but I'm kind of in the "why bother" mode in this one. So, if you still want to read this book at this point, you may want to tune out now.

I will say that Kline's writing talent is evident here. Her prose is readable and mature, but not heavy-handed. The problem with this book is not in the writing, it is in the construction. The plot is barely there and ill-defined. Is it about Cassie trying to "find what she's looking for" with her mother's family? Is it about Cassie's Grandmother's secret? Is it about Cassie's quest to find out what happened to her mother? The answer to all those is this: um, kinda, sorta? I don't think Kline ever had a clear idea of what this book was about and the reader certainly doesn't as they make their way through the story.

Then there are the stereotypes of southerners. Let's see...we have the catty frenemies, the holier than thou preacher's wife, the wild child (there are a couple of those), the old drunk, and the town gossip. All of these characters have shown up in any number of superficial Southern novels, movies, or TV shows. And, if that wasn't enough, there is probably one of the most offensive (and, really, inaccurate) Southern stereotypes out there. I'll give you a second....yep. We have a fair dose of explicit cousin on cousin action. Now, Kline does try to diffuse the situation by stating that they aren't "real cousins" because one of them is adopted. But, then she includes a few post-coital observations about how much the two look alike--very pointed observations (which are both yucky and annoying because she never closes that loop...).

Yes, I need a shower now.

As I said, the one positive aspect was Kline's language. It was the one thing--well, that and the fact that I knew what she could do in Orphan Train that kept me going. However, I'm not going to let this book turn me off Kline's writing. As I said, this was her first novel and, when you compare it to her latest, you can see how much she has grown. If anything, it makes me more likely to read her next book. But, save yourself from the experience of this book and just take my word on it, okay?
The novel began interesting enough, but it seems as if the characters were not used as completely as they could have been to give this read more depth. The characters were simplistic and predictable. The great climax was anticlimactic.
A teen would enjoy the read because it is a surface one. I did like the author's use of metaphors and similes, and there is a comical element to the characters too. As a southerners I recognised several of her character's traits that are native or natural to the region. Although I gave it two stars I'm glad that I read it.
Cassie inherits an old house from her grandfather, and decided to leave NY to live in it. Her grandmother, aunts, cousins, and the small-town gossip all think she's snooping around to unearth the secrets surrounding her mother's death. So far, it could be 100 other books with the same story. However, the chapters told by Clyde, the grandmother, add another dimension. The book is very well written, and turns this routine set-up into a compelling story about family, the secrets and complications they hold, and forgiveness.
This is a true novel of self-discovery. Our leading female character lost her mother at age three. Her father was so distraught at his wife's death that he left the Tennessee where they had lived and reared his daughter in Boston. As a result, she never knew the relatives of her mother. But, suddenly, out of nowhere, comes the word that she has inherited a house in Tennessee from a relative whom she never knew. As a struggling, young artist, she is a bit unsettled in her life when the word comes, so she decides to go to Tennessee and live in the house as she struggles with her career. To her amazement, she finds a neglected rambling cottage that offers her little respite in her determination. Because she has banked so heavily on this move, she determines to make the best of the move despite all of the obstacles put in her way--knowing no one in the area, repairs needed on the house, a boring life with none of the characteristics with which she is familiar. Into the plot comes a series of discoveries which lead her to understand that she is not the only one seeking to know more about her mother and her death, but that someone else has been leaving clues throughout the forest around the house. Frightened, she determines to stay the course and learn all that there is to know about her mother. Aided by a handsome hero, she not only stays in the house but makes the friends she missed, accepts the culture which is at first so strange, and the house becomes her home. Delightful!