Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review: Sweet Water by Christina Baker Kline

Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 320
Released: 2010
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3/5

When Cassie's grandfather passes away, she learns that he bequeathed a house to her,  and she's not sure what to think. Her mother's family are virtually strangers to her, she's been raised by her widowed father and her maternal family never played a role in her childhood. Her mother was killed in a drunk driving accident with her father at the wheel, and Cassie wonders why he would give her a house. The family tried to move on the best they could, and they quickly offer to sell the house for her. Cassie is a struggling artist and would love to move to Tennessee and possibly get some answers that she's never been able to have answered. Meeting her family is tense, and uncomfortable- some family members are more welcoming than others. Her grandmother seems nice, but very guarded. Her family warns her not to ask any questions to her grandmother regarding her mother's death. They tell her that everyone has moved on, and she should too. When Cassie learns that there seems to be quite a bit of town gossip regarding her mother's passing, Cassie is determined to get the answers she wants. She believes it's the least they can do, and she deserves their honesty.

Sweet Water is told in alternating perspectives between a confused, and determined Cassie, and her guilt-ridden grandmother Clyde. Clyde believes her husband has hidden secrets inside the house, and this is his way of finally getting back at Clyde. Their relationship over the years deteriorated and him killing her daughter in a drunken stupor is something she will never get over. Especially since Ellen was her favorite child. Clyde clearly states that Ellen was her favorite, and her other children have always known that she was the favorite. Amory had his own secrets and thought Clyde was at fault for the accident as well. He had been drinking because of her and his secrets.

I enjoyed Sweet Water for the most part but felt the story was missing something. I felt like I've been waiting and waiting for this big reveal, and it didn't really happen. I had figured out the secret long before, and felt disappointed by the end.  The shocking mystery is incredibly obvious to readers. Cassie's relationship with Troy, her cousin, also through me for a loop. Overall, Sweet Water was a quick read and I did enjoy some aspects of the book but I was happy when it was finished and I could move on to something else.


  1. I have this one waiting on my shelf. It was a free offering from iBooks a couple of months ago. Guess it will stay on the shelf awhile longer.

  2. Oh, too bad - I had high hopes for this book.

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