Published by KensingtonDate Published: 29 January, 2019
Source: Kensington Publishing Company
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In this masterful new novel, set in 1950s North Carolina, the acclaimed author of The Road to Bittersweet and The Education of Dixie Dupree brings to life an unforgettable young heroine and a moving story of family love tested to its limits. For twelve-year-old Martha “Sonny” Creech, there is no place more beautiful than her family’s cotton farm. She, her two brothers, and her parents work hard on their land—hoeing, planting, picking—but only Sonny loves the rich, dark earth the way her father does. When a tragic accident claims his life, her stricken family struggles to fend off ruin—until their rich, reclusive neighbor offers to help finance that year’s cotton crop. Sonny is dismayed when her mama accepts Frank Fowler’s offer; even more so when Sonny’s best friend, Daniel, points out that the man has ulterior motives. Sonny has a talent for divining water—an ability she shared with her father and earns her the hated nickname “water witch” in school. But uncanny as that skill may be, it won’t be enough to offset Mr. Fowler’s disturbing influence in her world. Even her bond with Daniel begins to collapse under the weight of Mr. Fowler’s bigoted taunts. Though she tries to bury her misgivings for the sake of her mama’s happiness, Sonny doesn’t need a willow branch to divine that a reckoning is coming, bringing with it heartache, violence—and perhaps, a fitting and surprising measure of justice.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Author/Kensington Publishing Company and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.
I will be honest. I started to give this book a 3 star rating. But, after I finished, and continued to think on it, I changed that to a 4 star rating. Why did I do this? Because, after reflecting more on the book, I could see just why the author wrote what she did, why she created the characters the way she did, and why it was actually a really gripping novel.
The characters. Oh how I loved them, and some, I loved to hate! As a mama myself, I could feel the emotions that Sonny’s mama went through. As a daughter, I hated the feeling. As a reader, I was in awe of the amount of feelings I could go through with Sonny and her family. I smiled, I cried, I wanted to throw the book a time or two when Frank was centered on.
That said, the plot line, albeit a raw, emotion, sometimes tender filled one, was slow. That’s what threw me off in the beginning and made me want to give it a 3 star rating. I struggled to get into the book, I struggled to finish it. I am more of a fast-paced kinda gal. But, I pushed through, I conquered, I endured, and I am happy to be able to reflect and learn from this Southern Fiction novel.
Overall, this is a book I can say is worthy of 4 stars. If you are looking for a talented author who created a Southern Fiction novel that will make your heart both happy and hurt at the same time, then grab this one up. If you are looking for a book that is centered around family, even a misguided, broken one, then this is one you need to grab. You’ll be seeking forgiveness, you’ll be holding tight to those you love, and you’ll become a new fan of Everhart’s. Despite the slowness of the story, I am looking forward to reading more of this author’s work!