Sweet Water

Christina Baker Kline, Author HarperCollins Publishers $20 (285p) ISBN 978-0-06-019033-0
Kline's first novel is a captivating read. When a grandfather she never knew bequeaths her a house and 60 acres of land in Sweetwater, Tenn., a restless young artist leaves New York to recover her past and rethink her future. Cassie Simon's mother Ellen died when Cassie was only three; raised in Boston by her grieving father, she never knew her maternal relatives. Unprepared for the thick veil of mystery that surrounds them, Cassie is especially bewildered by her brusque grandmother, whom rumor credits with hiding a terrible secret about Ellen's death. In alternating sections told from their respective points of view, Cassie and her grandmother fight their separate battles to cope with the truth about the tragedy. Kline perfectly renders each woman's voice: Cassie's, probing and often uncertain, propels the narrative and creates an appropriate level of psychological suspense; the grandmother's quavers with the weight of memory as Cassie's search forces her beyond family myth to a painful and perhaps dangerous truth. The result is a powerful, immensely readable tale of loyalty and betrayal, family and memory, made fresh by Kline's often beautiful and always lucid prose. Literary Guild alternate; Reader's Digest Condensed Book. ( June )
Reviewed on: 05/03/1993
Release date: 05/01/1993
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FORMATS
Paperback - 978-0-06-099513-3
Paperback - 285 pages - 978-0-06-236100-4
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-06-202076-5
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