Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sweetie by Kathryn Magendie


Those of you who read this blog regularly know that my taste in literature is pretty unsophisticated.  I prefer sappy romances to the classics; formula fiction to literary fiction.  Still, when asked to review Sweetie something about the description intrigued me:

About the book: Friendship. Courage. Hope.For shy, stuttering Melissa, the wild mountain girl named Sweetie is a symbol of pride and strength. But to many in their Appalachian town Sweetie is an outcast, a sinister influence, or worse. This poignant and haunting story takes readers deep inside the bittersweet heart of childhood loyalties.

My Comments:  Kathryn Magendie can write!  I loved her use of language and would periodically stop to read aloud so I could  hear myself saying those beautiful words.  I don't really think anyone would talk like that, but I could see an old woman in a rocking chair telling this story (the book is written in the first person) to her grandchildren.  I'll admit I found the character of Sweetie somewhat unrealistic, but then I'm pretty sure I was supposed to find her unrealistic.  As I said earlier, I tend toward the simple in my literary tastes and there are a lot of ways to interpret things in this book.  Sweetie is a child of the mountains, who is uncomfortable around people, except around a few who are outcasts for various reasons.  Is she real, did the story happen?  I'm not sure.  

I found Sweetie to be an engaging read, though it didn't provoke any emotional reaction from me, unlike many books with death scenes that have tears rolling down my cheeks.  I recommend it to those who like literary fiction or Southern fiction. I think it would make a good book club selection, even though it doesn't come with handy discussion questions at the back--but I think folks could find plenty to discuss without stilted questions that pretend a work is greater than what it really is.  At 200 pages it is not work that will bog you down for days.  Grade:  A-

I'd like to thank Belle Books for providing a review copy.  


  1. This is what I love about you. You are so frank and real about things. "stilted questions that pretend a work is greater than what it really is." Ha! You called it there! I've occasionally read those questions and rolled my eyes. They're the same kinds of questions that make me roll my eyes in faith-sharing resources. The "Please, I'm not that stupid" questions.

  2. I love sappy books too!
    I like good short books for the read-a-thon, I will have to add this to the list of possibilities for next time.

  3. sounds like a good one


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