Sweetgrass - Mary Alice
Sweetgrass has been home to the Blakely family for eight generation,
but now they could be forced to sell.
A family with many secrets and more than it's fair share of tragedy,
the Blakely clan is faced with huge change when the patriarch,
Preston, is felled by a stroke.
Bit by bit we learn of the secrets each family member.
Mary Alice Monroe is
renown for her extensive research about conservation issues that
she weaves cleverly into her novels. Sweetgrass is no different.
As we read we learn about the traditions of the South where weaving
sweetgrass baskets is a long tradition, but now declining because
of many of the lowland farms are being drained and turned into
real estate developoments. Sweetgrass for baskets grows best in
the marshy environments which cause farmers to struggle.
Sweetgrass is no different - the family has struggled to keep
the farm going, but now not hurricans, not farming technique,
but taxes are bringing the Blakely farm to its knees.
Entwined in the story of the family's struggle to preserve it
are themes of the rise of feminism, inheritance, and the mis-interpretations
we put on other's actions. The novel looks at what is happening
from the point of view of the dutiful wife and mother, the estranged
son, and mistakes in the past that catch-up with the present.
Not always crisply written, Sweetgrass is peppered with descriptions
of the marshy lowland of the southern reaches of America around
the Hurrican Belt. And every now and then Monroe delivers a magnificent
line. - HS
The Marigold Brightbutton series of five books cover Marigold's birth
to her school days.
Marigold, like her father, is destined to get into trouble. She just
can't leave things alone. From fireworks to white mice, Marigold's inquisitiveness
about life is insatiable. Great books, under $5, perfect for reading
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