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Powerful Family Saga
on February 21, 2006
Sweetgrass is a former plantation that has been in the Blakely family for generations. Twenty-first century urbanization now threatens the Carolina Lowlands, and Sweetgrass is one of the few remaining marshy areas along the Eastern Seaboard.
When family patriarch Preston Blakely suffers a crippling stroke, the family begins to divide over the devastating choices to be made for the land's future. Prodigal son, Morgan, returns from a long hiatus from the family to find his aunt and brother-in-law ready to sell Sweetgrass to a development company, for the family's good, of course.
Monroe guides the reader through the Blakely-family's struggle to survive illness, economic dilemmas, and the ever-growing pressure of urban sprawl. Each character faces the challenges of growth, and the story spans numerous facets without overwhelming the reader. This novel only seems lacking in some aspects of Morgan's story, which could have been flushed out with only a little more effort.
With her usual lush writing, Mary Alice Monroe delivers another emotional punch, while opening readers' eyes to very real issues.