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Spellbinding stories of mystic love and soulful hope . . .
Amazon Best-selling author, personal trainer, former Publishing Editor of the Rose & Thorn, Magendie's novels include The Graces Series/The Virginia Kate Sagas: TENDER GRACES, SECRET GRACES, FAMILY GRACES; SWEETIE; THE LIGHTNING CHARMER, and the novella PETEY in the anthology THE FIREFLY DANCE. Also look for her short stories on Amazon Kindle.
Kathryn Magendie was born a West-by-god Virginia Hillbilly (and proud of it--and that word could be a "fighting word," so just say'n), moved here, there, and yonder, was stuck in the swamps of South Louisiana for many years, and one fine morning she left behind her moss-filled grandfather oak trees in South Louisiana and floated off to Home in a tucked-in cove in Maggie Valley, Western North Carolina, where she spins tales, drinks Deep Creek Blend coffee, an occasional vodka tonic with lime, and contemplates the glow of Old Moon--that is, until somehow she ended up in the flatlands of Texas - whuh-whuh-wha just happened?
I've read Kathryn Magendie's first two books and was so glad I did, but I was truly surprised she could write a third with such power! Sweetie made me laugh, sigh, and yes, cry a few times.
Read this moving (not sappy) story of the true meaning of friendship and true family, then buy a copy for your best friend. You'll be glad you did. The characters are real, but unique. The dialogue/dialect is absorbing, but not corny. The plot is mystical, but not unbelieveable.
Sweetie is one of the best five books I've read (and I've read a lot!) in my 51 years.
Bravo to Ms. Magendie. Cannot wait for the next book!!!!
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-
Sigh. I'm such a sucker for a friendship story. Especially if it's a women friendship story. Why? Because so many books of what's called "women fiction" most often than not feature broken friendships or a friendship where one of the women is a harpy and the other one is sooo perfect. So I tend to yearn for a good women friendship story. Was Sweetie a good one? No. It was an abso-friggin-lutely fantastic one!
First off, the writing in Sweetie was so beautiful. Her use of language was just tremendous. Her words were filled with wonderful imagery, her sentences were pure lyricism. I'm not one of those people who can enjoy a book purely for wonderful writing. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy beautiful writing when it comes up, but I need to be interested in the plot first. Then, I notice the wonders that some authors can do with seemingly ordinary words.
The characters in Sweetie were so great. I loved Melissa and could completely relate to her (as a former shy girl or maybe not so former). I wanted nothing more than to see her break out of her shell and to tell all of her idiot classmates to stuff it. She literally broke my heart because all she wanted was to feel loved and appreciated. But Sweetie was the real hero of this story. She was just so captivating and so out there. I cheered for a true original. In fact, she sort of reminded me of the Potato Girl from Promise Not to Tell (another fantastic book about another true original). I just loved all the complexities each of the girl had and their dynamic with their own family. And their friendship was just so beautiful.
So, I highly recommend Sweetie. It was a sweet, enchanting, captivating novel. It did make me tear up a bit at how great Sweetie and Melissa's friendship was, so it is a bit of a tearjerker. However, it is a great coming of age story and an amazing friendship story. Definitely pick it up. (And yay! for one of my better Early Reviewer Reads)
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Five stars. FIVE STARS to this book. I'm out of breath from being totally blown away by this beautiful coming-of-age story. Parts of this book reminded me of an old favorite book, The Shepherd of the Hills by Harold Bell Wright. Kathryn Magendie has captured some magic in her descriptions of the Smoky Mountains and has created a character in Sweetie that will live on in my memory.
Sweetie is the story of two very different girls, friends thrown together through cruel acts at school - one strong and the other tender. They spend a school year together, growing up, changing and learning from one another. I felt Melissa's struggle and her pain while dealing with the bullies at school, her escape to food and her need to be loved by someone - and I felt captured by the entrance of "Sweetie" - her stories, her treatment of "Miss Lissa" and the adventures she drags Melissa on.
I had a sneaking suspicion after reading the first chapter that I would like this book, but I did not expect it to flat out floor me. The development of the story, the characters, the way Magendie manipulates her readers emotions threw me for a loop and had me laughing and crying .. sometimes loudly. This is the perfect book for you folks who love a good coming-of-age story with a touch of magic in it. I cannot wait to get my greedy hands on a physical copy as soon as I can (as I received this via Netgalley).
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