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Sweetwater Creek Mass Market Paperback – December 26, 2006


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; New edition edition (December 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060837012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060837013
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 4.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Veteran novelist Siddons (Islands; Nora, Nora) returns to South Carolina's low country for her latest, a capable but uninspired story of a young girl's coming-of-age on the family plantation. Emily Parmenter is a lonely 12-year-old whose life revolves around the Boykin spaniels her family raises as hunting dogs. Her mother ran off; her beloved disabled brother, Buddy, who introduced her to literature, blew his head off with a shotgun (although Emily has conversations with him in her head); and her father, Walter, withholds all praise and attention. Her solace is her dog, Elvis, and Cleta, the wise black housekeeper. When 20-year-old LuLu Foxworth of the blueblood Foxworths arrives to spend time at the Parmenter plantation and work with the dogs, Emily is reluctant to welcome her, while social-climbing Walter is thrilled, hoping LuLu can teach Emily "to be a lady." The two emotionally neglected girls bond, and Lulu confides her dirty little secret: her addiction to alcohol and the smarmy Yancey Byrd, with whom Lulu has a 9½ Weeks–style love affair. The plot follows formula and the ends tie up happily for everyone but poor LuLu, the bad rich girl with the heart of gold. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–Siddons's strength is in describing locale, and in Sweetwater Creek she takes readers to the South Carolina Lowcountry, imbuing it with an almost magical aura. The mystical landscape of oak groves and tidal rivers where dolphins play is home to 12-year-old Emily Parmenter, daughter of a struggling plantation owner whose only claim to success is his line of legendary Boykin hunting spaniels. Emily grieves the death of her cherished older brother while also coming to terms with her mother's desertion. She forges a bond with her own spaniel and proceeds to find her place on the plantation when her innate ability to train the hunting dogs is discovered. Life is beginning to settle into a comfortable rhythm when a young debutante, Lulu Foxworth, exhausted from her whirlwind social season, takes up residence at Sweetwater Plantation for a summer of rest and retreat from the pressures of her demanding life. Lulu craves the peace of Sweetwater, and Emily, though curious, is not anxious to let the outside world in. This coming-of-age tale appeals on many levels as it explores loneliness and loss, friendship and betrayal, and the comfort of a beloved pet or favorite place in nature. Despite the sadness that pervades, there is peace, beauty, and escape in Sweetwater Creek.–Gari Plehal, Pohick Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I did feel, however, that there was too much description.
gladys
This was actually the first book I had read by Anne Rivers Siddons, and it is the reason she is one of my favorite authors.
Amazon Customer
It was all I could do to finish this book--and I only did so it wouldn't be a waste of money.
S. Davis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Della VINE VOICE on August 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I read "Sweetwater Creek" in one day. I couldn't put it down. Not because it was riveting in a "must know" sort of way, rather I didn't want to leave Sweetwater , South Carolina, or little Emily. They became my home. Emily had been left too many times for such a young girl, I needed to stay and make sure she would be okay. Ann Rivers Siddon's writing was so descriptive, so engaging, I became lost in this beautiful place. I angered at Walter who had everything of value before him and wanted only what was beyond his grasp. I loved Emily for desiring and appreciating all that was in front of her and for having the sense to know what was really important. Emily saw all the beauty in her world while her father was constantly in search of something outside of his. That young child had a maturity beyond her years and I had to remind myself she was just a child. In the end, this was a "coming of age" story. A story of love and all too often, loss. There is beauty between these pages and I think it's destined to be a true classic. Highly recommended!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By BookLover on January 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The characters engaged enough I could overlook the overusage of prose and heavy descriptive instead of plot writing, I could overlook the overwritten maturity of Emily and the silliness of Lulu's big secret. *pick up the cell phone you called mommy with and call AA and by the way tell your grandmother or father the Big, dark, dirty secret and really get help!*

But what I can't overlook is the unsatisfying ending, you can't pull readers into people's imaginary lives and never tell us a thing. Everythign in this novel was so vague...Buddy's dead, he had a disease...WHAT?? What was his disease? Why was how he ultimately died the best thing???? Was he uncurable? I assume so but we never know which is a shame since her visions and dreams with Buddy are so frequent that we would wonder this.

What happened to Lulu? Basket case I agree, however how completely horrible to draw us into her and Emily and then have her just "fade away" or be dropped she is languishing away, no one wants to read that junk. Be specific give us some details about what happened to Lulu. Throw her in rehab or kill her for goodness sakes!

What was Yancey? wAs he some weird sexual crush Lulu had? Was he a rapist? Did he force her back into his arms? I dont think so, however we're not clear on him.

Where did Emily's mom go? Her father "knew"...but never "said". This novel was horrible.

Everything is just so Vague she should have titled this idiocy piece of fiction that. She had the beginnings of a plot, 300 pages of prose and description, and no real meat/juice or satisfying conclusions.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By emeleste on July 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am a new reader of Anne Rivers Siddons' books. So far I have read "Colony", "Nora Nora", "Downtown" and "Sweetwater Creek". I was attracted to the last one partly because it involved dogs, and partly because of my facination with the South Carolina Lowcountry. I really enjoy Ms Siddon's writing style, but am becoming increasing distressed with what appears to be a "pattern" showing up in the books I've read by her, so far. That "pattern" is to have some charismatic, beautiful, brilliant character who is somehow doomed by a dreadful, twisted flaw that is like a fungus that grows and spreads to effect everything and everyone in it's ...ergo the character's...path. There was the irresponsible, flighty Nora ("Nora Nora"). The brilliant but drunken and out of control Matt Comfort ("Downtown") and the debutante daughter of a friend in "Colony" (forgot the character's name) who was so insidious, I felt soiled even reading about her. I feel pretty much the same way about the character Lulu, in "Sweetwater Creek". Don't misunderstand me: I enjoyed the character of Emily, although I agree with some reviewers here that either she was exceptionally mature for her age, or she was rather contrived and unrealistic. I loved Elvis, the dog. I liked the Aunt, and the Grandmother of Lulu. I even had some sympathy for Walter. I had no patience with the deceased Buddy, however, and little sympathy. The descriptions of the Sweetwater area were magnificent, and evoked an aura of almost being dreamlike. I didn't have any problem with Emily showing "Dog Whisperer" skills with the dogs...I have a bit of that myself. I enjoyed the general "feel" of the book. UNTIL Lulu really started "doing her thing". And her "thing" was really awful.Read more ›
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cassie W. on September 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
...I would want to live in SWEETWATER CREEK, the latest novel by Anne Rivers Siddons. A magical place where dolphins venture onto land to feed and spaniels speak, a locale that is almost mystical in its unspeakable beauty: the land of the Lowcountry in South Carolina, the place 12-year-old Emily Parmenter calls home. During the summer of her twelfth year, loneliness falls over Emily like a heavy sheet, dark and constricting. Her mother left when she was very young, and her brother Buddy, with whom she read poetry and shared secrets for hours, has been dead for years. Her father and twin brothers, with whom she lives at Sweetwater Plantation, focus all their time on training the plantation's famous and widely known Boykin spaniels. This summer, Emily and her only companion, her own Boykin Elvis, are on their own.

That is, until a wealthy couple from Charleston bring their daughter to Sweetwater to look at the Boykins. LuLu Foxworth is 20 years old, ethereally beautiful and utterly wasted-looking all at once. LuLu is over-tired, her parents say, and is recovering from the flu. When they see how LuLu responds to the dogs, they ask Emily's father Walter if she could possibly come stay with them at Sweetwater for a few months, just until school starts in the fall. Walter Parmenter, who desires nothing more than to be a part of Carolina high society, sees LuLu as his ticket to an unattainable world and ardently agrees to let her stay. At first Emily resists LuLu's presence and attempts at friendship, but it isn't long before the two girls become friends, despite their age difference. And it isn't long before Emily learns that LuLu's perfect life isn't nearly what it seems, and that the young woman is hiding some terrible secrets of her own.
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