Author: Vera Jane Cook
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Book synopsis: After thirteen years on the run Violet McLaughlin returns to Carter’s Crossing, South Carolina, in 1962, with her young daughter, Sassy. The Crossing is right outside of Beaufort and the turmoil of the Civil Rights movement will forever leave its scars on the young and impressionable girl. As Sassy stands before the imposing white farmhouse for the first time, with no knowledge of her history but that the McLaughlin’s are her kin, Sassy begins a journey that will tear her apart before it heals her. Growing up among secrets that will forever damage her relationship with her mother, she attempts to make sense of her past. But will her passion for art and her love for Thomas Tierney be enough to sustain her future? Will the puzzles she must solve to discover who she is be worth the journey?
Review: This book follows Sassy Sweetwater from a young, naive girl to a strong, passionate and adventurous woman. I was drawn in right from the start. The book is written in Sassy’s own words as she struggles to understand her mother who moved from relationship to relationship looking for something. After years of living this way, Sassy’s mother finally returns to her roots in Carter’s Crossing, South Carolina. What seemed so foreign to Sassy when she arrived, quickly becomes a home she can never leave.
We see her struggle to understand her mother and the relationship she has with her estranged family. Sassy takes on her mother’s pain as her own. We watch her struggle through adolescence to maturity finding her own path, which is littered with strife and sadness and glimmers of great happiness. She desires nothing more than to find someone to love and to love her back just as passionately.
I really enjoyed how the author brought Sassy Sweetwater to life. You can almost hear her southern drawl as you read her words. The characters are richly created and bring the story even more to life. Other than Sassy, my favorite character was Grandma Edna. This woman starts out as someone who seems untouchable, and turns out to be Sassy’s greatest champion. She has so many facets, like a true southern lady who married young and to a very volatile man, she finds her own way of taking control of things and people around her and still keep her charm.
Anyone looking for a solid story of life, its ups and downs with great female characters would really enjoy this book.