Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sweet Water” as Want to Read:
Sweet Water
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sweet Water

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  3,041 ratings  ·  385 reviews
Kline's first novel is a captivating read.
When a grandfather she never knew bequeaths her a house and 60 acres of land in Sweetwater, Tenn., a restless young artist leaves New York to recover her past and rethink her future. Cassie Simon's mother Ellen died when Cassie was only three; raised in Boston by her grieving father, she never knew her maternal relatives. Unprepar
Paperback, 285 pages
Published May 1st 1994 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published May 1st 1993)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy ChevalierThe Da Vinci Code by Dan BrownThe Birth of Venus by Sarah DunantThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeThe Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier
Art & Artists in Fiction
354th out of 439 books — 707 voters
Time To Let Go by Christoph FischerThe Wayward Gifted by Donna K. ChildreeAmerican Past Time by Len JoyDolores Claiborne by Stephen KingSpilled Coffee by J.B. Chicoine
Novels Focused on Family Dynamics
195th out of 245 books — 39 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details

I can't remember the last time I got this angry about a book without DNFing it. I couldn't DNF it, you see. The WTFery is all right at the very end. I can't really call it an end. This book doesn't end. It just stops. You think you might be easing into the denouement and you hit the page turn button and the next page is...a preview of the author's other book.

And screeching to a halt like that meant the author hadn't gotten me as a reader, yet, to buy into for
Cassandra Simon had been living and working with Adam for so long, her life felt stale; she was stuck in a rut and didn’t know what to do about it. Cassie was an artist – sculpting with clay was relaxing and gave her a sense of peace. New York had been her home for her whole life – living with her father after her mother had died when she was three years old was all she remembered; she didn’t know her mothers’ family at all…

When she discovered her grandfather – a man she had never known – had le
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is the first book written by Kline, who wrote The Orphan Train. They're giving away the ebook version now, I think mainly to provide an intro to that other book in case you're one of the few yet to read it. Many typos and unintended bolding of random words were a bit distracting.

I felt the writing style was inconsistent, and it seemed the author wasn't sure what kind of book she wanted this to be. It is touted as a mystery, but the mystery wasn't that great, and it seemed a little Harlequin
Wow, I've lucked out recently with good books. I hope that doesn't mean I'm due for some boring ones soon. This was excellent - so interesting and the suspense part of it had me totally absorbed. I love this writer (thanks for telling me about her Katie!) and I'll definitely read her other books. I think she's only written three books since 1994 and one is due out next month. The writing is superb and Kline has that great storyteller quality that makes for my favorite kinds of books.
Christy Martin Bullock
I would have given this a solid three stars if the author would have actually ended the book. Seriously. I kept thinking there was an issue with my Kindle copy and something didn't download.
Cassie Simon returns to her mother's hometown in Sweet Water, Tennessee when she inherits a home and land from her grandfather. There, Cassie reconnects with her estranged family and tries to find out what happened the day her mother died in a car accident when Cassie was only three years old. The past is revealed in alternating chapters richly told by Cassie's grandmother and present chapters with Cassie doing her own investigating. I'd been stuck in a rut of starting books that lacked movement ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

From New York City to Tennessee?

Was Cassie making the right move? She thought so, but meeting family members she hadn't seen since she was three was frightening as well as disillusioning. She had to find out her roots, to find out what happened to her mother, and to find out why her mother really didn't want to live in Sweetwater, Tennessee, and why her grandfather left her the family home and 60 acres. What could the reason possibly be when she never knew him?

Cassie is an interesting character
I liked pieces of it but other things - little side stuff that didn't affect the story line but did affect my feelings about this book popped up every once in a while and soured the book for me. (view spoiler)
Liked the way the story is told by both grandmother and granddaughter with each chapter featuring one or the other. After being disillusioned with her life in New York, a young woman moves to Tennessee after the maternal grandfather she never met leaves a home and land to her. Since her mother died when she was 3, she is eager to meet the extended family for the first time in hopes of learning details about her mother's terrible accident, which leads to some very dark discoveries & well-kept ...more
Jo-Ann Murphy
I had trouble deciding on a rating for this book.

The premise and the writing kept me captivated throughout. I did not want to put it down. I really enjoyed the read. On that basis, I would have given it 5 stars.

The problem came with the details. The writing did not convey the setting to me. I did not get the feeling from the dialogue that this family came from TN. I don't think there was one "bless your heart" in the whole book. These people felt more like they belonged in the Northeast. They se
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
Twenty seven year old Cassandra Simon is lost. Her life in NYC is mundane at best. Both her professional and personsal lives are lacking. Cassie isn’t sure what is lacking. So when an unexpected bequest from Amory Clyde, she decides to go to Sweet Water TN. Her father warns her that she may not find what she’s looking for. Her friend Drew cautions, “Sometimes we are running from something or we are running towards something.” For Cassie the truth may be both.

Haunted by the death of her mother 2
I'm not sure what to think of this book. I found it a compelling read but SPOILER ALERT, it contained a very creepy side plot with Cassie falling for her cousin. Yes, I get he's adopted so they technically aren't related and they'd never met so it wasn't like they grew up together, but seriously. Ewwww. It wasn't like they were long, lost 5th cousins or anything that never knew the other existed. First cousins. Who knew about each other, albeit, again, never met. I found that a little skeevy.

Really liked this book a lot. Great writing and a wonderful story of a young woman (Cassie) who returns to her Tennessee roots to re-connect with family after inheriting her grandparent's home. Her Mother had died when she was 3 and her father raised her in Boston. Her Mother's family had not kept in touch and so finding out that she had been given the family homestead was a big surprise.

Lots of family secrets and some beautiful descriptions of the Tennessee countryside and what life in a small,
Cassie Simon, a New York artist is left a house on sixty acres of land in the South by her grandfather (someone she never met). Unhappy with her life in the Big Apple, she decides to move to Tennessee and start life anew and meet the family she never knew. Of course, they are all suspicious of her and wonder why she is there. IS she trying to dig up dirt of her mother’s death and secrets the family has buried?

The story starts off well and the characters likable and the narrative descriptive. It
Really 3.5 stars.
A story as much about secrets kept buried as it is about a dysfunctional family. In the small town of Sweetwater, Tennessee, gossip abounds and lies and malice are covered up with a polite smile and false friendships. For the Clyde family, whispers of infidelity, betrayals and jealousies have been haunting them for years. They have managed to find a semblance of family unity as long as no one speaks of the deaths that occured years before. When Cassie shows up in town to claim t
Scarlett S
All the build up to this big mystery only to be let down in the end. I like the way the story was told but I just expected too much for the ending I guess.
Jennifer Lassiter
Interesting writing style. While I enjoyed this book, it was also a little hard to follow. I was 80% of the way through the book before I truly understood what all was happening and had happened. I really liked the way she illustrated and described the Grandmother's personality, life, and journey. I was a little perplexed at how the main character managed to make it on tips as a bar waitress. Where did she get her money??? I can only assume an inheritance from her mother's death.

I would have pr
Well, this was a fairly quick read and again ( I read Orphan Train first ) it is told in two voices. Orphan Train is set in Maine and Minnesota. ( I live in Maine ) And Sweetwater is set in Tennessee - where I grew up. So both books appealed on a geographic level at first. But I was pulled even further in by the women in the stories who have interesting characters but aren't perfect. Just trying to make the right choices. One of the repeating themes in the story is that there are different ways ...more
Donna Nowicki
Although this book wasn't as good as orphan train .. It was still a good read
Patricia C
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara Strand
Do you know why I like Christina's novels so much? Because she really ties together an older generation, and their personal story, to a younger generation trying to figure out theirs. It always starts off bumpy and it gradually smooths itself out. This book was so stinking good that I had a hard time putting it down and I'm so glad I got to be on this tour.

We start with Cassie, who finds out that she has inherited a house left to her by her grandfather on her mother's side. Cassie's mother, Ell
William Morrow|July 1, 2014|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-06-236100-4
Story Description:
Cassie Simon is a struggling artist living in New York City. When she receives a call from a magistrate telling her she has inherited sixty acres of land in Sweetwater, Tennessee, from her grandfather, whom she never knew, she takes it as a sign: it's time for a change. She moves to the small Southern town where her mother, Ellen, grew up - and where she died tragically when Ca
Once Upon

OUaT's Review

I must say this is my first time ever reading a book by Christina Baken Kline and unfortunately it was a little too much for my taste. Not going to say much because the mystery of the book itself is pretty obvious. Which if you know me, I love solving mysteries but no need to crack my head in this story. The mystery was given from the very beginning and I was a bit disappointed.

As a young artist, Cassie Simon is living in New York until one day she receives the news that she inherit
Christina Baker Kline's novel, Orphan Train, is still on the New York Times bestseller list over a year after its publication. It tells the story of a teenage girl, living with a foster family, who meets an elderly woman and finds that the woman was sent from New York City to the Midwest on an orphan train as a young child.

Kline's backlist is being rereleased, and I recently read Sweet Water. Like Orphan Train, it tells the story of two women who don't know each other- Cassie Simon, and her gran
I chose this book because it was (1) southern fiction and (2) was the story of a woman starting over, so to speak. I love novels like that. Cassie Simon leaves behind an unfaithful lover and a dead end job at his art studio when she inherits a home from her grandfather in Sweetwater, Tennessee. She packs everything into an old station wagon and heads south to a family she doesn't remember. Having moved north with her yankee jewish father after her mother was killed in a drunk driving accident (t ...more
I enjoyed this book. I read the Orphan Train and few months ago so when Sweet Water was offered as a free friday selection I wanted to read it as well.It is hard not to compare the two books. They are both about the relationship between an older woman and a younger woman. In this case it was a grandmother Clyde and her granddaughter Cassie. Cassie moved into an old house she inherited from a grandfather she never met. She moved from NY to TN to find herself and learn more about her mother. Her m ...more
Gillian Wyckoff
Pretty good. Orphan Train was much better. There were several typographical errors throughout the book, which was annoying. I liked the story, but the anti-climatic ending was a let-down.
Summer Davis
Unfortunately, I don't care for this book that much. I found it to be boring and poorly written. Although I don't like this book it is still my the worst one I've read. For such monotone book something made me want to keep reading.

This book is I about a girl Cassandra, whose mother sadly died when Cassandra was very young. The prison l person who is to blame for this unfortunate event is Cassandra grandpa. At that time he was an alcoholic who made terrible decisions. He had decided to drive Cas
Review Excerpt:

Baker Kline writes beautifully, painting pictures with her words. "Later what I remembered most was the sky, the way yellow and violet overlapped like layers of frosting on a slice of birthday cake, the way the sun slipped behind and in front of clouds, gold-tipping them like illuminated manuscripts as the violet turned to purple and the yellow deepened. By the time I went inside, the sky resembled a ripe bruise, the blood beneath it drawn up close to the surface." I could pictur
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Leave No Stone Unturned (A Lexie Starr Mystery, #1)
  • All He Saw Was The Girl
  • Darkness Before Dawn
  • The Hunt
  • The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee (Cadillac, Texas, #1)
  • The Crime of Julian Wells
  • Dover Beach (The Last P.I., #1)
  • The Rockin' Chair
  • Scavenger Hunt (A Finny Aletter Mystery, Book 1)
  • Everybody's Daughter
  • Sins of the Father
  • The Devil's Cradle (Kendall O'Dell #2)
  • Needle in a Haystack
  • Dead Politician Society (Clare Vengel Undercover, #1)
  • Protector
  • Far Horizons (The Emigrants Trilogy, #1)
  • The Trivia Lover's Guide to the World: Geography for the Lost and Found
  • Bear is Broken (Leo Maxwell #1)
Christina Baker Kline, the author of five novels, grew up in Maine, England, and the American South. She is married to a Midwesterner whose family history inspired her new novel, Orphan Train (April). Set in present-day Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train highlights the real-life story of the trains that between 1854 and 1929 carried more than 200,000 abandoned children from the East ...more
More about Christina Baker Kline...
Orphan Train The Way Life Should Be Bird in Hand Desire Lines Child of Mine: Original Essays on Becoming a Mother

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“What I couldn’t see is that sometimes the healing is not in the forgetting but in the letting go. Sometimes the answer you need is to a question you don’t know how to ask.” 1 likes
“Memory believes before knowing remembers.” 0 likes
More quotes…