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Sweetwater Creek

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  5,684 ratings  ·  299 reviews
From bestselling author Anne Rivers Siddons comes a bittersweet and finely wrought story of friendship, family, and Charleston society.

At twelve, Emily Parmenter knows alone all too well. Left mostly to herself after her beautiful young mother disappeared and her beloved older brother died, Emily is keenly aware of yearning and loss. Rather than be consumed by sadness, she
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Paperback, 480 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Harper (first published January 1st 2005)
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Quirky Southern Fiction
74th out of 599 books — 1,494 voters
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40th out of 375 books — 738 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Stephanie
Ok book. Regarding a girl coming of age in the South. Messed up life with a mother that leaves, the death of a brother and a wacked out girl that comes to stay at her home and takes on a role of "big sister" but lacks the morality needed to direct a young girl. Sorry but not good with crazies!!
Kerry Hennigan
Having recently read Anne Rivers Siddons' latest novel "Burnt Mountain" I was in a mood to revisit some of her other recent novels, including this one, "Sweetwater Creek".

The creases on the spine of my paperback copy indicated I had certainly read it, but for the life of me, I couldn't remember anything about it.

Which, as it turned out, was wonderful, because it was like coming to it for the first time all over again. But, what on earth pre-occupied me so much the first time around that I couldn
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Susan
This book moved really slow….rambling on and on and never really getting anywhere. A story of Emily, a 12 year old who lives on a plantation home situated in the Lowcountry, and her friendship with a poor little rich society girl. Emily’s mother abandons the family, leaving Emily with her father, brothers and the hunting dogs that she trains and raises. Emily prefers working with the dogs and immersing herself in her surroundings, but her father wants her to be a society girl and go to Charlotte ...more
Cindy
Siddons has long been one of my favorite authors - the way she describes the nature of the area she's writing about is so lush and lavish....has always made me want to explore the Outer Islands area. The nuances of relationships are captured by her way with words and makes me really care about what happens to them.
Amanda
Jan 03, 2009 Amanda rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: crap
Why I even bothered is a mystery that shall forever haunt me.
Linda
This was a sweet and enjoyable coming of age tale set in the Carolina’s low-country.

Emily Parmenter is twelve years old, living on her family’s plantation with her distant father and two older brothers. Her mother disappeared while Emily was a toddler and her adored older brother Buddy committed suicide, leaving her bereft and lonely. Her only salvation comes from training the family’s well known Boykin hunter spaniels. Emily seems to have an innate talent for this and her life is in a simple p
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Annie
I came across this book at hospice, the day Pop died. I snatched it. A few friends had suggested that they thought i might like Siddons' books. For some reason, i thought they were going to be light fare, and maybe a little predictable, but i was pleasantly surprised. Her voice is original and authentic, and the subject matter was not at all what I thought it would be. She completely captured the magical time that is a girl turning from twelve to thirteen. Made me want to raise dogs on a low-cou ...more
Claire Fullerton
This is a sweet, rather slow-moving story full of descriptive scenery depicting South Carolina's Low County. Sweetwater is an old plantation, now used by its owners as the head quarters of a family business dedicated to the breeding and training of prized duck hunting dogs named Boykin Spaniels. The plantation rests near Sweetwater Creek , and is the setting for a twelve year old girl's coming of age story. Raised by a distracted father and two older brothers with whom she has little connection ...more
Leanne Hunt
When it comes to beautiful writing, Anne Rivers Siddons is a master. Her descriptions of nature are poetic in their detail and evocativeness. In this novel, she also pays close attention to the behaviour of spaniels and dolphins, creating word pictures that appeal to all the senses, not just sight.

However, I found the story very slow, which made reading it hard for me. In hindsight, I can see that the plot holds together well and that it communicates a strong message, but in the actual progress
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Voracious_reader
At the bottom of a large shopping bag full of used book treasures, I found Anne Rivers Siddon’s Sweetwater Creek. I had been wanting to dip into a quintessential southern novel after having read an interview of Southern author Pat Convoy, so it was perfect timing.

It took me a while to get into the slow, but steady, drawl of the plot. The book concerns a prepubescent girl’s plight to come of age in tension filled circumstances. She is being raised by a father—He loves her but hates how much she
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Kellie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rhonda Rae Baker
What a lyrical read...Siddons expressions take you into another place and immerse you in the characters as if they are part of your family.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and appreciated the adventure unfolding as it did. A coming of age story that everyone can relate to and interesting insight into what it takes to bread and train hunting dogs. At first I didn’t know if it was going to work for me because of what the family did for a living but I found that man’s best friend is always the dog.

W
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Marleen
This is a very atmospheric novel, that's what I liked about it. There were moments that I wished the story would've progressed a little quicker, but on the other hand, I understand it was written in the perfect pace: this story is set in the South after all.
There were times this book made me feel sad and depressed too, because so much burden was laid upon a twelve year old girl.
My favorite part was Emily's relation to her dog Elvis. When the dogs came into the picture, that always perked me up.
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Peggy Bonnington
Siddons' language is so lush and evocative that - even without the able narrative weaving of a young girl's coming-of-age story - South Carolina's Lowcountry marshland comes vividly alive. Through rich and sensual descriptive force of climate, colors, smells, flora, water, sky and creatures, the author provides strong images that transport one into this world near Edisto Island, south of Charleston. The young protagonist is easy to accommodate despite being in a world and situation very unique f ...more
Nancy
It has been a while since I’ve read an ARS book and I saw this one (that I had not read) at the library the other day. I was attracted also by the cover quote from Pat Conroy. “She ranks among the best of us and delivers the goods – the whole fabulous package-with every book she writes.” I love Siddon’s use of words and descriptive language. She makes the low country of South Carolina so inviting. This is a coming of age story of Emily, a 12 year old girl who has been left. Her family breeds and ...more
Dea
Some books I just don't finish, because at this point in my life I'm reading for enjoyment. If I feel I HAVE to finish a book.... well, that just doesn't make sense - to have to force myself to finish (that was during the English major days). This book I just got to a point where I didn't find the characters "attachable" enough for me to get involved in the book. (And I was about 3/4 through, where Emily has to help in a situation.) I didn't care. So I quit reading it. To me, it's sad when that ...more
Jo
Aug 18, 2009 Jo rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like downers, Doglovers
Reader, Anna Fields, was very good, however, the book overall did not really grab me. I have read other books by Anne River Siddons, and really enjoyed them. I'm not sure if it is me changing, or her work is, but this book did not seem to have the same interest in its characters for me. Nor did the actions of many of the characters make sense to me within the "personality" she crafted for them. I was glad when it was over.
It will be a 2 star overall, but this is unfair to the narrator, as her
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Mary
I am a big Siddons fan. Although I was utterly enraptured by the beginning of the book (I want a Boynton Spaniel named Elvis), by 3/4 of the way through, I was ready to be done. But Anne has earned my respect enough that I finished it and am glad I did. Although I would love to see some of the places and creatures described here, I don't much care for the human residents of the "Low Country." Maybe she described them too accurately.
"Fault Lines" and "Downtown" still are my two favorite Siddons b
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Kellie Eizensmits
I would have to say this was the worst book I have ever read in my life. The author spent too much time describing stuff, with no story line. It was painful and boring and I'd rather have bamboo shoots stuck in my fingernails or be tarred and feathered before I'd reccommend this book to anyone. Maybe prisoners would like it. Aggggh! I feel like I wasted a week of my life on it. I want to tear the book into little pieces and have one of the boynton dogs pee on it. I wish i could rate it less than ...more
Joan
This book has too many unanswered questions. Emily Parmenter is a sad child, ignored by her father after her mother ran off their small plantation. The book takes place in Charleston. The Parmenters do not have the money or breeding of the high class Charleston people. Her father wants to break into the high class. He raises Boykin hunting spaniels that Emily seems to charm in training. Lulu, a wealthy deb, had some trouble at college and is a troubled girl, asks the family if she could live at ...more
Peggy Graves
Trite. Plodding. Predictable.

Recipe for Typical Tale of the Low-Country on the NYTimes Best Seller lList:

The child is a socially awkward girl who is more comfortable with thinking conversations with dogs than talking to people. And she thinks in analogies worthy of an Ivy-League English major. Not a pre-teen.
The "Help", as always, is a faithful, wise, all-knowing Africa-American woman who can see what's really going on but won't tell the "WhiteFolks." But boy can she cook! And her speech is so q
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Dyana
I thoroughly enjoyed the vivid, sense-inspiring (taste, smell, sound, sight) word pictures of the author's descriptions of South Carolina's low country marshlands, culture, and life - both human and animal. Emily Parmenter is a twelve year old girl whose mother abandoned the family when she was very small. Her distant father, Walter, sees his wife's beauty developing in his daughter and shuns her. His ambition is to be a member of the older established wealthy plantation society. Emily's best fr ...more
Alexandra
I didn't finish this book. I will push myself to finish most books, so it's very rare that I find a book I can't finish.

This book just seemed to drag on and nothing ever happened! I managed to read 34% of the book and not once found myself lost in the story. It was so boring. I even stepped away from the book for almost month so I could try again. Didn't help. It was just as bad.
Susan Terry
This is certainly an easy read, but I was completely drawn into it and couldn't put it down until I finished it. A friend gave me a box of what she called "beach reads," many by Anne Rivers Siddons, and I have yet to be disappointed. I've decided that the only disappointment will, in fact be, when I finish up the stash!
Daria Mc pherson cain
I enjoyed reading this, can be descriped as maybe just a sweet book.
Laurie Niestrath
Siddon's books are begining to sound formulaic. Adolescent girl, absentee mother, father who seems to be dumbfounded as to the role of being a parent and a very wise, and all knowing African American maid. I was rather disappointed with the way in which Siddons followed through with LuLu's behavior and background. I think that she should have developed a trail of details that would allow the reader to believe her circumstances. The book ends rather abruptly, which was discouraging. I felt as tho ...more
K
"But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;"

This book is so luscious. It resonated with me in so many ways, and sometimes, more than a little eerily. Siddons creates such a lovely world - both comforting and claustrophobic, colorful and warm and yet sometimes brutal. And the poetry, oh the poetry. "Sweetwater" may just have rekindled my interest. I found the characters fully realized, and even though I didn't agree with Lulu's choices, I understood her
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Sheri
I LOVED this book! Anne Rivers Siddons' characters are so beautifully described...you feel like you know them all intimately by the end of each book.
Lorrie
I didn't want to finish this book. It was so very good. Siddons just writes in a way that "you're there". You just sink right into the setting and you're there. You can smell the salty air, marsh, pluff grass, tidewater pools, and wet dogs.

This book's setting was close to Folly Beach and the Parmenter family raised Boykin hunting dogs. The daughter was between 12 and 13 and without a mother. She had a way with the dogs, one dog in particular, Elvis, who was her constant companion.

Raised in a h
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Caroline LaBella
I enjoyed this book, but feel like all of her books follow the same recipe.
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Born Sybil Anne Rivers in Atlanta, Georgia, she was raised in Fairburn, Georgia, and attended Auburn University, where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority.
While at Auburn she wrote a column for the student newspaper, The Auburn Plainsman, that favored integration. The university administration attempted to suppress the column, and ultimately fired her, and the column garnered natio
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More about Anne Rivers Siddons...
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“...as vivid and fabulous as a unicorn...” 3 likes
“Walter Parmenter sometimes seemed to his daughter a restless subterranean force held together by rituals.” 2 likes
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