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Sweetwater Creek

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,265 Ratings  ·  353 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
Paperback, 480 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Harper (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 22, 2010 Susan rated it it was ok
Shelves: southern-fiction
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
Kerry Hennigan
Feb 15, 2013 Kerry Hennigan rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 23, 2008 Stephanie rated it it was ok
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!!
Jan 03, 2009 Amanda rated it did not like it
Shelves: crap
Why I even bothered is a mystery that shall forever haunt me.
Mar 02, 2009 Cindy rated it really liked it
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.
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
Jun 07, 2013 Kellie rated it liked it
Shelves: 2005-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 29, 2012 Dea rated it did not like it
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
Jul 14, 2009 Annie rated it really liked it
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
May 08, 2014 Claire Fullerton rated it really liked it
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
Jul 09, 2014 Leanne Hunt rated it liked it
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
May 03, 2014 Lorrie rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 24, 2013 Voracious_reader rated it it was ok
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
Jul 06, 2015 Marleen rated it liked it
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.
Dec 28, 2010 Peggy rated it really liked it
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
Apr 13, 2009 Nancy rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
Aug 18, 2009 Jo rated it it was ok  ·  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
Oct 02, 2010 Mary rated it liked it
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
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
Keshia Blevins
May 11, 2016 Keshia Blevins rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sweetwater Creek by Anne Rivers Siddons is a highly melodramatic coming-of-age tale set in South Carolina's Low Country. 12-year-old Emily Parmenter lives on Sweetwater Plantation with her father and brothers, where they raise and train hunting dogs. The family has seen happier days; Emily's mother left years ago, and her favorite older brother died young. Emily's father Walter dreams of fame and fortune, of hosting hunt parties filled with high society from grand plantations, and sending his da ...more
Oct 25, 2014 Joan rated it it was ok
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
Jul 30, 2014 Peggy Graves rated it did not like it
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
Mary Meyer
Very nice book by Siddons. Her ability to describe the ACE basin in South Carolina is outstanding. As I have traveled there a lot it is a pleasure for her to describe the sites I have seen. The story itself is bittersweet. A 12 year old and a 20 year old end up with a relationship that satisfies both their short term needs but ends in disappointment.

The 12 year old has been abandoned by her mother and her brother has died, her father ignores her as do her twin brothers. The only person in her
Nov 05, 2014 Dyana rated it really liked it
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
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
Mar 17, 2013 Susan Terry rated it really liked it
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
Jan 13, 2014 Daria Mc pherson cain rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this, can be descriped as maybe just a sweet book.
Linda Harkins
May 04, 2015 Linda Harkins rated it really liked it
This coming-of-age story is written in perfect prose but moves rather slowly. More than the story of twelve-year-old Emily who is growing up in Sweetwater Creek outside Charleston, this narrative provides interesting information about the Boykin spaniels her father raises on their property. Bred in the low country especially for hunting turkey and ducks, these dogs are a bit larger and heavier than cocker spaniels and love to swim. Boykins are obviously quite intelligent and learn quickly with t ...more
Patricia dumas
Sep 11, 2015 Patricia dumas rated it liked it
Lovely little book. A good, basic read for a day. As one other said on here, Ms. Siddons books all follow the same recipe of lush, over spoken swamp and river descriptions.

I have to say, that her book 'Colony', about a location in Maine much different from the South, was her best book. Even literary in many places.

I loved the girl in this book, and the dogs! The character of the debutante was foolish.. and I can't help bringing to mind Ms. Siddon's sorority background: "Delta, Delta, Delta, can
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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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“ vivid and fabulous as a unicorn...” 4 likes
“Walter Parmenter sometimes seemed to his daughter a restless subterranean force held together by rituals.” 2 likes
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