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Sweetgrass

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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  3,407 ratings  ·  191 reviews
Sweetgrass is a historic tract of land in South Carolina that has been home to the Blakely family for eight generations. But Sweetgrass—named for the indigenous grass that grows in the area—is in trouble. Taxes are skyrocketing. Bulldozers are leveling the surrounding properties. And the Blakelys could be forced to sell the one thing that continues to h ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Mira (first published July 1st 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Susan O'Bryant
I admit, I bought this book for its absolutely gorgeous cover. Little did I know, there was a heartfelt family saga inside, just waiting to be read.

There have only been a few books I've read over the last couple of years that had such great characters with integrity and reality. I loved "meeting" each one of them, and I will carry them with me long after I lend this book to a friend.

The illness that befell Preston was very sad, but it lent such warmth and hope to the story. Morgan was a story wi
...more
Mary
Jan 21, 2014 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
Sweetgrass is an historical tract of land that the Blakely family has called home for the past eight generations. But Sweetgrass - so named for the indigenous grass that grows in the area - is in trouble. Bulldozers are leveling the surrounding properties, and the Blakelys may be forced to sell the only thing that continues to hold their disintegrating family together. For some of Blakelys, the prospect of selling Sweetgrass is bittersweet - for others, it is completely unimaginable. But as the ...more
Lisa
Slow to get into, but once I did it was a great book
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Aug 22, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No One
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
This was on a recommendation list for chicklit I was trying. I have been finding this isn't a genre to my liking, but I had hopes for this one given the blurb on the cover from Pat Conroy, a first rate writer of literary fiction about the South Carolina lowcountry in which this is set. From the beginning though, this struck me as wretchedly written. Clumsy dialogue with people dumping information already known to both of them and melodramatic in tone. It also features a plot device I find irrita ...more
Michelle
When I first began reading this story, I feared that I would not
like it at all. It begins on a very dramatic note, talking about
the taxes due on the great Southern plantation that has been in
the family for many generations. How can I as a Yankee relate to this story?

However, the author brings in other storylines that are quite universal. The father, Preston, suffers a stroke and the story
of how he and his wife reconnect emotionally through the simple
act of touch was very poignant.

But be fo
...more
Anna
I was asked to read something recent by Mary Alice Monroe to review for the Friends of the Library newsletter at my library. I probably wouldn't have picked this book up otherwise. It really wasn't that bad.

The story centers Sweetgrass, a former plantation on the South Caroline coast that has been in the Blakely family since the 1700's. Preston Blakely, the current patriarch has been scrabbling all his life to keep Sweetgrass together. He has lots of obstacles in his way - taxes that keep creepi
...more
Aspasia
Mary June Blakely and Preston Blakely have been married for forty-seven years; they have spent their entire marriage at Sweetgrass, the Blakley's ancestral home. Unfortunately, their marriage is tested when Preston succumbs to a stroke and when Preston's greedy, developer-friendly, real estate agent sister pressures the family to sell Sweetgrass. As Preston undergoes therapy at home, the various members of the Blakely family finally come to grips with some personal demons and family secrets that ...more
Irene
Strained family bonds are restored and painful memories are healed as a family comes together to offer post-stroke care for its patriarch and to save its family plantation from foreclosure. This domestic drama was predictably sweet. This is not my preferred reading material.
Anne Arthurs
I read this book because a co-worker gave it to me because she knows I'm a reader. I didn't care for it only because I'm a literature snob, and this book didn't do anything original. The characters weren't original, the story wasn't original, and the writing was full of cliches. There was no real growth or character development. Still, I read the whole thing to see what would happen next, so it wasn't a bad book. It's like the difference between watching Two and Half Men and Breaking Bad. It's n ...more
Maryellenmrphy
Really good beach read-takes place in South Carolina-and not a bad family story. Plot follows a family struggling to maintain their homestead as their strained relationships are repaired or torn asunder.
Dorothy Timm
I couldn't decide whether to give this book 4 stars or 5. But I decided to give it 4 for two reasons. For one thing, the pace of the book was a little inconsistent. Most of the book was a little slow (although even then, I enjoyed it), but then the ending went really fast. The other reason was that, although it was almost a 5 star for me, I realize I might be biased-we often visit Hilton Head Island and LOVE that part of the US. There was a lot of low country history that I enjoyed learning abou ...more
Marleen
This is my first try at a Mary Alice Monroe book, and I must say that on the whole I expected to feel more moved by it. Admittedly, it was enjoyable enough, although a little old fashioned. It did bring back a lot of images of my trip to South Carolina and the Low Country, back in 2006. I truly loved that part of the story: the scenery really spoke to me. In my head I could totally picture that old plantation that has belonged to the Blakely family for centuries.
This story is well written, but f
...more
Margaret
Mama June and Preston Blakely have seen their share of hard times in their 47 years of marriage: the death of their older son; the desertion of their younger son; the estrangement of their daughter. Now they are facing perhaps, the hardest time of all. The Blakely family is in danger of losing their beloved home, Sweetgrass, in the Lowcountry--the home that has been in the family for generations. Preston has had a serious stroke and it is now up to Mama June to decide what to do, but she cannot ...more
Betsy
I felt like my book had pages missing from the final chapters. I didn't feel like everything got explained or cleared up in the end. I was still scratching my head when I turned the last page. And, I got tired of so many things being compared to a metronome!! Tail wagging, heart beating, etc. But, the story was good enough to keep me going, so props for that. I did like the historical info about the sweetgrass baskets and such. I will read other MAM books, I am sure! Good beach read.
Jane
Sweetgrass is the name of the South Carolina lowcountry plantation home of the Blakely family and also the indigenous grass used in making the tradition sweetgrass baskets.

The books opens with a bitter argument between Mary June and Preston Blakely over the future of Sweetgrass. The argument culminates in Preston suffering a stroke. Since stoke is high on my list of old-age concerns, this captured my attention.

The estranged family rallies around to care for Preston and save Sweetgrass, not just
...more
KathyJ
Pulled in by my enjoyment of fiction set in the Low Country. Diverting enough, but overall the book seems a bit familiar, or predictable. But, even though the characters and storyline could be meatier, it's a decent effort. Includes interesting content regarding the use of sweetgrass in basketmaking, and threats to the resource.
Rita
Eight generations of the Blakely family have lived in the Sweetgrass estate in the South Carolina low country on the Atlantic coast. As snowbirds pour into the south to find their retirement havens, the property taxes have rapidly risen making Preston, the patriarch, lost for alternatives. He calls his estranged prodigal son, Jordan, home from Montana the night he suffers a massive stroke. With Mama June at his side, the family, with all its secrets, tragedies, and long hurt feelings, must alter ...more
Ellen Moore
This is a southern novel set in the South Carolina lowcountry dealing in part with a man's love of the land and his home and his desire to preserve it for the next generation. Despite numerous problems including financial and much of the surrounding farm land being taken over by developers to build modern structures, he works hard and struggles to stay afloat without help from his absent adult children. His estranged son returns home when there is a family emergency. Most of the book describes t ...more
Michelle
This is a wonderful family story filled with interesting history about the South, basket weaving, and one family's fight for survival. I really enjoyed Monroe's writing and the twists about the family and the environmental side effects of development made this an appealing tale for me.
Maura
With the first few chapters I would have classified this as a beach read, but it does go a little deeper into relationships than the typical beach book. Some of the plot is predictable, but that doesn't detract from the book overall. I liked that it was set in the low country of the Carolinas, since I've read many other books set there and have visited some of the locations used in the book. When Morgan recalls the old Grace bridge crossing the Cooper River, I know exactly what he's referring to ...more
Mary Kay
This was one of my favorite books. I learned so much about sweet grass baskets. My parents bought me one on one of their Lowcountry trips. While I liked it very much, I truly did not value it until I read this book.
Gail
Sweetgrass is a former plantation that's been in the Blakely family for generations. Patriarch Preston has struggled to keep it going. When he has a stroke, son Morgan returns home to help run things while his father recovers. He had left home years ago after the untimely death of his older brother. His aunt Adele wants to sell off the place to developers so they all have tough choices to make about their future and the future of the land while dealing with issues from their past.
Sweetgrass is n
...more
Deborah Bobo
Sweetgrass is the story of a family trying to save themselves and the land they love. Mary June and her husband Preston are at adds with one another and with their grown children. They are on the verge of losing the family land, Sweetgrass. The loss will also affect Nona, their lifelong housekeeper and sweetgrass basket maker. It is a fact that there is less and less sweetgrass available each year here in the coastal south. This family has been torn apart by misunderstandings over the years as w ...more
Elizabeth
My first reading of her work and I loved it; and I learned something about the low country. The characters seem real and her writing is visual. I am checking out her other books.
Stephanie
I loved this book. I am a sucker for a book about the Lowcountry and this one drew me in. Such a great, heartfelt book. Ms. Monroe is quickly becoming a favorite author.
Melissa Cox
An okay book...I'm always interested in authors' takes on life in the SC lowcountry, and so often they seem to play into the same southern stereotypes.
Teresa Schiltz
Great story about sweetgrass baskets and how the "grass" is being depleted as is the custom and art of basket making. A great lowcountry story.
Dotty Wright
A taste of the lowcountry, leaving you with a craving for more! Ms. Monroe does not know how to write anything but good but good books.
Shona
Very nicely written. Loved it.
All about the troubles of two intertwined family's in the South, and how they overcame their past.
Tracy
It started out slow but then it got really good. Such great scenery, history & family. I really enjoyed the way the story unfolded, the highs & lows as well as the ending.
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New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe found her true calling in environmental fiction when she moved to coastal South Carolina. Already a successful author, she was captivated by the beauty and fragility of her new home. Her experiences living in the midst of a habitat that was quickly changing gave her a strong and important focus for her books.

Mary Alice Monroe writes richly textur
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