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The Springsweet

(The Vespertine #2)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  839 ratings  ·  153 reviews
Heartbroken over the tragic death of her fiancé, seventeen-year-old Zora Stewart leaves Baltimore for the frontier town of West Glory, Oklahoma, to help her young widowed aunt keep her homestead going. There she discovers that she possesses the astonishing ability to sense water under the parched earth. When her aunt hires her out as a “springsweet” to advise other settler ...more
Hardcover, 275 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by Harcourt Children's Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Jess (Gone with the Words)
Feb 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011
Read this review on my blog! --> The Springsweet by Saundra Mitchell

The Vespertine was one of my favorite books last year, and with that ending, of course I was dying for a sequel! It completely stole my heart...and trampled it. I was incredibly heartbroken! In The Springsweet, Saundra Mitchell has redeemed my heart by mending our Zora’s.

The most stand-out quality I’ve come to love about Saundra Mitchell’s writing is the vividly realized atmospheres. In The Vespertine, I could see myself sittin


Charming historical-supernatural romance that's slow to start

In Saundra Mitchell's The Springsweet, seventeen-year-old Zora finds herself stuck in Baltimore - both emotionally and physically - as she grieves the tragic loss of her fiancé. When a rash choice provides a way out, she takes it and finds her way to the wind-swept prairies of Oklahoma to live with her aunt. Once there, Zora discovers that she has the power to sense water under the ground and that her skill is in much demand in a d
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
An enthralling story about heartbreak, second chances, love, and learning to find yourself, The Springsweet is the perfect sequel to Saundra Mitchell's The Vespertine. Starting off where Amelia's story ended, Zora's story is one fans of this series will quickly fall in love with. Zora not only has to come to terms with her broken heart, but she learns as she heads out west, leaving the comforts of her home behind to carry on and find herself again. Zora's an enchanting character with a voice tha ...more
Dark Faerie Tales
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: City girl Zora Stewart moves out west to search for who she is and what she wants to do with her life after the tragedies she experienced in this companion novel to The Vespertine.

Opening Sentence: That I went a little mad, I could not deny.

The Review:

The Springsweet is Saundra Mitchell’s second novel featuring the character of Zora Stewart. Zora has been mourning for a year, and can’t find the will to move on with her life in Baltimore. She sta
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
4.5/5 stars. Loved it so much, I practically read it straight through and forgot to take any notes. D'oh. Review soon.


I hate staring at a blank piece of paper when I’m trying to write a review. Conversely, I love that I was so engrossed in the novel that I neglected to take a single note. Luckily, I’m caught up on reviews and not having to write this three weeks after I read it, so this should be relatively painless.

I loved Saundra Mitchell’s The Vespertine when I read it last year. I had
Vikki VanSickle
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
It is no secret that I love Saundra Mitchell.Her prose is beautiful but rather spare (much like the landscape she is writing about) but her skill is such that it doesn’t take a lot of words to conjure a rich story. She is rather like Zora, a ‘word’ sweet summoning a story that is clear and simple with no frippery. The characters use period language and sentence construction which added to the authenticity of the book, but contemporary readers won’t balk at this at times formal or unfamiliar man ...more
Jan 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Springsweet is a young adult historical fantasy set in the late nineteenth century, mainly in the Oklahoma Territory. It’s also a sequel to Saundra Mitchell’s 2011 novel The Vespertine, though I didn’t realize that when I ordered it. So the caveat to my review is that I read The Springsweet without that background. How does it hold up on its own? Quite well, actually.

The heroine is Zora Stewart, a secondary character from The Vespertine, whose fiancé died tragically a year ago. Zora’s mother
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
The second in The Vespertine series, The Springsweet focuses on Zora. Depressed after the events of the past year, Zora is desperate to get away from her home and all reminders of her departed friends and deceased love. When an opportunity to escape presents itself, Zora takes it. The eventful ride to her aunt’s home in West Glory, Oklahoma, leads to Zora discovering her rare talent. After finding underground water for Emerson, a man she wishes she was not so attracted to, Zora realizes she is a ...more
Shalor T.
Feb 16, 2012 rated it liked it
After having read and liked the previous book in the series, The Vespertine, I was pretty happy to be able to get my hands on this book. Many of you coming into this book will be familiar with Mitchell's style, but for those of you who aren't I do have to warn you that the magic in this story will not be as heavily played up as it usually is in some of the other YA books out there. It's more of a secondary plot element than a major one, although it does feature heavily in the story.

First let me
Mar 12, 2012 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars
In an attempt to escape a wounded heart, Zora Stewart packs a bag and heads West. Robbery, rescue and the occasional tumbleweed follow. Being a fan of the Vespertine inspired me to pick up the companion novel, The Springsweet. The setting shifts from Balitmore to the hardships of prairie life along the great frontier. Because of the setting, the book has a western country feel and for those readers who enjoy American settler stories, The Springsweet will be a pleasurable and clean read.
Tabitha Olson
Oct 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: recent-reviews
Saundra Mitchell is a master of setting. All of her books have had a vivid and palpable feel to them, and this book is no exception. I could taste the dust of the road, smell the grass on the prairie, feel the water between my toes, etc. Whenever I want to feel like I’m in another world, I pick up one of Saundra’s books.

Zora is a great character. Her grief is tangible and drives her to do selfish things because she can't see beyond it. That rang true to me. Desperation also drove her to find her
Christina (Reading Extensively)
The Springsweet is a companion novel to The Vespertine but the story has a different feel to it partly due to the setting and partly due to the protagonist Zora. I think this is a much more thoughtful book and I actually prefer it to The Vespertine. Zora struggles with grief and guilt but she is also a determined and hardworking girl which I found admirable. Even though an Oklahoma soddy is a far cry from what she is used to, she pitches in and does her best to not be a burden to her aunt. The r ...more
Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, 2012
Saundra Mitchell has an incredible knack for rendering vivid settings. It's my favorite thing about all three of her books. I felt like I was right in dusty, wild Oklahoma along with Zora (and wished I were there for the trysts at the stream with Emerson). I love how Zora grows; she starts out the book heartbroken, mourning her fiance, and grows into a strong, stubborn woman ready to move on, find her own destiny, and fall in love despite past heartbreak. There's a bit of a love triangle, but it ...more
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Melynie
I really enjoyed this book my only problem was it was too short! I could have kept reading a lot longer. This book is a sequel but I didn't know that before I picked it up. The beginning was a little like starting a story all ready in progress, but I picked up very quickly on what was going on. But I will say after reading this I will go back and read the first book, I liked the writing so much. This book has three big pluses for me love, magic and the old west. 3 things I love to read about and ...more
Soarin Soraya
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Though I haven’t had the joy of reading The Vespertine I was instantly grabbed by the story of The SpringSweet. The narrative style was simple in an elegant way that didn’t hold anything back, revealing truths and moments with an unflinching clarity and endearing honesty. Zora’s character, though at first a little… out of touch with the consequences of her decisions, goes through a stunning transition from a young woman lost to herself to a strong character who is willing to step out of the rol ...more
Feb 28, 2012 marked it as to-read
The covers for this series are SOOO pretty.
Vee_Bookish // yes i will be reading midnight sun
My first ever NetGalley eBook was The Vespertine and despite trying to get my head around the bizarre idea of being able to read books for free before the release date, I loved every page of it. In particular, I liked on Zora Stewart, a character whose personality flew off the pages and made me laugh when she couldn't get off of the bed due to her dress! I was sad as I closed the book, believing that I wouldn't read anything new from that world again. And then earlier this year I discovered that ...more
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
4.5/5 stars

1890. A year has passed since Zora Stewart lost her beloved Thomas in a tragic shooting; a year since her best friend Amelia returned to Maine. Though she’s grieved her fiance for a socially acceptable amount of time, Zora’s heart remains broken. She remains isolated, buried in her sorrow for a love and life that will never be. Her mother, worried about her daughter’s depression, encourages Zora to start living again. Zora knows she must move forward, but she doesn’t know how she can
At 40% through, I was pretty annoyed with the way that people of color weren't there in for a historical fiction book about the West (the "great" American tradition), but I'm glad I kept reading. White washing and racism get called out later, even if I did feel it could have come sooner. I enjoyed the magic, the romance, and most especially the protagonist's strong voice. I'll be looking for the other books in the series.
Libby Ames
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
I realized partway into this that it was the second in a series. I wasn't feeling captured enough by the story to go back and read the first. I was able to follow the story just fine. It was an interesting alternate history--Oklahoma Land Settlement with hints of magic. The characters were ok, but the development was weak. I'm not feeling motivated to finish the trilogy.
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I feel like I really would have loved these books as a kid. They’re short period pieces with zero flowery language, light romance, and magic~ which makes them quick, easy reads, that still capture interesting times in history.

I’ll admit, I liked this one a bit better than The Vespertine because Zoe’s is my favorite. She’s so fun and practical.
Aug 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, read-2017
Another book that develops at a slow burn; good description of depression at the start. Slow romance; a bit modern in take, but okay. Still enjoyable.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Very sweet historical romance suited for any age!
Becky Zentner
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was great. I read it in 2 days because I couldn't put it down.
I did not read the 1st book, but you don't have to to understand the second.
Last year, I bought Saundra Mitchell’s The Vespertine because I thought it had a pretty cover and I’m shallow like that. Of course, as I said in my review at the time, I ended up really liking it, in large part because of the characters. When I found out we’d get sequels/companion novels with more of these characters, I was pretty excited and so when I got an ARC of The Springsweet, I was even more stoked. As I’ve said a million times on tis blog, I’m a sucker for historical fiction, and anythin ...more
Joy (joyous reads)
Sep 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, favourites
Hope springs eternal.

Mourning the death of her beloved, Zora Stewart decided she needed to escape. What better way to forget about the tragedies in her life but to occupy herself with back-breaking labour? Ruined in Baltimore by her own devices, her mother shipped her off to a stead in Oklahoma where farming life flounders due to the scarcity of water. Little did she know, within her lies the ability to call on its sources. But as soon as she availed herself of the remuneration for being "spring
Rhiannon Ryder
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Although Amelia's fire was enjoyable, I have to say, I was elated to find out The Springsweet was entirely about Zora. I adored Zora, and her ending was not one I wanted to leave her with, so it was entirely satisfying to find her in the very first pages, with no preambles.

Mrs. Stewart, sadly, wasn't in this one as much. However, she's in the beginning and continues on just as I expect, in the most satisfying combination of proper mom for the time period, and one who understands the confines of
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Let me just start by saying that I enjoyed The Springsweet a lot more than I did The Vespertine. It was much easier to follow, and I actually enjoyed the setting more. It doesn't take place very long at all after The Vespertine ended, but it's completely different. Saundra really has a talent for making her writing fit the period, and areas she is trying to write about. As you can probably gather, The Springsweet is the companion novel to The Vespertine in which you follow along with Zora on her ...more
Molli Moran

Read more reviews and follow discussions at Once Upon a Prologue!

It's no secret that Saundra Mitchell's Gothic novel, The Vespertine was one of my favorite novels of 2011. I'm a romantic at heart, and drawn to all kinds of anachronisms, and to me, The Vespertine was a book that, wonderfully, and amazingly, just didn't fit in, didn't quite belong amidst all the other young adult books I was reading, and that's a huge part of why I loved Saundra's book and her ethereal writing style quite so much
Heidi (yabibliophile)
Oct 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: very-best, own
I have a new rule. It's called the "Read Everything Saundra Mitchell Publishes" rule. This has been my unofficial rule since reading her first book Shadowed Summer. It was strengthened by The Vespertine but I felt three books were needed to make it official. Consider it official.

Saundra has such a way with words. I know I've said it before but I don't think I can stress it enough! I mean, I flagged two separate sentences on the first page alone! Her writing style and word choice are superb. The
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Saundra Mitchell is the author of SHADOWED SUMMER, THE VESPERTINE, THE SPRINGSWEET, THE ELEMENTALS and MISTWALKER. In non-fiction, she’s the author of the THEY DID WHAT!? series for middle grade readers. She’s also the editor of the YA anthology DEFY THE DARK. IN 2018, HarlequinTEEN will publish her next anthology, ALL OUT.

Writing as Jessa Holbrook, she published her first romantic contemporary YA

Other books in the series

The Vespertine (3 books)
  • The Vespertine (The Vespertine, #1)
  • The Elementals (The Vespertine, #3)

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