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Sweetgrass

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4.13  ·  Rating details ·  6,803 ratings  ·  313 reviews
Sweetgrass is a historical 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. Bulldozers are leveling surrounding properties. And the Blakelys could be forced to sell the one thing that continues to hold their disintegrating family together. ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages
Published May 30th 2006 by MIRA (first published July 1st 2005)
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Rachel Harper The Blakely family: Mama June and Preston, the parents, their son, Morgan, daughter Nan, and Adele, Preston's sister.

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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,803 ratings  ·  313 reviews


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Lisa (Harmonybites)
Aug 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
M
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Light read with a typical Lowcountry story. Good vacation book. The great thing about Mary Alice Monroe's books is learning about Lowcountry history and nature. From the obvious sweetgrass lesson you will learn about sweetgrass basket sewing, the local bottle nose dolphins and a bit of Charleston history. Monroe centers her stories around the real Lowcountry. She lives it, loves it and it shows in her books.
Tabitha Garmire
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was more of a 4.5. I loved this book!
Mary
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Anne Arthurs
Feb 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Susan
Nov 22, 2015 rated it liked it
For me, the best part of this book was the sweet grass baskets. I'm afraid that I could not stand that the main character was named Mama June. I just could not get the image of Honey Boo Boo's Mama June out of my head, and it spoiled the book for me.
Lisa
Oct 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slow to get into, but once I did it was a great book
Cindy
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A down to earth story with strong character development and interesting southern traditions. A really enjoyable read...
Lynn
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story about family and the secrets they have.
Katelijne Sommen
You can feel the love the author has for the area in which this story is set, but the characters are cardboard cut-outs and the writing is wooden and stiff.
Anna Karras
Feb 12, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Karen
Jul 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was expecting a fluffy-- 'feel good' story when I picked up this book; however, what I got was better-- this story shows the pain and damage that a loss of a loved one can cause and how differently everyone handled their grief. A family tragedy brings them all together again after 20 years and they are forced to face the past and mistakes they've all made. In addition to the family's story, we learn about the art of sweet grass baskets made by the Gullah people in the Low Country-- and the ser ...more
Maryellenmrphy
Jun 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Irene
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Beth Shorten
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Meh....the problem is I didn't care about the characters. Nothing drew me in.
Kathleen
My local public library featured this book, among others, as suggestions for book clubs a few weeks ago. Published in 2005 by a prolific author writing about the Lowcountry, I wondered why the recommendation came at this time. The pages were yellowed; the binding was coming apart. A few pages in, I discovered pain and loss and anger fueled the characters, some of whom had been suffering for years, but I anticipated the strength of two women, Mama June Blakely and Nona Bennett, would prevail, wou ...more
Lisa Mcadams
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading "Sweetgrass," this morning. Such a fantastic read!!! It just goes to show you that all families have problems...when you think someone you know has the perfect family, I can promise you there is alot of pain and suffering that is probably hidden like in this story about an old southern plantation in Charleston, SC that has a history dating back hundreds of years about the Blakely family. Mary June and Adele are college roomates at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC, and d ...more
Barbara Lemon
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Beautiful Story

Read this book if you want a lovely slow, beautiful,family saga. The ambiance of place is a character in this story. Mary Alice Monroe is a master in the art of capturing time and place, memory and the present moment all at once. The reader feels the breezes, smells the moisture in the air, and is a part of the family history, it's sorrows, it's triumphs, births and deaths. Portions of this story devoted to the making of sweetgrass baskets and the struggle to preserve this art
...more
sandra nelson
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent story telling!

Mary Alice Monroe weaves together stories of land and family much like the sweet grass baskets featured within. The Blakely family find themselves caught up in an age-old struggle between tradition and progress, family duty and personal desires, and trust and betrayal. Monroe invites the reader into the lives of the Blakelys where we bear witness to the complex history and relationships of a great but flawed family. Set in the South Carolina lowcountry, the novel blends t
...more
Patti Hughes
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sweet story

I had not expected the depth of this story. I love the low country setting, and thought I would be reading a romance. Actually, it is a story of love, loss, and redemption. Mama June takes us through a life with sorrows and secrets which have shaped her life and that of her family. She is unhappy with her life, her husband and her children. After an argument, her husband has a stroke, and as her family gathers the secrets come out. Learning to communicate with her husband and openin
...more
Tammy silvis
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kris
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was not prepared to like this book. I assumed it was one of those "romance-y" novels written for women "of a certain age", and that there wouldn't be anything in it I could relate to. Reader, I was wrong.

Yes, there is a bit of romance (which you could see coming a mile away) between Morgan and the physical therapist working with his father. And yes, there's a certain amount of older folks looking back at their lives - with regret, but also with fondness. But the key themes of family, mending f
...more
Linda
5-stars! MAM has done it again. This is a story set in the heart of he Low-country of South Carolina and enlightens the reader to the rich history of the land and the sweetgrass business. (Visit the area and you will witness the weavers and sellers of magnificent sweetgrass baskets.)
This is a novel of hope, family, heartbreaking compromises, and most of all forgiveness. Just as beautiful baskets are created through weaving different reeds, so is a family formed and strengthened by unique person
...more
Eva Silverfine
Nov 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I picked this up because I read the author wrote about environmental themes, and indeed this story is grounded in a coastal environment threatened by development and treasured by the family that has owned a large property (plantation) for generations. The story even includes conservation easements! The author is a skilled writer, and I, like the main characters, champion efforts of environmental preservation. However, I found the characters a bit too stereotypical and the plot a bit too predicta ...more
Margaret Bray
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
May be the best that I have ever read!

I don’t usually write reviews, but this has been one of those books that stays with you. Mary Alice Monroe, you have out done yourself! Deep in family, love, heritage and love of the Carolina’s coastline. Just one of those books that you could read over and over again! Thank you Mary Alice Monroe for making my heart love my home even more!
Donna
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book I have read by Mary Alice Monroe and I loved it. I plan to eventually read them all. The characters were fantastic, endearing and entertaining. The lowcountry story of sweet grass baskets and how the art was passed down from generation to generation was enlightening.
I'm so glad I picked this book to enjoy and remember during my summer break from school.
Patricia
Another beautifully written book about the South and family. Mary Alice Monroe shows her love of family and their heritage. With so much land being developed with little left to nature and its inhabitants, this story helped to explain what happens to the environment when land is lost to concrete, etc. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this thought-provoking book. You will, too.
Linda
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy Lowcountry writer Mary Alice Monroe and Sweetgrass was a really good family saga. I enjoyed meeting the chararacters, beginning with college roommates Adele and Mary Jane. There were a few inconsistencies and some questionable facts, but they didn't get in the way of an interesting and heartfelt story.
Diane Brown
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This book takes place in South Carolina in current day. The family is having to deal with serious health and monetary issues and having to entertain thoughts of selling their plantation. It is interesting to see the characters develop as they face issues and solve their problems, to the best of their abilities, for all involved.
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Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of 23 novels, including On Ocean Boulevard, which is the sixth installment of the Beach House series.

More than 7.5 million copies of her books have been published worldwide, and she’s earned numerous accolades and awards, including: Induction into the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame; the Southwest Florida Author of Distinct
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“How ironic she thought, to store the past but never tend to it. ~ Mary June” 0 likes
“short laugh. “Time will tell with you and Bobby Pearlman,” 0 likes
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