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Sweet Water

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  4,661 ratings  ·  319 reviews
What did her son do in the woods last night? Does a mother really want to know?

It’s what Sarah Ellsworth dreamed of. Marriage to her childhood sweetheart, Martin. Living in a historic mansion in Pennsylvania’s most exclusive borough. And Finn, a teenage son with so much promise. Until…A call for help in the middle of the night leads Sarah and Martin to the woods, where the
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Published January 1st 2021 by Brilliance Audio
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,661 ratings  ·  319 reviews

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Sweet Water by Cara Reinard was released on New Year's Day in 2021, and I found it via NetGalley. Reinard is a new author to me, but I was in need of a solid suspense novel, so I took a chance. I am thrilled to say this was fantastic, and I highly recommend it. The book is told in dual timelines: what happened during Sarah and Martin's courtship roughly 25 years ago and where they are today. But the book opening, where they are dealing with the death of their son's girlfriend, is one of the best ...more
Lynda Kelly
Dec 03, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: deleted
My Kindle First choice this month but it turned out not to be my "thing" at all and just ended up frustrating and irritating me in equal measure. The way Sarah goes along with whatever Martin demands got on my nerves as, to listen to her, she had more backbone than that. Then, to back up her waste-of-space son and maybe covering up what he may have done I found appalling. The whole family are and entitled with not a hint of moral fibre among them !! For one mother to act in ...more
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For my full review, visit me at

This book neither blew me away nor kept me on tenterhooks. Overall, I found there was a lot of delay to the narrative progressing and a lot of idle chatter. However, I was curious to see how the protagonist, Sarah, would escape the folds of such a rich, influential family.

For my full review, visit me at
Jan 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fast paced read that sucks you in immediately and holds you through the whole book. The main character was raised poor but ended up married to a rich heir. She learns it is really hard to hold her morals in a vilely evil family that is able to buy their way out of anything. A highly recommended thriller.
anna ps
Dec 12, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I finished this yesterday and... my word! It was not good.

The plot was promising and the story started out well. HOWEVER. As soon as you got into it and the story started to thicken/get interesting, a new chapter started with a totally different - and much slower - tempo; a chapter focusing on events that happened years ago, when the protagonist (Sarah) was younger.

This kept happening and it totally killed the flow of the story for me! It was really annoying. So much so that I ended up skim-rea
Jo Ann
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

I’m not sure why I kept reading this book, other than to find out the actual details of the young girl’s death. It’s so badly written! It’s hard to believe there was a real developmental editor consulting the author - there are so many terrible usage errors, and, worst of all, egregious repetition after repetition. The author never says or observes something once — she repeats it over and over, and then over again. The main character is impulsive, weak and indecisive, but then somehow d
Jan 18, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Sarah grew up with only her dad and financially they were lower middle class. They would sometimes drive through the wealthy neighborhood and Sarah fell in love with a house she called Stonehenge. She was given a scholarship to Carnegie Mellon and in her freshman year meets Martin, part of a wealthy and powerful family. Twenty years later they get a call in the middle of the night from their youngest son, Finn, that he is in the woods and in trouble and when they get there find the body of his g ...more
So the rich pay people off to stay out of trouble. Who doesn't know that? Apparently the main character of this novel, Sarah Ellsworth. She meets Martin her first day of college. A few days later one of the pledges at Martin's frat house dies during a hazing ritual. Martin is the pledge master. Nothing happens to him or the fraternity. Yet although Sarah suspects it was hushed up because Martin's family is extremely rich, she continues to date him. Ever heard of Mary Jo Kopechne, Sarah?

I figured
Dec 24, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Had to stop halfway through. Not a fan of the whole anti-hero thing anyway and my life is too short to read a book where someone is this annoying and stupid.
Oct 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've received this free e-arc from Netgalley to post a honest review this fall. In Cara Reinard's newest domestic suspense debut, Sweet Water, this shocking tale will send bone-numbing shockwaves on every page from start to finish. For Sarah Denning, she had everything she could dream of when she married Martin Ellsworth, her college sweetheart, and lived in the life of luxury in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. But when Sarah and Martin discovers their son Finn next to a dead woman near the lake, it ch ...more
Denise Shaver
Started off strong. I did not want to put it down. The last 1/4 dragged on and it was a little hard to stay engaged. The twist was rather obvious and the ending seemed a little tacked on. Not a bad book. Not great, either.
Oh goodness.
I picked this as my First Reads selection, and I was very disappointed. I almost DNF'd many times, but I powered through. I kind of wish I had just put it down. The beginning was strong, that first chapter pulled me in, but then it was all downhill from there.
The story jumps between three different points in time, but the jumps are really choppy and don't flow together at all. The characters were not believable, or likable in any way. The main character's internal dialogue had so ma
Jenna Bachman
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: firstreads
This one had so much promise in the beginning but went downhill pretty fast. The premise is really intriguing and the first chapter hooked me, but the narration just falls into "this is the theme of the novel and I am telling you it right now" kind of telling that drives me crazy in novels.

Sarah's internal narration when she was in college was also not the greatest; college students have a lot more thoughts beyond "this boy is hot" and "I need to do my homework." I think Sarah had the potential
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
I should just skip Prime First Reads. I haven’t found a good one in a while.
Jazzyb Webb
Sarah and Martins worse nightmare is revealed when their son calls them for help, he's in the woods off his face on drugs and had an argument with his girlfriend only problem is once they get they they are faced with a dead Yasmin and an unconsciously Finn. In that moment they have to decide whether or not to call the police or to remove all evidence of Finns presents

Sarah could come off as a rich snob goodie to shoes she has so much money she spends her time working for NGOs. But Sarah married
Shelleen Toland
It’s what Sarah Ellsworth dreamed of. Marriage to her college sweetheart, Martin. Living in a historic mansion in Pennsylvania’s most exclusive borough. And Finn, a teenage son with so much promise. Until…A call for help in the middle of the night leads Sarah and Martin to the woods, where they find Finn, injured, dazed, and weeping near his girlfriend’s dead body. Martin and Sarah will protect their son.
But Sarah isn't comfortable with everything being covered up and all the lies. But that is w
Sweet Water is about a lot of things: family, different "sides of the track," wealthy vs. poor, mystery, marriage, betrayal, so much in this book that I loved.

Sarah and Martin are wealthy parents to two boys, Spencer and Finn. The story begins with the scene of a dead girl and the those who found her deciding what to do. I thought there were quite a few moral and ethical thoughts going on, at least by one person. The story exemplifies what lengths one might go through in order to protect loved
For Sarah Ellsworth, everything she turned a blind eye to about her husband Martin and his family jolts an awakening. When she gets a phone call, Sarah and Martin find their teenage son in the woods hurt and a girl dead. Sarah wants to know what really happened. Martin knows how to make things look any way he wants. This was chilling. The ways of the rich and powerful without even blinking an eye. A really good read.

Dawnny Ruby
Novels N Latte Review
Hudson Valley NY
Jan 08, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have not read anything by this author before and this book kept my attention all the way through. I thought the ending was a bit rushed and would have liked more explanation of some outcomes. Overall a good read
Cara Devlin
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fantastic suspense novel! I had no idea who I could trust for most of it, even questioning the narrator at times, wondering if she was unreliable. It was so engrossing and wonderfully detailed, and I loved the changing timeline, from present to different times in the past. Highly recommend this one!
Fred Shaw
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loaded with suspense and well written. Some kids in the woods at night and one dies. Who is responsible? It tears a family apart but was it really a family?

Thanks to Amazon Prime for the opportunity to read this. Highly recommended.
GR says I have read 787 books. 16 of those books I gave a 1 star, including this one. Enough said.
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted on Gobookmart

Review :
Sweet Water has a fascinating beginning when the peruser is immediately propelled to the center of a scene in Sewickley Heights: Yazmin is discovered dead.

We follow the storyteller, Sarah Ellsworth as she reveals to us her story. Sarah marries her sweetheart, Martin. They now live in a mansion located in Pennsylvania. It is a blessing from heaven, and Sarah and Martin have worked for this dream. Everything is magnificent until one night they get a call
Booksandchinooks (Laurie)
Overall I liked this book but there were some things that I found irritating. Sarah has been married for 20 years and appears to have a charmed life. She knows she is very privileged to be living so affluently with her charming college sweetheart. She has some issues with his influential family but basically looks the other way. In the span of a few hours she changes her mind about her husband and her eyes are suddenly opened as to what he is capable of to keep his reputation perfect. When their ...more
Eve (Between The Bookends)
This one was pretty much a middle of the road read for me. I enjoyed it overall. It kept me interested through out and turning the pages. However, the characters, especially Sarah, were rather annoying. And the "mystery" as it were, was rather predictable.

**Arc Via NetGalley**
Sarah -  All The Book Blog Names Are Taken
Snooooooze. Made it 14%. Barely.
Kate Vocke (bookapotamus)
How far would you go to protect your child?

Would you do anything? Even if someone ends up dead?

Sweet Water was a tension filled mystery from start to finish. It starts with two teens in the woods. One is dead and one can’t remember what happened. Finn’s parents decide that there’s just no way their child would hurt another human… so they cover it up and protect their son at all costs.

I guess it’s true that the disgustingly rich really can buy anything. Or can they?

But for Sarah – the one thing t
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did not find this novel to be a page turning one. It is a book for readers who like lots of back story, lots about each of the characters (whether primary or not), and much more about the current situation than is necessary for an engaging plot. All the main characters are deeply flawed and it was hard for me to find any of them attractive.

The redeeming aspect of this novel is the primary issue about which the plot revolves. One may think that a crime has been successfully covered up but there
Julie Lacey
Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
This is a good read but it was a bit of a slow burner after the initial discovery of the body.
Sarah and Martin are called by their son, Finn and asked to help him. They find him in the woods with the dead body of his girlfriend.
Sarah wants to phone the Police but Martin persuades her not to, as it makes their son look guilty.
Against her better judgement Sarah goes along with what Martin says but later regrets it.
Finn has taken some drugs so can’t remember what actually happened and
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What happens when your teenaged son calls you in the middle of the night because he is in serious trouble? What happens when you are 20 years into a marriage and you start to question whether your spouse is a trustworthy/reliable partner? Do you really know your family? What happens when you find yourself in a tangled mess - that you didn’t create?

The characters were realistic. Not many were likeable and even the likeable characters had some unfavorable moments. (If you’ve read my previous revi
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