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Sweetgrass

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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  5,159 Ratings  ·  249 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 hold their disintegra ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Mira (first published July 1st 2005)
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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
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Aug 22, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  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
M
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mary
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Oct 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Slow to get into, but once I did it was a great book
Cindy
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A down to earth story with strong character development and interesting southern traditions. A really enjoyable read...
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Anne Arthurs
Feb 12, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Susan
Nov 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 Mcadams
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Donna
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Andrea Reese
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy this author. She writes about the interaction between family members. Also much of it takes place in Charleston in a big beach house.
Emily Tischer
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really have been enjoying Mary Alice Monroe's books.
Kw
Oct 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining, though a bit flat at the end. I expected something more. Still I will probably read more of this author's books.
Lawrence A McKinney
One of her best books. It was unpredictable and characters were richly drawn. Reveals depth of family love with all its warts
barbara Ifill
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this story. I especially enjoyed reading about the lowcountry. Looking forward to reading more of her books.
Nancy
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like family sagas and low country books, this was a good read...
Beth Manning
nice plot, as i was reading it I could picture where sweetgrass was in south carolina...felt like I knew the place.
Kshydog
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brittany
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Jane
Jul 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rita
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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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“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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