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Sweetwater Creek

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  9,218 ratings  ·  456 reviews
Left virtually alone after the disappearance of her mother and death of her beloved older brother, Emily Parmenter has built a life around the plantation where her remote father and hunter-obsessed brothers raise their legendary hunting spaniels. It is a narrow world, but to Emily it has magic: deep-sea dolphins who play in Sweetwater Creek; her extraordinary bond with the ...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 356 pages
Published August 9th 2005 by Harper
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  9,218 ratings  ·  456 reviews

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Jun 22, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern-fiction
This book moved really slow….rambling on and on and never really getting anywhere. A story of Emily, a 12 year old who lives on a plantation home situated in the Lowcountry, and her friendship with a poor little rich society girl. Emily’s mother abandons the family, leaving Emily with her father, brothers and the hunting dogs that she trains and raises. Emily prefers working with the dogs and immersing herself in her surroundings, but her father wants her to be a society girl and go to Charlotte ...more
Oct 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-s-fiction
This is a southern coming of age story. It had all the potholes this type of book needs....alcohol, neglect, abandonment, abuse, being misunderstood, the help with shoulders to cry on and so on. Emily was a young girl trying to find her place in a man's world until a socialite comes to live in the barn.

Overall, I liked this, but I feel I've read it all before. I did like the element of breeding dogs though. That was new. So 3 stars.
Jun 07, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crap
Why I even bothered is a mystery that shall forever haunt me.
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Confession: I have seen books by Siddons for years on tables in book stores and shelves of the library, but for some reason I have never picked one up before now. I grabbed the audio version to listen to while driving. It seemed a good pick for the hot days of summer, which it was. A wonderful narrator made it so much more vivid- I loved the southern accents.

I was not expecting this summery pick to move me like it did. It was a solid story and heart felt coming of age tale, which I always enjoy.
Kerry Hennigan
Nov 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having recently read Anne Rivers Siddons' latest novel "Burnt Mountain" I was in a mood to revisit some of her other recent novels, including this one, "Sweetwater Creek".

The creases on the spine of my paperback copy indicated I had certainly read it, but for the life of me, I couldn't remember anything about it.

Which, as it turned out, was wonderful, because it was like coming to it for the first time all over again. But, what on earth pre-occupied me so much the first time around that I couldn
Feb 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Siddons has long been one of my favorite authors - the way she describes the nature of the area she's writing about is so lush and lavish....has always made me want to explore the Outer Islands area. The nuances of relationships are captured by her way with words and makes me really care about what happens to them. ...more
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-read
Loved this book! I put off reading it because I was afraid something would happen to one of the puppies! ...I'm a big baby like that! Kill all the people but God forgive us if something happens to an animal. Weird.. I know! Well if anyone else has this same problem, don't hesitate! Read and enjoy! 5 star read for me! ...more
Sep 03, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Some books I just don't finish, because at this point in my life I'm reading for enjoyment. If I feel I HAVE to finish a book.... well, that just doesn't make sense - to have to force myself to finish (that was during the English major days). This book I just got to a point where I didn't find the characters "attachable" enough for me to get involved in the book. (And I was about 3/4 through, where Emily has to help in a situation.) I didn't care. So I quit reading it. To me, it's sad when that ...more
Ok book. Regarding a girl coming of age in the South. Messed up life with a mother that leaves, the death of a brother and a wacked out girl that comes to stay at her home and takes on a role of "big sister" but lacks the morality needed to direct a young girl. Sorry but not good with crazies!! ...more
Kellie Eizensmits
I would have to say this was the worst book I have ever read in my life. The author spent too much time describing stuff, with no story line. It was painful and boring and I'd rather have bamboo shoots stuck in my fingernails or be tarred and feathered before I'd reccommend this book to anyone. Maybe prisoners would like it. Aggggh! I feel like I wasted a week of my life on it. I want to tear the book into little pieces and have one of the boynton dogs pee on it. I wish i could rate it less than ...more
Angelique Simonsen
A good story nothing more than that. One you can put down and pick up easily
This was a sweet and enjoyable coming of age tale set in the Carolina’s low-country.

Emily Parmenter is twelve years old, living on her family’s plantation with her distant father and two older brothers. Her mother disappeared while Emily was a toddler and her adored older brother Buddy committed suicide, leaving her bereft and lonely. Her only salvation comes from training the family’s well known Boykin hunter spaniels. Emily seems to have an innate talent for this and her life is in a simple p
Sep 07, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2005-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came across this book at hospice, the day Pop died. I snatched it. A few friends had suggested that they thought i might like Siddons' books. For some reason, i thought they were going to be light fare, and maybe a little predictable, but i was pleasantly surprised. Her voice is original and authentic, and the subject matter was not at all what I thought it would be. She completely captured the magical time that is a girl turning from twelve to thirteen. Made me want to raise dogs on a low-cou ...more
Aug 17, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like downers, Doglovers
Reader, Anna Fields, was very good, however, the book overall did not really grab me. I have read other books by Anne River Siddons, and really enjoyed them. I'm not sure if it is me changing, or her work is, but this book did not seem to have the same interest in its characters for me. Nor did the actions of many of the characters make sense to me within the "personality" she crafted for them. I was glad when it was over.
It will be a 2 star overall, but this is unfair to the narrator, as her
I didn't finish this book. I will push myself to finish most books, so it's very rare that I find a book I can't finish.

This book just seemed to drag on and nothing ever happened! I managed to read 34% of the book and not once found myself lost in the story. It was so boring. I even stepped away from the book for almost month so I could try again. Didn't help. It was just as bad.
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved that this book was set in the Low Country of rural Charleston. The story was full of references to lowcountry recipes, wildlife, decorating and traditions. Beyond that, it was a coming of age story that was riddled with secrets and despair.
Good story, BUT too much descriptive detail of houses and countryside. Way too long. Could have bee 50 pages shorter imo.
Andrea Hurst
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this author. She pulls you right into the story and her settings are breathtaking. Deep, thought provoking story.
Feb 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern-fiction
3 stars. There were things that I really enjoyed in this story. At the very top of that list are the magical, lyrical descriptions of the setting: the river, flora and fauna, the feel of the air, the whisper of the marsh grasses. I never knew that dolphins would actually herd bait fish at low tide, then beach themselves to feast on them! I found it fascinating. I was tempted to go back through the book and just reread every paragraph that painted a picture of the beautiful SC island setting of t ...more
At the bottom of a large shopping bag full of used book treasures, I found Anne Rivers Siddon’s Sweetwater Creek. I had been wanting to dip into a quintessential southern novel after having read an interview of Southern author Pat Convoy, so it was perfect timing.

It took me a while to get into the slow, but steady, drawl of the plot. The book concerns a prepubescent girl’s plight to come of age in tension filled circumstances. She is being raised by a father—He loves her but hates how much she
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't want to finish this book. It was so very good. Siddons just writes in a way that "you're there". You just sink right into the setting and you're there. You can smell the salty air, marsh, pluff grass, tidewater pools, and wet dogs.

This book's setting was close to Folly Beach and the Parmenter family raised Boykin hunting dogs. The daughter was between 12 and 13 and without a mother. She had a way with the dogs, one dog in particular, Elvis, who was her constant companion.

Raised in a h
Claire Fullerton
Apr 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a sweet, rather slow-moving story full of descriptive scenery depicting South Carolina's Low County. Sweetwater is an old plantation, now used by its owners as the head quarters of a family business dedicated to the breeding and training of prized duck hunting dogs named Boykin Spaniels. The plantation rests near Sweetwater Creek , and is the setting for a twelve year old girl's coming of age story. Raised by a distracted father and two older brothers with whom she has little connection ...more
This is a very atmospheric novel, that's what I liked about it. There were moments that I wished the story would've progressed a little quicker, but on the other hand, I understand it was written in the perfect pace: this story is set in the South after all.
There were times this book made me feel sad and depressed too, because so much burden was laid upon a twelve year old girl.
My favorite part was Emily's relation to her dog Elvis. When the dogs came into the picture, that always perked me up.
Dec 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Siddons' language is so lush and evocative that - even without the able narrative weaving of a young girl's coming-of-age story - South Carolina's Lowcountry marshland comes vividly alive. Through rich and sensual descriptive force of climate, colors, smells, flora, water, sky and creatures, the author provides strong images that transport one into this world near Edisto Island, south of Charleston. The young protagonist is easy to accommodate despite being in a world and situation very unique f ...more
Apr 13, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
It has been a while since I’ve read an ARS book and I saw this one (that I had not read) at the library the other day. I was attracted also by the cover quote from Pat Conroy. “She ranks among the best of us and delivers the goods – the whole fabulous package-with every book she writes.” I love Siddon’s use of words and descriptive language. She makes the low country of South Carolina so inviting. This is a coming of age story of Emily, a 12 year old girl who has been left. Her family breeds and ...more
Oct 02, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a big Siddons fan. Although I was utterly enraptured by the beginning of the book (I want a Boynton Spaniel named Elvis), by 3/4 of the way through, I was ready to be done. But Anne has earned my respect enough that I finished it and am glad I did. Although I would love to see some of the places and creatures described here, I don't much care for the human residents of the "Low Country." Maybe she described them too accurately.
"Fault Lines" and "Downtown" still are my two favorite Siddons b
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is certainly an easy read, but I was completely drawn into it and couldn't put it down until I finished it. A friend gave me a box of what she called "beach reads," many by Anne Rivers Siddons, and I have yet to be disappointed. I've decided that the only disappointment will, in fact be, when I finish up the stash! ...more
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book makes me want to run out and get every Anne Rivers Siddons book I haven't read and hide away for weeks until I've read them all. Complex, deep characters; amazingly evocative low-country descriptions, prose that sings, and even a "mind-talking" dog bring this book to life, though it has some very dark, tragic elements. I never wanted it to end. ...more
Caroline LaBella
I enjoyed this book, but feel like all of her books follow the same recipe.
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Born Sybil Anne Rivers in Atlanta, Georgia, she was raised in Fairburn, Georgia, and attended Auburn University, where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority.

While at Auburn she wrote a column for the student newspaper, The Auburn Plainsman, that favored integration. The university administration attempted to suppress the column, and ultimately fired her, and the column garnered natio

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