Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Monday, January 23, 2012

Book Review: The Springsweet by Saundra Mitchell

The Springsweet (The Vespertine, #2)
**Received book from Around the World ARC Tours for review**

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  It’s a long way from Baltimore to Oklahoma Territory. But Zora Stewart will go any distance to put the tragic events of her sixteenth summer behind her. So this city girl heads to the tiny frontier town of West Glory to help her young widowed aunt keep her homestead going.
When another Baltimorean shows up in West Glory, Zora couldn’t be more surprised. Theo de la Croix made the long trip out west hoping to court Zora, whom he has long admired from afar.
But Zora has developed an attraction to a rather less respectable fellow: Emerson Birch, a rough-mannered young "sooner" whose fertile land is coveted.
As Zora begins to suspect that there may be more than luck behind Emerson’s good land, she discovers an extraordinary, astonishing power of her own: the ability to sense water under the parched earth. When her aunt hires her out as a "springsweet" to advise other settlers where to dig their wells, Zora feels the burden of holding the key to something so essential to survival in this unforgiving land.
Even more, she finds herself longing for love the way the prairie thirsts for water. Maybe, in the wildness of the territories, Zora can finally move beyond simply surviving and start living.

My Thoughts:  This book was nothing like what I remembered The Vespertine being like.  Now, I admit it has been quite a while since I read The Vespertine so maybe I'm just forgetting some.  I liked this one it just wasn't what I was expecting.  Still, I love historical fiction and this one was really good!

Zora has decided to leave Baltimore after some traumatizing events in her life.  She heads to West to where here Aunt Birdie lives in Oklahoma.  On her way there, her coach gets robbed and she is left on the side of the road.  After walking a ways, she meets Emmerson.  Emmerson takes her to his homestead but she must stay there that night as it is too far for him to take her to Birdie's.  Once he does take her to Birdie's, Birdie makes it clear that Emmerson is not welcome anywhere around her soddy which is too bad since Zora feels some chemistry with him.

Zora then takes some time to get used to living life in a soddy.  When Birdie discovers that Zora is a "springsweet" or can find water underground, she hires her out.  I thought this would be a rather large part of the story but it really wasn't.  I thought there was going to be some serious trouble or excitement happening when Zora went out on her appointments and while there were a couple of events that led to Zora rethinking her "gift" it was a rather small part of the story.

I enjoyed reading about the territory and how Birdie and Zora had to live.  I enjoyed Birdie's stubborn behavior and I loved her little daughter.  I'd have to say that Birdie was my favorite character in this story by far.  I also liked Emmerson but really didn't care for Theo.  He was a little stalker-ish for me.  Emmerson was much more exciting and look forward to reading more about him.

The ending left you hanging and I can't wait to find out what happens to Zora and Emmerson and Theo and Birdie!  I look forward to more great  historical fiction from Saundra Mitchell!

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