The Sweet In Between: Book summary and reviews of The Sweet In Between by Sheri Reynolds

The Sweet In Between

A Novel

By Sheri Reynolds

The Sweet In Between
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Nov 2008,
    224 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

#1 New York Times bestselling author Sheri Reynolds weaves an unforgettable and sumptuous tale of lost youth and the search for meaning and place in a small Virginia tidewater town.

With her father in prison, her mother dead, and her eighteenth birthday on the horizon, Kenny Lugo is desperate to belong to someone, something - anything. Her last best chance is her father's girlfriend, Aunt Glo, who has given Kenny a place to stay in her small home. But Glo is struggling herself. Addicted to painkillers and raising her runaway daughter's baby in addition to her own children, Glo's less-than-idyllic family is hardly the situation Kenny has longed for.

The murder of a college girl next door sends Kenny reeling. Already at loose ends, she becomes obsessed with the death of this young woman. But as Kenny searches for some element of truth in this girl's tragic death, she finds the meaning and redemption that has long escaped her own life - and from a most unimaginable source.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Simple prose rich with subtext, convincing dialogue and a fascinating protagonist combine to produce a heartstring-plucker that's explicit, tender, sad and hopeful." - Publishers Weekly.

"Reynolds's finely realized characters bring to life the struggles of day-to-day existence in a lower-middle-class community, and powerful evocations of the natural world provide comforting balance to the often unstable human elements in this short but powerful novel." - Library Journal.

The information about The Sweet In Between shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by BeachBoy
Fantastic Character Development
This is a great book for a rainy weekend or a vacation. Kenny and Aunt Glo are beautifully developed characters. The plot is probably unlike any that you've ever read. It has tragedy, poor life choices and redemption throughout. You will love this book.

Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Rosalyn
The Sweet In-Between
I enjoyed this book enough to read it in one sitting. I love to read books where you see the story from the point of view of a young girl who is trying to find herself. However, while the story did a great job of depicting a small town girl who is a misfit and has troubles that she cannot discuss with anyone, I didn't feel like the story really went anywhere. This is the first book I read by this author and while this isn't high on my list of favorite books, I liked her writing style enough to look at reading 'The Rapture of Canaan' from what I hear is a much superior story.

I would however recommend this book to readers who have a few spare hours and enjoy stories with about small town life in the South from a girl's point of view.

Rated 1 of 5 of 5 by Mary
The Sweet In Between
It’s true: reviews of well-written books write themselves. The ones that “suck like a Hoover,” however, are hell to critique. After struggling with this little essay way too long, I can only say I’d rather do the Turbo Tax Limbo on April 14 than read another book by Sheri Reynolds.

And that’s just sad.

Sad, too, that I suspect even semi-comatose readers could have easily detected what I stubbornly refused to admit throughout this ordeal: That The Sweet In-Between was going south by page 20. (Unfortunately, I possess an unhealthy case of low self esteem. I had to give the author the benefit of the doubt; after all, wasn’t she’s published? Widely acclaimed? Moreover, hadn’t Oprah bestowed a coveted perch in her Book Club? But, finally, I couldn’t deny my gut reaction. There it was: Clumsy writing, an unseemly number of dead-end subplots, and a mob of unattractive, unsympathetic characters surrounding a central character so weirdly drawn and unlikeable that, when I finally got to the end, I was just relieved to have survived the ordeal.

The few revelations about Kenny, the star of this sordid story, didn’t even make much of a ripple, far less impact, on me. On paper, at least, there’s seems to be something for everybody. Let’s see. Sexually ambivalent, a father in prison, living in a claustrophobic beach town inhabited by a parade of other, one-dimensional characters just made for a film school dropout’s rejected script. Even passing references to her sexual victimization did little to elicit pity, particularly when she herself reveals (yes, Kenny narrates her tale; another really bad idea) her own apparent molestation of a younger character. (The only term I can think of here is — sorry — “icky.”) Did I mention that she lives with her dad’s pill-popping girlfriend and her assorted offspring?

What did I learn from the experience? Less really can be more.1 I truly can’t recall feeling this devoid of feeling upon finishing a novel — unless we’re counting embarrassed and duped.

I can only recommend to the publisher removing that sweetly innocuous cover illustration — and maybe adding a warning label for the jacket.


1 An excellent example is Go With Me by Castle Freeman, Jr.; of course, if you really do want more, splendid examples also litter bookshelves — Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, anything by E.L. Doctorow, etc.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Sandra
The Sweet In-Between
Great book. Wonderful metaphorical expressions. Methodical arrangement of emotions on many levels. Ideal book for book club discussions.

Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Tomarie
The Sweet In-Between
I generally get frustrated with books about women who tell stories of "Woe is Me" and do not take responsibility for their lives. The subject of this book, Sheri Reynolds certainly does not fall into that category. Her maturity in decision making is amazing with the situations she encounters. When questioned about her "lifestyle" I love that she comes to the conclusion that she has no lifestyle she is just living her life. I did feel burdened with so many negatives that this young girl had to deal with and the author chose not to give her any breaks. There were many time that I had to keep reminding myself that she was 17 as she seemed younger in her interpretations. It is difficult to finish any book about a child where you have such concerns for her future.

Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Diane
The Sweet In Between
This isn't Sheri's best book but it does have a message to people in all walks of life, it is easy reading, easy to put down and easy to pick up and start reading. Because of some language and sexual implications I would recommend for 17 years plus older readers. It has a personal message for many people so it can appeal to many readers. A book club would be able to discuss this book in detail about how other people in your life influence your behavior throughout your entire life. This book was not as interesting or moving as The Rapture of Canaan to me.

...10 more reader reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Information

More Information

Sheri Reynolds teaches writing and literature at Old Dominion University. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller and Oprah Book Club pick The Rapture of Canaan, as well as two other critically acclaimed novels, Bitterroot Landing and A Gracious Plenty. For more information, visit her website.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

More Recently Published Novels

more...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Sailor Twain
by Mark Siegel

Published Mar. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and amibtious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.