Sandra (Silverdale WA)
The Sweet In-Between
Great book. Wonderful metaphorical expressions. Methodical arrangement of emotions on many levels. Ideal book for book club discussions.
Deanna (McHenry IL)
The Sweet In-Between
Deftly and realistically told from the perspective of an underaged, Southern protagonist searching for a sense of belonging, The Sweet In-Between is reminiscent of Bastard Out of Carolina. Like Bone Boatwright, Kenny Luogo has had more than her share of misery at a very young age. Having lost her mother to cancer and her father to prison, Kenny questions her gender, familial ties, and future as she comes of age in a small Southern town. Hard circumstances haven't hardened her, but manifest themselves in the form of insecurity, weak sense of self, and fear of abandonment. Her difficulties, painful to read at times, are brilliantly tempered with resiliency and hope. Intense, touching, and beautifully written, this book is highly and enthusiastically recommended.
Elaine (franklin MA)
I loved this book!!
This is "southern" writing at it's best. Such a wonderful, believable character study. I loved this book, it was inspiring, poignant, and ultimately triumphant. A story of loving our non-traditional families and most of all allowing ourselves to be loved by them. I hope there is a sequel. Ms. Reynolds please continue to write!
Eileen (Danvers MA)
Sheri Reynolds does not dissapoint
As a long time fan of this author I eagerly looked forward to reading "The Sweet In Between". The story and characters are endearing, and while this book does not have the depth of "The Rapture of Canaan", it is still a wonderful read. Anyone who has enjoyed Reynold's other books will enjoy this one as well. It, like all her books, paints a picture of adversity, struggle, and the peace that can come with acceptance. I love a book where you truly grow to care about the characters, and this is that kind of book.
Mary Beth (Hillsborough NC)
Another beautiful coming-of-age story
"The Rapture of Canaan" is one of my favorite books, so I couldn't wait to read Reynolds' latest, which is the story of 18-year-old Kenny Lugo. As in her previous novels, Reynolds handles tough issues--sexual abuse, poverty, etc.--with sensitivity. Kenny is an engaging character, and her personal journey to find meaning in tragedy and face her demons is unforgettable.
Elyse (Creswell OR)
While I wouldn't put this book on my list of top best books I've read, I did enjoy it. It reminded me a lot of "Member of the Wedding" by Carson McCullers. The problem with that comparison is that I had no trouble believing the narrator in Wedding was 12 years old, whereas I had a hard time for much of this book remembering that this narrator was supposed to be 17.
Oh well. I finally found some justification for her naivety and other behaviors, and was then able to go on reading with no distractions. In all, I found it a good character study, with characters you want to know. It's a slim book, an easy read.
Tina (Juneau AK)
Perhaps because I am a big fan of Sheri Reynolds, this book fell short for me for several reasons. First, the plot was way too loose (and I generally like books that are light on plot, heavy on character and description). Secondly, the main character's oddities become repetitive; after the first few examples, the reader gets it and wants more development. Thirdly, though this is also a strength of the book, some might find that some of the minor characters are forgiven too easily.
On the other hand, as far as coming of age stories go, this one is different. The main character is interesting and her attitude towards life could be considered inspiring. And the book is endearing in that many of its characters go out of their way to be kind and helpful. What I enjoyed most, though, were the outstanding qualities of hope and human warmth projected in the book.
I should add that Reynolds continued to delight me with her unique wording and descriptions.
This book is worth reading, but not as compelling as other books by Reynolds.