At the insistence of her parents, Mary "Dobbs" Dillard, the daughter of an itinerant preacher, is sent from inner-city Chicago to live with her aunt and attend Washington Seminary, bringing confrontation and radical ideas. Her arrival intersects at the point of Perri's ultimate crisis, and the tragedy forges an unlikely friendship.
The Sweetest Thing tells the story of two remarkable young women--opposites in every way--fighting for the same goal: surviving tumultuous change.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-04-11
- Reviewer: Staff
Novelist Musser (The Swan House) returns with this story of Mary Dobbs Dillard and Perri Singleton, teenage girls in Atlanta during the 1930s who form a close friendship as they deal with tragedy, heartbreak, and the Depression. Musser's historical research and love for her setting show through on every page, and her competent writing provides readers with a tightly plotted story, though the pacing of the second half is more satisfying than the first. Her characters, however, shine less than their setting; at their worst they are predictable and slightly flat, and even at best they can be overly precious and melodramatic, especially Mary Dobbs, whose Christian faith is emphasized so strongly that it borders on self-righteousness and makes her later crisis of faith seem contrived. Musser also pushes her theme of God's mercy and providence rather heavy-handedly, but despite these flaws, the novel boasts an engaging mystery subplot and satisfying conclusion, and thus should please fans of her previous work. (June)