Publish date: April 17, 2012
Source: Purchased and signed at RT :)
"Heartbroken over the tragic death of her fiancé, seventeen-year-old Zora Stewart leaves Baltimore for the frontier town of West Glory, Oklahoma, to help her young widowed aunt keep her homestead going. There she discovers that she possesses the astonishing 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." (Goodreads)
The Springsweet is a companion novel to The Vespertine, and is told from a different character's POV than the first book. I stupidly did not realize this until AFTER I read the chapter. Everything made a lot more sense after that. (Duh, Kyle.) Anyway, I loved The Springsweet even more than The Vespertine and think everyone should read it!
Zora is the wonderful narrator of this book and I pretty much thought she was awesome. She is trying to work through some traumatic events and decides to move to Oklahoma to live with her aunt Birdie, who is only a few years older than Zora. I LOVED the setting. Maybe it's my love of the Little House books shining through, but I adore books that take place on the prairie like this. PLUS they lived in a sod house. On the Banks of Plum Creek, anyone?
The characters here were great, especially Emerson. I liked that he was so mysterious at the beginning and then his character was unraveled as the story progressed. I liked Zora as a narrator more than Amelia, who narrated The Vespertine. Since this is a companion novel, you don't HAVE to read The Vespertine first, but I would suggest it so you have more background info.
Saundra Mitchell's writing continues to be superb. She definitely has a way with words, but not in a flowery or overwrought way. The length of The Springsweet seemed perfect: concise, but satisfying. Suffice to say, I loved meeting Saundra Mitchell at RT. She was so nice and we even talked about how great libraries are :)
Thanks, Heidi, for reviewing this series so enthusiastically and making me want to read them! I can't wait for Aetherborne!