by Saundra Mitchell
Companion to The Vespertine
Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books; 1 edition (April 17, 2012)
Buy the book: Amazon
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.You do NOT have to have read The Vespertine to read, understand, and enjoy The Springsweet.
At a Glance:
The Springsweet was a fantastic historical fiction novel, full of rich descriptions of the Old West, and loaded with hardships, learning, and love. Fans of The Vespertine will find something familiar, but altogether new in The Springsweet. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
The Wild West:
I found this book to be such a good read. As Zora leaves her comfortable home in Baltimore and moves out to the new frontier in Oklahoma, I was completely captivated by the scenery. Some of my favorite movies are from this time period, and this book brought pieces of them back to my mind (especially Far and Away and Cold Mountain). I loved how there were details that made me see the land in my head, but not so many details that I got bored. Saundra has an elegant way of writing, and that really shines in this novel, and makes you feel like you might actually be a part of this wild frontier.
Of course, The Springsweet isn't all about history. Saundra loves to add a paranormal twist to her books, and this one is no exception. Zora discovers that she has the ability to "see" the water that flows under the earth. She's a Springsweet, a Water Witch, a Dowser. This definitely comes in handy in the parched land of the Oklahoma Territories. I really liked the way that Saundra described this ability. It was something completely different than any other paranormal book I've read.
A New Family:
Something I really liked about this book was the family that Zora had. The relationship between Zora and her aunt and her little cousin was really great to read. I loved Birdie! Even though she could be a little stubborn, and rough around the edges, she was totally hardcore. You don't want to mess with that chick, if you know what's good for you. I also adored the way Zora took to Louella, her little cousin. She showed such incredible growth of character in the way that she treated Lou almost like her own child. And Lou was seriously adorable.
I wasn't sure how I would feel about romance in this book. Would I feel like Zora was betraying Thomas? I loved them in The Vespertine, and I hated to think of her just finding someone new and forgetting him. I have to say, this was handled really well. Zora thoroughly mourned the loss of Thomas. She didn't just pick up and move on to the next guy. In fact, she had no intention of ever loving again. She was blind-sided by the feelings she ended up having for the new guy in her life. Which guy? I'm not saying. Not a love-triangle, really, but let's just say, she has options, and I couldn't be happier with who she picked!
A Third Book:
I absolutely loved The Vespertine, and found something new and fantastic in The Springsweet, so I'm so excited that there will be a third book (especially after that ending)! It is called Aetherbourne and is set to come out in 2013. Can't wait!
- Sexual Content: Mild
- Language: Minor
- Violence: Mild/Moderate
- Other Notables: Supernatural powers