Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Springsweet by Saundra Mitchell

Harcourt Children's Books (April 17, 2012) 288 pages

My Thoughts:

The Springsweet is the second book in the Vespertine Series. If you plan on reading The Vespertine, this review will contain spoilers from that book, even though I haven't read it yet. I was never lost, but events from The Vespertine was mentioned several times throughout the book.

Zora is still mourning the loss of her fiance, and just can't seem to let go. She debates simply picking a widower to marry as a way to somewhat force herself to move on, but she finally decides to move west to help her newly widowed aunt(Birdy) and baby cousin(Louella). She learns that she can find water underground, so she helps the struggling community find the best place for wells. Of course, there's a love triangle, too!

It was heartbreaking for me to read how much some of these people struggled! After one particular scene, I just sobbed! I'm the first to admit that I'm an extremely emotional person, and I was already having an emotional day, but it hurts to know that it was an all too true story for plenty of people. More than anything, The Springsweet gives you a glimpse of just how hard life could be in the west during those times.

There's just so many categories that this book could be put into, though. (YA, historical, romance, western). There's really only a VERY slight paranormal element, which is the ability to know where the water is underground. The whole story is surrounded by sadness, and a bit of darkness.

There's one scene that is very quickly added in the story at the end that I wish had been left out. I just think it added a bad note to an otherwise beautiful, albeit sad story.

I really liked The Springsweet! It's not one that I would re-read, I don't think, but I'm definitely glad I read it. I'm very curious to go back and read The Vespertine, so I know all the events that led up to this book.

Clean Factor:
It was pretty clean. "D***" was used a few times in different ways, but that was it as far as profanity. God's name is used in vain(Thank G**, or something similar). There was some kissing. There was also a scene that I honestly don't know if it is implying premarital sex happens or not. I guess the reader is left to decide, and I'll go with the more conservative.

*I was provided an ARC through the Amazon Vine program in exchange for my honest opinion.


  1. I noticed that you list "Thank God" as taking the Lord's name in vain. I never considered this before, as I often say this when I am truly thankful to God for something. Were they using it in a different way? I ask not to be accusing, but out of genuine curiosity. :)

  2. Audrey-
    That's actually a great question! I should be more specific sometimes! ;)
    I don't consider actually thanking God for something as vain. A lot of people just throw it around these days. :P I don't remember the exact use in this book. It may have actually been a completely different form. (It's been a couple of weeks since I read it). Just as an example of my views: (in general)Saying "Thank God" to the fact that someone survived a wreck, and ACTUALLY being grateful to God.....fine in my book. Saying "Thank G**" to the fact that a store has someone's favorite kind of M&Ms(and not even really thinking of God at the time)...not so much. GENUINELY being thankful to God is great no matter how big or small, though. (even if that involves M&Ms). ;)
    I think, in general, only the person using the word can really know if they are being genuine. I don't want to tell anyone that does that they are wrong!!! :) I just don't really like it(when I FEEL like God's name is being used wrong), and know of a lot of people with the same views. I list it just in case it might keep a person from wanting to read it.

    I've discovered that's a tough topic to try to explain. I hope I halfway make sense with all that! You've made me think! From now on, I'll pay closer attention to HOW it's used, too. :)

  3. I think I get what you are trying to say--that often we just throw God's name around a bit too casually. For some reason that phrase has never bothered me as much as other forms of taking the Lord's name in vain. Maybe it should! Something to think about.

  4. Exactly!(with the casual part) But I definitely need to be more careful of when people are truly being grateful! I tend to think more negatively of the phrase when it's used in books, as opposed to real life. It's easier to read people in real life. :)