Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Review: The Sweet By and By

"Maybe we figure out that the only thing we wanted all along was that simple and elusive kind of revelation in which all is known, all is forgiven, and most important, all that's left is celebrated with a victory cheer."

In The Sweet By and By, author Todd Johnson deftly depicts the relationship between four Southern women, as their unlikely friendship crosses lines of age, race, and class.

The novel centers around the Ridgecrest nursing home in North Carolina, where Margaret and Bernice are residents, faith-filled Lorraine is a nurse, and Rhonda is the new, young hairdresser.

As Margaret struggles with her limited mobility and freedom in the facility, and Bernice struggles with a failing mind, Lorraine and Rhonda step in as providers of compassion and care. They all will teach one another lessons about life, in the face of adversity, each woman bringing to the table a past full of pain and heartache.

The women are lovable, and it's easy to root for them to find joy in their days and answers to the questions about life that elude them.

Johnson's debut is tender-hearted and, indeed, "sweet," as the bonds between these women strengthen through difficult circumstances. Also, he captures the regional element brilliantly, especially reflecting the particular nature and personality traits of women in the South.

2 comments:

bermudaonion said...

That book sounds wonderful. I love books set in the South.

Serena said...

another great read about southern women.