The Springsweet
By Saundra Mitchell
To be Published on April 2012
Published by Harcourt
Source: ATW Arc Tours

Summary Taken from Goodreads:

It’s a long way from Baltimore to Oklahoma Territory. But Zora Stewart will go any distance to put the tragic events of her sixteenth summer behind her. So this city girl heads to the tiny frontier town of West Glory to help her young widowed aunt keep her homestead going.
When another Baltimorean shows up in West Glory, Zora couldn’t be more surprised. Theo de la Croix made the long trip out west hoping to court Zora, whom he has long admired from afar.
But Zora has developed an attraction to a rather less respectable fellow: Emerson Birch, a rough-mannered young "sooner" whose fertile land is coveted.
As Zora begins to suspect that there may be more than luck behind Emerson’s good land, she discovers an extraordinary, astonishing power of her own: the 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.

This is a companion novel to The Vespertine.  You do not have to have read The Vespertine to understand what is going on with the plot in The Springsweet. I would, however, reccommend you read The Vespertine first- it really does give you a lot of background on why Zora makes the choices she does and what she has been through to get to the point of the opening scenes of The Springsweet (beside the fact that it is just and excellent book on its own!)

The Springsweet takes place a few months after The Vespertine ends.  With most of her friends and her beau now dead, Zora feels lost and unable to move on from the tragic events that she witnessed.   After she makes a shocking scene at her re-entry to the glittery world of society, her mother packs her up and sends her to live in the Oklahoma Territory until she "regains her senses".  

The romance in this book was interesting.  I LOVED Emerson's character and was rooting for him immediately.  I really had hoped to like Theo more.  He made a very dashing introduction to the reader, but soon fizzled into a character that reminded me more of Ichabod Crane (remember the Disney movie?) than a dashing, well-dressed hero.  He had no guts.  I will leave it at that (so I am not too spoilery).  I loved the characters in this book- especially Zora.  She was no helpless damsel, and she really seemed like a REAL person (which is sometimes hard to achieve in historical fiction).

I loved this book- it was a fast and easy read.  I finished it in 2 hours.  I loved the characters, the setting, and the plot.  I have learned two very important things from this book (other than the author is a fabulous writer):  The third book!  (happy squeals!)  and I will never look at eggs the same way again  ::shudders::

Do yourself a favor and go read The Vespertine- and then pick up this book in April!

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