This is another one of my “read in twenty-four hours” books. You know what that means – this is a pretty damn good book.
Sweet Hollow Women by Holly Tierney-Bedord introduces us to fifteen-year-old Carasine Busey who is devastated but not surprised when her family drops everything in Sweet Hollow, Louisiana to follow her dad’s shaky career as a welder. It’s not especially shocking, either, when he abandons them all shortly after they settle into their new home in the city. Carasine, her mom Rhonda, and the rest of the Busey clan have adapted to roll with the punches. From Rhonda’s secret broken heart to Great-Great-Grandpa Jimbo’s eccentric failed dreams, Carasine and her family are used to disappointment. It’s not until Carasine gets a second chance with an unlikely pair of long-lost relatives that she realizes her path in life might be up to her to navigate. Being their flesh and blood means there may be some hope for her after all.
This book is filled with real characters and occurrences. The characters are so well written that I didn’t once doubt that anything mentioned in the story wouldn’t have happened. It was also pretty unique to have a book told across four generations of women. Louisa, Maggie, Rhonda and Carasine’s stories are all raw and emotional, different in their own way but one thing ties them together – neither character is perfect. It was such a refreshing change to have totally flawed characters. I’ve read some reviews that say these flaws make the characters unlikable but that is not true. Yes, some of the more minor characters are but in regards to these women, they are just leading normal lives and making mistakes, just like the rest of us.
It was interesting to see how the decisions one generation made impacted the others. These decisions then introduce the themes of the story, such as heartbreak, poverty and despair. Due to the wonderful plotting and writing style of the author, I could truly understand why each woman made the choices they did. The imagery is also fantastic and I got a true southern feel from the very first page.
The only regret I have about Sweet Hollow Women is that I didn’t pick it up faster. Don’t make the same mistake I did!
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
You can find Sweet Hollow Women on Goodreads
You can buy Sweet Hollow Women here on Amazon