The Sweetest Thing
Bethany House Publishers
Anne "Perri" Singleton's world is defined by the security of family, the camaraderie of friends at an exclusive Atlanta girls' school, and an enviable social life. She isn't looking for new friends when Mary Dobbs Dillard arrives from Chicago. Besides, "Dobbs," the passionate and fiercely individualistic daughter of an itinerant minister, is her opposite in every way.
But just as the Great Depression collides disastrously with Perri's well-ordered life, friendship blossoms--a friendship that will be tested by jealousy, betrayal, and family secrets....
With her endearing characters and poignant storytelling, Atlanta native Elizabeth Musser vividly re-creates the charm of her beloved city amid the poverty and plenty that shaped the 1930s.
I'd seen this book advertised around Christian fiction circles back when it first came out, but it didn't really capture my attention until recently, when a few Goodreads friends recommend it to me and I saw the praise-filled reviews it had gotten.
The Sweetest Thing was intriguing and well-written, with an engaging plot and a strong Christian message.However, while I did really enjoy this book, it wasn't a favorite for reasons that are difficult to explain. I find that books have certain "moods" that evoke different feelings for me, and this one -like many books that take place during this particular time period- didn't really affect me emotionally in the way that I wanted it to. I also could have done with a little less of the dating bits (although the romance certainly wasn't a main part of the plot). Overall though, the main reason I didn't adore this book was simply because of a vague personal preference I can't really describe.
That being said, I couldn't help but be impressed by the writing style and the substance of this book, which was so much more than what you find in most modern Christian novels. And considering that I don't normally "go" for this type of book in general, it's a testament to the author's skills that I liked this book as much as I did.
While I would recommend this to older readers due to a disturbing event that happens in the beginning of the book as well as some more "heavier" issues later in the story, this is one book you won't want to miss if you're a fan of historical fiction.