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Sweetwater Creek : a novel
Anne Rivers Siddons
Adult Fiction SIDDONS

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Veteran novelist Siddons (Islands; Nora, Nora) returns to South Carolina's low country for her latest, a capable but uninspired story of a young girl's coming-of-age on the family plantation. Emily Parmenter is a lonely 12-year-old whose life revolves around the Boykin spaniels her family raises as hunting dogs. Her mother ran off; her beloved disabled brother, Buddy, who introduced her to literature, blew his head off with a shotgun (although Emily has conversations with him in her head); and her father, Walter, withholds all praise and attention. Her solace is her dog, Elvis, and Cleta, the wise black housekeeper. When 20-year-old LuLu Foxworth of the blueblood Foxworths arrives to spend time at the Parmenter plantation and work with the dogs, Emily is reluctant to welcome her, while social-climbing Walter is thrilled, hoping LuLu can teach Emily "to be a lady." The two emotionally neglected girls bond, and Lulu confides her dirty little secret: her addiction to alcohol and the smarmy Yancey Byrd, with whom Lulu has a 9U Weeks-style love affair. The plot follows formula and the ends tie up happily for everyone but poor LuLu, the bad rich girl with the heart of gold. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Twelve-year-old Emily Parmenter helps in the family business of raising hunting spaniels at their Charleston area plantation, Sweetwater Farm. Her only pals are her own dog, Elvis, and her deceased older brother, Buddy (who speaks to her from the grave). But her life is about to change radically with the arrival of rich, sophisticated 20-year-old Lulu Foxworth. During her visit to the plantation, she falls in love with the dogs and Emily's family before moving in. As in Siddons's Nora, Nora, we again see a strong-willed young woman enter the scene both to disturb and to enrich her environs and transform an adolescent, motherless girl. Under Lulu's tutelage, Emily leaves her child's world and enters one for which she's not quite ready. As usual, Siddons never lets you forget where you are-the essence of South Carolina's Low Country is prominently featured and intricately (albeit sometimes repetitively) described. Fans of Siddons's novels will enjoy; for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/05.]-Carol J. Bissett, New Braunfels P.L., TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Emily Parmenter
Age: 12
Mother abandoned her; her brother died; goes unnoticed by what's left of her family; her best friend is her dog, Elvis; trains her father's puppies; longs for attention and acceptance; fears change.

Age: Comes to live with Emily and her family; slim; fragile; loves dogs

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