Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 1 July 2014
Format: Paperback, 320 pgs (Reprint)
Twenty-seven year old Cassandra Simon thinks her life living in New York City is mundane and routine, especially her job and her love life is concerned. Then her life suddenly changes after she received news that her late grandfather left her a property (sixty acres of land, to be exact) in Sweetwater, Tennessee.
Cassandra hardly knows her grandfather; in fact she has nil contacts with her mother's family, ever since she passed away in an accident when Cassandra was three. Despite this, Cassandra decides to travel to Tennessee where her mother, Ellen, grew up.
The moment she arrives in Sweetwater, Cassandra is overwhelmed by her mother's family. For starters, her grandmother Constance Clyde doesn't feel too excited to meet her. The same goes to her mother's siblings, Elaine and Horace. They all thought she has a motive moving there and their attitude towards her are both wary and lukewarm.
Cassandra tries her best to adjust to the new environment as well as the cool attitude she receives, but she soon realises that her mother's family harbours a secret which involving her grandparents and her mother, and she intends to find out what happened.
Cassandra and Constance are two interesting characters, and they are two very different people. Cassandra is a woman who's brave enough to embrace changes; one quality which I liked in her, as well as her persistence in finding the truth surrounding her mother's past.
Constance, on the other hand, is a woman who's afraid to face the past. She has too much hatred in her, and she doesn't open her heart to anyone else; in which I couldn't really fault her, given the betrayal by her husband and her best friend. Deep in her heart, she has a secret which she intends to bury to her grave but inevitably truth will out.
Told from Cassandra's and Constance's perspectives (the latter switches between past and present), Sweet Water is a story about family secrets, betrayal and finally the redemptive power of forgiveness. The mystery surrounding the family may not classified as a thriller, but what makes this story stands out is the way the two narrators tell their story, in which ultimately leading the readers towards the truth.