Reviews for Springsweet


Booklist Reviews 2012 May #1
Seventeen-year-old Zora, still in mourning for her lost love, Thomas, leaves Baltimore high society behind to brave Oklahoma Territory in this companion novel to The Vespertine (2011). Zora's introduction to frontier life is rocky: her stagecoach is robbed, stranding her on the dusty plains, and she is aghast at her attraction to her handsome rescuer, Emerson. Despite the backbreaking work on her aunt Birdie's homestead, Zora flourishes in the harsh, lovely landscape, especially when she discovers she is a springsweet, able to dowse for precious water underground. The paranormal aspect is minimal yet integral, but the authentic historical setting and sweet romance are the real draws. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
To escape the memories of her fianci's death, Zora Stewart leaves Baltimore to help her widowed aunt at her homestead in Oklahoma. She is pursued by a wealthy suitor from Baltimore and must choose between him and a young farmer she meets. In the meantime, she discovers she has a supernatural ability to find water underground. Fans of The Vespertine will enjoy this companion book.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 February #1
A lovely historical romance takes readers back to the 1890 Oklahoma territory. In this sequel to The Vespertine (2011), Zora decides to escape from her life in Baltimore when she can't get over the death of her true love. In despair, she travels to live in her aunt's sod house on the parched prairie. There she discovers that she has a supernatural ability to find water. She also finds that two men want her affections: Theo, a wealthy man she met over Edgar Allan Poe's grave in Baltimore, and Emerson, an attractive young man who might have some paranormal abilities of his own. Zora starts her adventure by surviving a stagecoach robbery, and subsequently learns that she can't fetch water while wearing her corset. When she tries to make desperately needed money with her water-finding ability, though, she runs into trouble. Throughout, the author conjures a convincing picture of life on the Oklahoma prairie, painting an absorbing portrait of the landscape and of the people there. Paranormal abilities aside, this is an effective historical novel. Mitchell includes a barn raising and dance, a prairie fire and a town founded and run by blacks, demonstrating solid research. Writing, story and romance maintain interest throughout. A high-quality, absorbing drama. (Paranormal historical romance. 12 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 April

Gr 7 Up--In this companion to The Vespertine (Houghton Harcourt, 2011), 17-year-old Zora Stewart grieves the loss of her beloved and is sent to live with her widowed Aunt Birdie on her homestead in West Glory, OK. After being robbed en route, she meets Emerson Birch, who offers her a place to stay for the night. Mitchell communicates the harshness of the plains through Zora's reaction to her new life, particularly the food and the shortage of water, and to living in the frontier town. While gathering water for the family, Zora realizes that she has a gift for finding good water, and Aunt Birdie hires her out to settlers seeking spots to dig their wells. Readers will sympathize with Zora as she clings to memories of her betrothed and has growing feelings for Emerson, a man with his own magical gift who is seen as a land thief by the townspeople. Zora's romantic life is further complicated by a wealthy man, Theo de la Croix, who follows her from Baltimore to Oklahoma. Mitchell incorporates the magical elements of the novel believably, and the climactic scene when Zora is struck by lightning is compelling. The story has an evenly paced plot, but isn't much more than a light romance novel.--Hilary Writt, Sullivan University, Lexington, KY

[Page 170]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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VOYA Reviews 2012 April
In this gothic, historical romance, companion to The Vespertine (Harcourt, 2011/VOYA June 2011), seventeen-year-old Zora Stewart is still in mourning for her fiancée, Thomas Rea, a year after he was killed. Forced to attend a ball, she disgraces her family by her behavior with Theo de la Croix when he rescues her from drowning in a fountain. In despair, she agrees to help Birdie, her mother's younger sister in Oklahoma Territory. At first, it seems that Zora has, indeed, arrived in the Wild West as she is abandoned on the prairie when her coach is attacked by highway men. She is rescued by seventeen-year-old Emerson Birch who offers her shelter before taking her to her aunt's sod house. Zora, named a "springsweet," by Emerson, finds she has a magical ability to find water under desert-like earth, and she discovers that Emerson grows plants using magic How life really was in the late nineteenth-century West is seen through Zora's descriptions of settlers' lives on the prairie where life is different, she realizes, from the fanciful reports in newspaper accounts back home. A tough and resourceful heroine, Zora, a sophisticated former Baltimore socialite, adapts surprisingly well to life on the prairie with her aunt. There are tantalizing snippets about events in The Vespertine but the cliff-hanger ending is a summons from the supposedly-dead Amelia. Perhaps, less strong than The Vespertine, this novel is still a good read.--Hilary Crew. 4Q 4P J S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.

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