Sweet Water

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

SWEET WATER is the story of a quest into the past. Cassie Simon, a young sculptor, feels that she cannot move ahead with her life or her career until she comes to terms with her own family history, in particular the circumstances surrounding her mother’s accidental death, which occurred when Cassie was only three. When she is informed that her grandfather, Amory Clyde, has died and bequeathed the family home to her, Cassie decides to move to Sweetwater, Tennessee, live in the house, get to know her relatives, and try to solve the mystery which has haunted her for so many years.

In Sweetwater, however, Cassie soon discovers that her relatives want nothing so much as for her to go back to New York and leave the family skeletons undisturbed. She also finds that there are other mysteries which are somehow related to her mother’s accident. No one seems willing to explain why her grandfather left the house to Cassie, rather than to his own living children, or why her grandmother is so opposed to anyone’s living in the house where she spent her married life.

Nevertheless, Cassie settles in at her isolated home, gets a job, acquires a dog for company, attends the family get-togethers, and even sleeps with an attractive young man who did not bother to introduce himself as her cousin. At the end of SWEET WATER, Cassie has found more than the answers to her questions about the past. She has found a new direction for her life and new inspiration for her art.