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Women's Fiction | Contemporary
Named for the indigenous grass that grows within its
borders, Sweetgrass is the ancestral estate of the Blakely
family. For eight generations succeeding sons have been
stewards of the plantation along the majestic coast of South
Now Sweetgrass is in peril. Bulldozers are leveling
surrounding properties, development has pushed property
taxes to staggering new heights and family members are
itching to capitalize on the escalating value of the land.
The Blakelys may be forced to sell the one thing that holds
their dysfunctional family together--Sweetgrass.
For Mary "Mama June" Blakely, the struggle to hold on to the
land has been an overwhelming burden. Her life at Sweetgrass
has encompassed both joy and unspeakable heartache. Tragedy
drove her son, Morgan, to Montanna. Her daughter, Nan, is
married to one of the very developers who seeks to destroy
her home, and her husband, Preston, is devastated by his
failure to maintain the family's heritage.
Then tragedy strikes again, felling the patriarch with a
massive stroke. Yet his subsequent disability unites the
family for the first time in more than a decade.
Mama June once again draws her family close. Morgan returns
home to assume for his disabled father the fight for the
family's heritage. Nan rediscovers her identity and
questions her husband's motives. And Aunt Adele rekindles a
For Nona Bennett, the former housekeeper, the bond to
Sweetgrass and the Blakely family remains strong. Her
ancestors were enslaved at Sweetgrass and later generations
worked there as free men and women. Much of the Bennett
family heritage also lies within the borders of Sweetgrass.
Perhaps more important, the land holds one of the few
remaining sources of the grass that she uses to craft her
exquisite baskets. How will she pass on the
three-hundred-year-old basket-weaving tradition if the
sweetgrass is plowed under to prepare the way for more houses?
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