The Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King
This is a “pre blog” review that in honor of my book club and the fact that this book changed our book club forever.… I think I need to post my hand written review that I wrote on April 25, 2007…
The Book Says: For 30 years, six Southern college friends—the Same Sweet Girls—have been gathering for a biannual reunion. As King’s wry, touching novel begins, the girls are nearing 50 and coming to terms with the life decisions they’ve made. Corrine Cooper gains renown as a folk artist, but battles clinical depression with the help of a manipulative psychiatrist who later becomes her husband; Lanier Brewer is separated after a brief, ill-advised fling; exotic Astor Deveaux, a former Broadway dancer, flirts wildly with men but remains with her husband, a famous painter 33 years her senior; Julia Dupont is trapped in a passionless marriage and an overscheduled life as Alabama’s first lady; Byrd and Rosanelle round out the group. When one of the SSGs becomes terminally ill, the remaining friends are spurred to resolve their own problems before she dies. Corinne, Julia and Lanier rotate as first-person narrators, but King (The Sunday Wife) does little to distinguish their voices, and the parade of characters and stories can be hard to follow at first. Once the names fall into place, however, the story’s gentle Southern humor and warmth shine. It isn’t all iced tea and tomato pie—King tackles some troubling issues—but the characters are true to life, and readers will sympathize with their struggles.
I say: Yowza! 507 pages???? I dont think I have read anything this big since my “Potter” phase!
To think I almost missed out on this book! This was our February pick for book club and I was in Honduras at the time of the review and had not picked it up before I left thinking I would find it at the airport and read it on the plane. It wasn’t at the airport. I had plenty of other books to read so I figured I would just skip this one.
Thanks to Jodi C in my book club who insisted I had to read this book and gave me her copy of the book to do just that.
I am so glad I did.
The characters were strong and bright women, and Cassandra wrote of them in such a language that I could picture them all clearly, their likes and dislikes, their personalities burst from the pages. I liked these women. I loved their bond of friendship that carried on well past their school days – into their lives. Their real lives.
Laughable moments (this is where our Queen event in Book Club came from) and moments that will break your heart and once again I am reminded how thankful I am to have strong friends in my own life, that will help through it all.. the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Cassandra writes a beautiful book on friendships. And it is a powerful one.