The Sweetest Thing by Elizabeth Musser is the historical story of two girls in Atlanta and the strong friendship that they form through their darkest days, which are during America's darkest days during the Great Depression. When Anne "Perri" Singleton's high society life suddenly crashes around her in a flurry of scandal and poverty, she soon finds that the only person she can find kinship with is newcomer Mary "Dobbs" Dillard, who is the daughter of a poor preacher and the niece of one of the local families. They're complete opposites, but Dobbs seems to genuinely understand Perri's pain and determination to survive the hard times. The two discover deep secrets about both of their families that will test the faith, courage, and friendship of the two.
The change in the characters is so incredible. I've read another book by this author, Swan House (the kindle edition is free this week at amazon!), and I knew from the first chapter of both of these books that they would be poignant stories of struggle, faith, and redemption. This book is so well written with intermingling subplots of romance, mystery, history, and suspense. I truly thought I had figured out the way this story would progress, but I was proven wrong. The girls' friendships were beautiful, and I loved how they "sharpened" each other (Proverbs 27:17). The pain is so intense, the love is so sweet, and the power of God is so evident in this story.
I have no complaints about this book. Some things readers may want to be aware of is that a character commits suicide, another character has an illegitimate child that the character had before shedding a sinful life and turning to God's redeeming grace, and a young man pushes around his girlfriend.
All in all, I rate this book a shining five out of five stars.
Specifics (from amazon.com):
~Paperback: 397 pages
~Publisher: Bethany House (June 1, 2011)
~Author's website: http://www.elizabethmusser.com/
Note: Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book for reviewing purposes.