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Published by: Mira
Release Date: May 1, 2010
Pages: 400
ISBN13: 978-0778328070


Sweetgrass is a historic tract of land in South Carolina that has been home to the Blakely family for eight generations. But Sweetgrass—named for the indigenous grass that grows in the area—is in trouble. Taxes are skyrocketing. Bulldozers are leveling the surrounding properties. And the Blakelys could be forced to sell the one thing that continues to hold their disintegrating family together.

In this poignant novel of hope, acceptance and the powerful gift of forgiveness, Mary Alice Monroe paints an intimate portrait of a family that must learn to unravel old patterns and weave together a new future.




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Readers who enjoy such fine Southern voices as Pat Conroy will add the talented Monroe to their list of favorites.”


“Mary Alice Monroe’s hardcover debut (Sweetgrass) … transcends romance and women’s fiction genres and reaches into the realm of fine Southern literature.”
—The Romance Reader Review


“Mary Alice Monroe is in her element describing the history of basket weaving, the lush land, the threat imposed by developers and the difficulties of making a plantation prosper in the modern era. And she’s equally adept at spinning poignant and ultimately hopeful tale of forgiveness, family secrets and finding your way back home.”


Chapter One

“Until fairly recently, the coastal region of islands, marshes, placid rivers and oak-shaded roads had seen relatively little change—but now change is widespread, often overwhelming and sometimes devastating.”
—The National Trust for Historic Preservation

March is a moody time of year in the Lowcountry. On any given day, seemingly by whim, the weather is balmy and sweet smelling and can lure reluctant smiles from the hopeful who dream of cool, tart drinks on steamy afternoons, creamy white magnolia blossoms and scented offshore breezes. Then, overnight, everything can change. With a sudden gust of cold wind, winter will reach out with its icy grip to draw a foggy curtain over the gray marsh.

Mama June Blakely had hoped for an early spring, but she was well seasoned and had learned to keep an eye on the sky for dark clouds. A leaden mist hovered close to the water, so thick that Mama June could barely make out Blakely’s Bluff, which stretched out into the gray-green Atlantic Ocean like a defiant fist. A bittersweet smile eased across her lips. She’d always thought it a fitting symbol of her family’s turbulent history with the sea.

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