Cover Image: The Sweet Taste of Muscadines

The Sweet Taste of Muscadines

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Member Reviews

rThank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  This story didn’t pull me in as much as I would have expected from the synopsis.  It was heavy on descriptive writing, almost too much so.
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I started this book months ago and I'm actually still trying to push through it. I'm not sure if it's the timing of me trying to read it or if it's just not for me. I'm struggling with the elaborate detail in the book and it almost feels like overkill. I'm getting lost in the description that the plot itself is hard to focus on. The amount of metaphors is too much to handle for me. I'm honestly not sure if I will continue reading or just put it away altogether.
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This is a women's fiction with some suspense. This book is all about family secrets coming out after the Mother passes away. I found this book very different from most of the books I read, but I really enjoyed reading this book. This book is everything wrapped up in one book (sadness, happiness, suspenseful, little mystery, family secrets, love, and family drama). I think this was very well written and has great characters. This book will keep you reading, and the ending is everything. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Ballantine Books) or author (Pamela Terry) via NetGalley, so I can give honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.
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To say that I wasn’t expecting this roller coaster of a book is an understatement. The characters were complex and had worthwhile backgrounds (here’s a hint that I’d love prequels on each sibling’s life!!!). Overall I just loved this book and I’ll absolutely be purchasing a copy for my home library. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to enjoy this book.
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Really enjoyed this debut women's fiction novel with some suspense surrounding the story. The story revolves around Lilia and her two siblings that come back home after their mother dies. The setting is set in the south, Georgia and is all about the family dynamics, the past and what was like growing up… and there are secrets… every family has them.
The beginning was a little slow, but soon I was captivated and wish I had more time to read. It was very well written with great character development. It was emotional and touched my heart. I usually read mystery/suspense/psychological novels but I really enjoy a good chick lit/women’s literature and this one was perfect and was just what I needed for a summer read. I’m only sad it took me so long to read it. I received an advanced readers kindle copy, but soon I purchased the Audible version so when I couldn’t read I could listen. I love Xe Sands as narrator. She was perfect.
A very special thank you to Random House Publishing, Ballantine  Books for the ARC in exchange for my HONEST review.
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This was a lovely read. It has a little of everything: family drama, suspense, heartbreak, and hard-won happiness. The plot was interesting, especially in that it's hard to put down simply because it's just straight-up good. It's compelling without feeling rushed. 

I really enjoyed all the characters, the three totally unique settings, and the ending was a wonderful place to leave it all. I'd absolutely recommend this read to any reader as there's something for everyone to take away from it. 

Note: I received a free electronic edition of this book via NetGalley in exchange for the honest review above. I would like to thank them, the publisher, and the author for the opportunity to do so.
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sweet book but sad. Overall well written and enjoyable. The characters grew on me. 
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher!
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Learned so much by reading this enduring story of friendship,family,love and forgiveness that has to be experienced in order to be a family! Pamela Terry  has a way about her writing to bring you into the story and to see the characters as real people with real emotions. Follow these brother and two sisters as they find out more about their own family and the secrets their mother and father hid from them that the town knew but didn't tell!!  Really enjoyed reading this story and had me thinking long after the book was finished surprised at what secrets families keep right under your noses as you are growing up! Sometimes one brother or sister know some of the secrets but they don't tell you and maybe they should have or maybe not.. Received this fantastic story from Net Gallery and sorry it took me so long to read and review but it's better to be late in reading than to not have read at all!! I know that's not the point of receiving the book before it was published but again I do not behind in a lot of things and this was one of them.. I so apology but it really is a good read!!
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The sense of place in this novel is lovely, but the overly detailed descriptions throughout really start to grate after a while. A little slow, and I didn't love the grandiose statements about what being Southern means throughout. Would recommend for readers of Southern fiction.
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Lila Bruce Breedlove never quite felt at home in Wesleyan, Georgia, especially after her father’s untimely demise when she was a child. Both Lila and her brother, Henry, fled north after high school, establishing fulfilling lives of their own. In contrast, their younger sister, Abigail, opted to remain behind to dote on their domineering, larger-than-life mother, Geneva. Yet despite their independence, Lila and Henry know deep down that they’ve never quite reckoned with their upbringing.

When their elderly mother dies suddenly and suspiciously in the muscadine arbor behind the family estate, Lila and Henry return to the town that essentially raised them. But as they uncover the facts about Geneva’s death, shocking truths are revealed that overturn the family’s history as they know it, sending the pair on an extraordinary journey to chase a truth that will dramatically alter the course of their lives. The Sweet Taste of Muscadines reminds us all that true love never dies.
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an e ARC of this book.
Such a pleasant read. Deals with a serious subject and characters dealing with weighty issues and yet served as a reprieve from the spate of difficult books I have been reading.
Likeable characters who are living life the best they can.
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After a sudden death in the family, a woman comes home to face the memories of a childhood full of contradictions. As she and her siblings try to navigate their small town, secrets come to light and dispel everything the woman thought she knew to be true. Author Pamela Terry’s debut mines the reality of small-town living in the slightly plodding novel The Sweet Taste of Muscadines.

When Lila Bruce Breedlove gets the news about her mother’s sudden death, it lands in her stomach with a single, sinking realization: she’s going to have to go home to Georgia. Her little sister, Abigail, is devastated. Lila’s feelings on her mother’s death and her family in general are much more complicated.

Although Lila and middle child Henry left the small town of Wesleyan as fast as they could after graduation, Abigail stayed in the south with their mother, Geneva. Everyone always called Abigail Geneva’s almost-twin anyway, and Geneva never let go of an opportunity to let Lila and Henry know Abigail was the favorite. Abigail, being Abigail, basked in the attention and did everything Geneva did.

Now Geneva’s gone—dead without warning or illness—and Lila knows it’s her responsibility as the oldest to go back to Wesleyan and take care of everything. As much as she adores her life in Maine, as a young widow Lila also feels the loneliness of a solitary existence. Her successful weaving business keeps her busy but can’t chase away the memories of her husband who she loved with that old-fashioned, fairy-tale feeling.

Drawing her down south, too, is the mystery of Geneva’s death. Abigail found her in the muscadine arbor behind the family home. As far as Lila knows, Geneva never went out there. Ever. It was one of Lila’s favorite places to play as a child, hiding among the grape vines and letting her imagination lead her. Yet Geneva never showed much interest. So what was she doing?

Lila and Henry arrive in Georgia together to face the questions and the town. Everyone in Wesleyan has always thought Lila was a little odd, and they willfully looked the other way from their suspicions that Henry was gay. Neither Henry nor Lila wants to handle the meddling neighbors and curious onlookers, but Abigail is in no state to do anything. 

When Lila and Henry stumble upon a secret about their father, everything changes. Geneva told the kids their father had died while serving in Vietnam. During the course of dealing with Geneva’s memorial service, Lila and Henry come across the shocking revelation that maybe that isn’t true. So what happened? And if their father didn’t die, why would he and Geneva lie about it?

As Lila and Henry work through the bits and pieces of memories and information left behind, they make one discovery after another. Along the way, they’ll learn more about themselves than they ever thought existed.

Author Pamela Terry writes in prose rich with fresh, vivid descriptions. Her measured pace will remind readers of the southern region where the book is set. As a protagonist, Lila gets the bulk of development. Henry is next in line in becoming a full-fledged person, followed by Geneva.

Surprisingly, despite being one of the three siblings, Abigail doesn’t get her due later in the book. Her antics early on shock other characters and will entertain readers; yet her character arc fizzles with hurried explanations and dialogue later in the novel. What starts as a dynamic person becomes more of an afterthought by the time the book ends.

The book leans more heavily in a literary direction than one of mainstream fiction. Readers will learn quite a bit about Lila and her thoughts on her hometown, but the action is comprised of simple moments and conflicts that get resolved fairly easily. As an author, Terry clearly wants readers to focus on the internal journey and not so much the outer one.

Readers who enjoy books set in the south and that expose the contradictory nature of life in that area will want to check this one out.
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If the reader has never visited the south, this book provides a crash course in Southern culture and later such vivid descriptions of Scotland the reader will feel like they`re there. 
The combination of distinctive atmosphere with intense family drama and a bit of mystery kept me up way too late.
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Terry's work is excellent at providing descriptions of the surroundings.  I felt like I was there.  This is a beautiful story about family and forgiveness!
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I was looking for a lighter women’s fiction, and I got it! #thesweettasteofmuscadines is lighter in the sense of it being an easier read, but plenty of events to keep you on your toes - deaths, sibling dynamics, coming out stories and more. I also loved that we got a taste of a few different places - Maine, Georgia, and Scotland (made me especially want to visit Scotland). A great read!


Thanks to @netgalley for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review!

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The Sweet Taste of Muscadines by Pamela Terry is a women’s fiction novel that is full of family secrets giving this contemporary a touch of suspense. Seeing that I love novels full of family drama and secrets I picked this one up thinking it would be right up my alley.

Lila, her brother Henry and their little sister Abigail grew up in the southern small town of Wesleyan, Georgia with their over the top mother, Geneva. As soon as they could after school Lila and Henry took off away from the town and their mother heading north where they stayed rarely thinking of the home they left behind.

One day however Lila gets a call that no one wants to hear and that is that Geneva has passed. The strange thing though was she was found out behind the family home near the muscadines. As Lila and Henry head back to their small town they weren’t prepared for what they would find when secrets begin surfacing.

The Sweet Taste of Muscadines is another case of finding myself in the minority when I look around at other reviews for this novel. When I finished I had one of those cases of feeling a bit meh as the book felt very slow moving to me which is the type that I have a hard time getting into. The story was fine but normally family secrets draw me in and have me completely engaged but this one was easy to put down and take a break from. I’d say if this one sounds good to you to form your own opinion though especially if not minding a more slow burn pace.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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The art of storytelling is different to everyone. "The Sweet Taste of Muscadines" is not so much a story about a family that discovers secrets and lies but more about the time that the story occurred and how they each dealt with their own truths and love.

Pamela Terry’s storytelling starts at the very beginning. She weaves a story that pulls you in slowly and holds you until the very end. I could hear and picture the conversations of that time, that judged harshly, which drove to the decisions which were taken.

Lila returns "home" with her brother and sister after the sudden death of their mother. They each are impacted differently from her death and the days after. Secrets will be discovered and the journeys they take will finally give them the peace and understanding of the importance of acceptance and love.
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I enjoyed the family history and the mystery that unfolded. I appreciated the skills with the flashbacks. I was involved with the current story and the mother's story. I would recommend this to anyone who likes books that shows how the stories of earlier generations impact their lives today.
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I received this book from NetGalley and was very happy that I did because I had heard about on Friends & Fiction and thought that it sounded excellent.

The story is about Lila and her siblings trying to figure out the mystery behind their mother's death. Her sister, Abigail, finds their mom already dead under the muscadine arbor at their family home in Georgia. Abby has stayed close by and considered herself her mother's best friend. Lila had married an older man that had since passed away, but they had lived in Maine where she stayed. Henry and his boyfriend had also left Georgia. 

They all come together as soon as Abby calls them and try to figure out why their mom was holding the "digging spoon" when she died and then what the letters meant that they found after doing some digging of their own.

I loved the relationship between the siblings and the story kept me interested all the way through. I enjoyed reading this debut author and look forward to reading more from her.
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This was an interesting read. It dragged in the middle. Although there were a lot of surprises along the line., about a disfunctional  family. The end tied all the loose ends together.
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