Jackson Pearce’s sweetly is yet another book that has been languishing on my shelves for far too long. In this retelling of Hansel and Gretel, the main character, Gretchen, her brother, Ansel, lost Gretchen’s twin sister to a witch as they ran from her in the woods when they were kids. Years later, Gretchen and Ansel are roadtripping away from their lives, determined to reach the open coast, a stark contrast to the forest that has defined their lives for so long. On their way, they find themselves in Live Oak, South Carolina, guests of the infamous (at least in town) Sophia Kelly, seen as a sweet savior by some and an evil witch by others. Gretchen quickly falls in sisterly love with Sophia even as she questions the string of missing girls and as she discovers the secrets of the woods guided by Samuel, a town outcast.
I wasn’t overly impressed with the storyline as the plot was rather predictable; however, I was impressed with the storytelling for the most part. I enjoyed Gretchen’s slow and steady, introspective progression to a confident woman, and I enjoyed Pearce’s ability to brutally and sensually describe both violence and chocolate. A few bits here and there felt contrived, the story asking the audience to believe without explanation; but overall I enjoyed the book.
I have to admit that I have not yet read Sisters Red, which I hear is a companion book to Sweetly. Years back when I was blogging at eclectic / eccentric, I remember some buzz around this book. Is it worth the read?