Online Book Club: Sweet Water by Christina Baker Kline 3


Welcome to the online book club for Sweet Water by Christina Baker Kline. I hope you enjoyed reading this book. This book had me wondering to the very end what actually happened in this small town.

You can discuss the questions in the comments section below on the blog or join us on Facebook.

Thanks for joining us! June’s book will be Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi with discussion on June 28. More details are on the Online Book Club page.

  1. What is your favorite moment from the book? Least favorite?
  2. Overall, did you like the book? Why or why not?
  3. Who was your favorite character and why? Your least favorite and why?
  4. “It was hard to believe leaving could be so easy.” What would you have done in Cassie’s shoes if you found out you inherited a house with land in “the middle of nowhere?” Do you think she was running from or toward something?
  5. Does anyone in the story remind you of someone in your family? How?
  6. Did anyone identify as the “villain” to you?
  7. Troy tells Cassie that it doesn’t do much good to go digging around in the past. Do you think it’s better to leave the past in the past or to face your or your family’s demons?
  8. Do you think Cassie will stay in Sweetwater? Why? If not, what do you see her doing?
  9. How might the story have been different if all the family members had been honest with each other all along? When is not being honest in a family a good thing?
  10. What’s a question I didn’t ask that you’d like to discuss?

(I do apologize for choosing a book with some adult scenes in it. I did not know that it had those in it.)

Thank you for reading with us and stopping by to discuss Sweet Water by Christina Baker Kline!

Join us in June to discuss Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi!


About Sarah Anne Carter

Sarah Anne Carter is a writer and reader. She grew up all over the world as a military brat and is now putting down roots with her family in Ohio. Family life keeps her busy, but any spare moment is spent reading, writing or thinking about plots for novels.


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3 thoughts on “
Online Book Club: Sweet Water by Christina Baker Kline”

  • Brenda Carlson

    First – this book was on Reserve at the library for 2 months! Just got it and read it in 2 days!! Sorry so pokey in responding.

    What is your favorite moment from the book? When Clyde is hurt on the ground and says, “There are so many stories I could tell you.” And Cassie responds, “I’m here. I’m listening.” Least favorite? Some of Clyde’s memories of her husband – the hate and revenge.
    Overall, did you like the book? Why or why not? Not a favorite. Hate and revenge – generational sins and their results.
    Who was your favorite character and why? Alice – most transparent. Living in the mess, but trying not to buy into it. Your least favorite and why? Elaine – motivated by control; unwilling to release childhood hurts; chose to believe only the worst in people
    “It was hard to believe leaving could be so easy.” What would you have done in Cassie’s shoes if you found out you inherited a house with land in “the middle of nowhere?” Do you think she was running from or toward something? What is your favorite moment from the book? Least favorite?
    Overall, did you like the book? Why or why not?
    Who was your favorite character and why? Your least favorite and why?
    “It was hard to believe leaving could be so easy.” What would you have done in Cassie’s shoes if you found out you inherited a house with land in “the middle of nowhere?” Do you think she was running from or toward something? I think I’d do the same thing – go to find out what it was all about. House and land is very appealing. I think she was running toward something – finding a missing piece of herself.
    Does anyone in the story remind you of someone in your family? How? Yes – but not quite to the degree of Clyde’s family. Lack of forgiveness and refusal to accept people at face value.
    Did anyone identify as the “villain” to you? Elaine – trying to push down any opportunity to release the truth and forgiveness
    Troy tells Cassie that it doesn’t do much good to go digging around in the past. Do you think it’s better to leave the past in the past or to face your or your family’s demons? It’s difficult to see “family demons” – they seem so normal when you grow up with them. But my experience is that an individual can only really experience freedom and personal growth when he/she addresses those “demons” and releases them. As Cassie discovered – one can only work on oneself – many persons are unwilling to change and even thwart change.
    Do you think Cassie will stay in Sweetwater? Why? If not, what do you see her doing? She may escape for a while. I believe she is opening a new relationship with her grandmother (and link to her mother) that she will enjoy and want to live out.
    How might the story have been different if all the family members had been honest with each other all along? When is not being honest in a family a good thing? Hmm! At which generation does one begin? With Clyde? She was injured as a teenager by her abusive father – she didn’t know how to tell the truth, not even to herself and perhaps she even resisted that truth. She missed the parallels between Amory and her father. The pain of not having friends seemed worse than the pain of her husband’s betrayal. Finally her resentment turn into revenge.
    What’s a question I didn’t ask that you’d like to discuss? Was Troy using some of the same words and same deceit tactics when he met Cassie that Amory used the night he and Constance met? Was history repeating itself and Cassie was clueless?

    • Sarah Anne Carter Post author

      Oh, I am so glad you came to participate! 🙂 And, I like your question. I hadn’t thought about Troy/Cassie repeating history, but that could definitely have been something the author was alluding to. I think I would go see the land for myself, too. Thanks for joining!