REVIEW: Sweetwater by Lisa Henry


Title: Sweetwater
Author: Lisa Henry
Year of Publication: 2014
Genre: LGBT, Historical fiction
Format: Ebook
Length: 240 pages
First Line: “A spray of blood hit his face like hot rain, and Elijah Carter clamped his mouth shut.”

Summary: Wyoming Territory, 1870.

Elijah Carter is afflicted. Most of the townsfolk of South Pass City treat him as a simpleton because he’s deaf, but that’s not his only problem. Something in Elijah runs contrary to nature and to God. Something that Elijah desperately tries to keep hidden.

Harlan Crane, owner of the Empire saloon, knows Elijah for what he is—and for all the ungodly things he wants. But Crane isn’t the only one. Grady Mullins desires Elijah too, but unlike Crane, he refuses to push the kid.

When violence shatters Elijah’s world, he is caught between two very different men and two devastating urges: revenge, and despair. In a boomtown teetering on the edge of a bust, Elijah must face what it means to be a man in control of his own destiny, and choose a course that might end his life . . . or truly begin it for the very first time.

Review: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

Making this as spoiler-free as possible. Apparently this is very hard but I think I made it work.

I have to warn that there is a non-con scene in the beginning of this novel and a dub-con relationship/bad BDSM relationship as a result of that scene. The novel is totally worth it if you are able to get past the non-con scene. But it is graphic and the POV is of the victim who is confused and a virgin. If you can read past that scene you will find that Sweetwater is a wonderful novel. But I can’t discourage anyone not wanting to read it due to that scene since it is a trigger for a lot of people.

Sweetwater is such a wonderful novel. It has so many themes. It’s about death, revenge, the difference in bad and good BDSM relationships, religion, how it feels like to feel different and alone. It’s really amazing. There are some outstanding quotes in this book. Here’s a couple that should be spoiler-free:

“Someone dies, there oughta be something. It oughta shake the world! You’re not supposed to walk away!”

Jesus, that line It oughta shake the world! just brings up so many memories for me. I think anyone who has had a loved one die and has to move on the following day with school or work like nothing happened can related to what Elijah says here. This quote really breaks my heart.

“Sometimes he liked to think about leaving South Pass City and going west like he was meant to, like his dream-self had, except he suspected that the idea he had of what it would be like there was no more real than the version of himself that was whole. He would get there and it would be no different than here. Going west wouldn’t heal him. Wouldn’t transform him. Nothing would.
Even in a perfect world, Elijah would be flawed.”

I don’t get overly-emotional over books too often but I did end up crying during this novel. I can’t say at what point or why because then I’d be spoiling stuff. But kudos to Lisa Henry for making me cry.

The main character Elijah is

Worst part: Flashbacks to previous one-liners, & the non-con scene

Best part:

Grade: B

Recommend For:

Other Books by This Author: Dark Space and Tribute

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