The Sweetest Thing
Elizabeth Musser’s eighth novel, set in Atlanta during the Great Depression of the 1930s, is a story of faith, friendship and love. Two young girls become unlikely friends after each suffers tragedy and loss. Perri, a banker’s daughter and debutante, reigns over Atlanta’s belles as the “girl of a thousand dates.” Dobbs, a preacher’s daughter, is determined to free the world from injustice and set souls on fire for Christ. Dobbs decides to begin her mission by reforming the worldly young ladies of the private academy where she and Perri are students. As Dobbs helps Perri to be more spiritual, she finds herself beginning to have serious doubts about her previously unflinching beliefs. As the girls deal with their personal problems, including ups and downs with boys, they are confronted with a mystery which may hold the key to many of the troubles in their community.
With a distinct Southern flavor, the novel is replete with descriptions of stately homes, lavish soirées, gowns and gardens. In spite of its title, there is nothing saccharine about the book, which looks realistically at the bitterness of life, the dark nights of the soul, and the heartbreak and the joy of genuine love.