... engaging ... In an intimate, first-person voice as confessional as a private journal, author Pamela Terry lulls the reader with descriptive passages both atmospheric and introspective in such a subtextual manner as to significantly assist a story built on a family dynamic predicated on secrets forcing their way to the light ... Lovely, lyrical, and often profound, The Sweet Taste of Muscadines is women’s fiction at its finest and then something more. Written in two parts while weaving familial loyalty with the meaning of home, the search for truth on the backdrops of Wesleyan and a remote island off the coast of Scotland is breathtakingly visceral, in an emotionally evocative story with a strong sense of place. Deep-seated fear pertaining to keeping up appearances in the face of societal judgement against homosexuality, Terry writes with a warm-hearted, equitable hand ... a satisfying, heart and soul read with resonance, sure to make you a fan of author Pamela Terry.
In moments like this, the book feels like a mashup of Fried Green Tomatoes and You Can’t Go Home Again with a sprinkling of William Faulkner ... One of the many pleasures of the book is Terry’s descriptions of details like the lushness of gardenias and crepe myrtles, and the way steam rises from a Georgia blacktop after a hard summer rain. When the story moves to Scotland, she’s just as skilled at describing fierce sea storms, the welcome coziness of a bed-and-breakfast and the colors and textures of tweeds and tartans ... But Terry’s real focus is forgiveness, radical acceptance or even what some might call grace. A reader might wonder if they could ever be as forgiving as the Bruce children are of their parents’ transgressions. The Sweet Taste of Muscadines encourages readers to believe that they could.
Filled with vivid landscape descriptions, Southern charm, and heartfelt familial connections, this novel is sure to please readers, especially fans of Southern women’s fiction and family dramas like the works of Mary Kay Andrews and Kristin Hannah.