The Sweetest Thing by Elizabeth Musser

thesweetestthingThe Sweetest Thing is the story of two girls who attend an exclusive all girls school in Atlanta during the Great Depression. Perri has led a charmed life until her father loses his fortune & takes his life. Perri feels the responsibility of helping her family; not only to overcome their grief, but also to help them keep their social status.

Dobbs moves down from Chicago to live with her aunt and to attend the school her parents could never afford on their own. Her family is one of faith, and she is eager to share with the girls in her new school about the miracles of God and how He can be trusted to help them through everything.

Despite the skepticism from their other classmates who really don’t feel that Dobbs can fit in with their social group, and even their own differences, the two girls feel an immediate bond and become friends. But, friendship, as much as any other part of life, is not easy. Secrets, jealousy, and betrayal have to be overcome if their friendship is to endure.

Elizabeth Musser is a missionary in France who has written several novels, one of which I reviewed back in July. From her website: “When we moved my dear grandmother, Allene Massey Goldsmith, Washington Seminary, ’32, from her apartment to a full-care floor at Canterbury Court, my parents found Grandmom’s diaries from 1928-1932. I was, of course, eager to take a look. The diaries sealed the fate of my next novel: I’d write about 1930’s Atlanta and specifically the life of two girls attending Washington Seminary.” www.elizabethmusser.com

I enjoyed reading The Sweetest Thing. Reading about  the lives of Perri and Dobbs and their friendship and what life was like in Atlanta during the 1930’s was enjoyable on its own, but knowing Musser was also writing of her grandmother made the book all the more special and, yes, sweeter.

Words Unspoken by Elizabeth Musser

  Musser brings together a cast of characters, who seem to have no relation to each other, in touching and heartwarming fashion.  Lissa Randall has a promising academic future until she is involved in an accident that takes her mother’s life. Months later, she’s still afraid to drive, especially on Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga where she lives & where the accident took place.

She enrolls in a driving school and her instructor, Ev,  is a fatherly figure who cares for his students and does what he can to help them overcome their fears.

At a bookstore near Atlanta, Lissa meets a young Italian publisher who takes an interest in her. He has another agenda, however, as he is determined to undercover the mystery identity of a popular author.

In France, a young missionary wife is struggling with the grief of losing her young son. Can God help her? Can He use her while she is going through such a valley?

I was uncomfortable reading this book in the beginning. Lissa struggles with hearing “voices”, as she continues to feel guilty & at fault over her mother’s death. Voices that tell her she  is worthless, no good, etc. But the difficulties and challenges she faces are familiar to many of us and the things she learns about herself, others, and God make the book a more than worthwhile read.

Musser herself is a missionary in France and the author of several Christian novels. To learn more about her and her books, check out her website: www.elizabethmusser.com