Sunday, 10 September 2017

Sweetwater Surprise

Sweetwater Surprise (2000) Post 254
Sweetwater Surprise Patrick Farrell aka Sally Odgers
Sweetwater Surprise is the story of Anya, whose mum takes her to an alternative-lifestyle community called Sweetwater for a holiday. While Mum learns to make bread and helps out with the community work, Anya gets to know Star, Moon and the other creatively-named children who swim in the creek, climb trees, make mud bricks and use a flying fox. The community children are capable, brave and friendly, and Anya likes them, but she finds them a bit intimidating. After an embarrassing incident where she gets stuck in a tree at the creek and the calm adult supervisor looks up from her sketching to detail two kids to help her, Anya feels even more out of place. She gradually realises she's keeping the good-natured Star from doing the things she most enjoys, so she goes off to check the bread. In the kitchen she has a frightening encounter and has to find her own kind of bravery when a carpet python bites her.

The illustrations in this one are particularly lovely and I'm sorry it is almost unknown. (No discoverable pictures on the 'net until I put one up and just one copy mentioned in the Distance Ed library. This is a Patrick Farrell title.

The inspiration behind this one is a true story. My friend took her daughter Anja to an alternative lifestyle community and my friend herself was bitten by a python. They aren't poisonous  (a point made in the book) but then--neither are dogs or horses or lions or... you get the picture. I spelled the character name Anja but it was changed in edits. The community is shown as faithfully as I could imagine it, with adult supervision for the children but a fair bit of trust given to their good sense.


Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service.

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