The publisher has provided me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. First I just have to mention that the cover art intrigued me—and the title as well. It took me longer than expected to finish this book because I’ve been a bit busy with work-related things, but better late than never!
Stephen Chbosky once said “We can’t choose where we come from, but we can choose where we go from there”. We all know we can’t choose our family and I’m sure many of us have at least once thought of how it would be like if we were born in a different one. I believe this book’s main character Katie-Lee, or Katherine, represents a lot of women and I’m sure many will be able to relate to her.
I’ll admit, it was hard for me to identify with her because I didn’t have similar issues growing up and our age gap was huge. Perhaps the culture difference somehow contributed to this problem as well, something that cannot be blamed at the author or the story since I grew up in the Philippines. However, there is an aspect of Katie-Lee that did relate to me. I, too, more than once thought of going away, living someplace far like New York, but mostly for the experience of it. Although it hasn’t happened to me personally, I know a lot of people who’ve lived away from their families after graduating and allowed the distance pull them apart both physically and emotionally. It’s real, things like this happen, and much like in the novel—drastic events sometimes force them to reunite. Although it took time and was a bit confusing at first (I swear I read the Prologue with a big question mark in my head), at the end of the story we realize why things ended up that way and why Katie-Lee (Katherine) went that path.
Sweet as Cane has heart and although this book is not for everyone, I think people who’ve had problems with familial relationships, Southerners, and women who’ve had experience, or would want to experience, living in the country will be able to relate to this book.
“My dear young cousin, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the eons, it’s that you can’t give up on your family, no matter how tempting they make it.” –Rick Riordan
P.S. I can’t believe the author is a guy!