Sweet Dream Baby by Sterling Watson

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Sent to live in the humidity of rural Florida with his grandparents and his sixteen-year-old Aunt Delia for the summer, twelve-year-old Travis becomes absorbed in the closed ways of small-town life. Captivated by Delia, Travis watches her attempt to find a place for herself in the socially stunted, gossip-driven town. Delia's secrets go beyond what Travis can understand, but he believes that he alone can save her--a belief that not only forces him to grow up fast, but one that builds to a dangerous and disturbing climax. In trying to free Delia from her past, Travis leads her into a shocking present and a most uncertain future.

In a work at once honest, chilling and compulsively addictive, author Sterling Watson has created a time and place where rock 'n' roll hums from AM radios, steam rises from a secluded riverbed and violent summer storms threaten the peace of silent nights. Watson's characters are brought vividly to life through Travis's touching, powerful and intensely personal voice. A dark and evocative coming of age tale, Sweet Dream Baby begins steeped in innocence and ends in a dramatically different place.

"I can't remember a book that sneaked up and grabbed me the way Sweet Dream Baby did. It's a real shocker by a very good writer."
--Elmore Leonard

"Sterling Watson's Sweet Dream Baby is one of the finest novels I've read in years, an incandescent blend of gothic noir, Faulknerian dreamscape and bittersweet coming-of-age story. Months after reading it, it haunts me still."
-Dennis Lehane

"Sterling Watson's Sweet Dream Baby brings us the words and music, the tastes and smells of that special time-as well as its heartache and secret shame. I was utterly absorbed in these fierce pages."
-Fred Chappell, author of Look Back All the Green Valley

"Sweet Dream Baby is a beautiful book. Sterling Watson is surehanded and telling in a story that is as elegiac as it is gripping."
-Michael Connelly, author of Chasing the Dime

"Some delicious page-turning."-Kirkus Reviews

A Book Sense 76 Top 10 Selection

Named to Top Ten Crime Books of 2002, Toronto Globe and Mail

"Watson proves himself a first-rate storyteller."-Publishers Weekly

"A comprehensive work of art that is as thought-provoking as it is disturbing."-Orlando Sentinel

About Sterling Watson

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Sterling Watson is the author of five novels, including The Calling, Sweet Dream Baby, and Weep No More My Brother, which was nominated for the Rosenthal Award given annually by the National Academy Institute of Arts and Letters. His short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Prairie Schooner, the Georgia Review, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, the Michigan Quarterly Review, and the Southern Review. He is director of the Creative Writing Program at Eckerd College and holder of the Peter Meinke Chair in Literature and Creative Writing.
Published February 1, 2004 by Sourcebooks Landmark. 352 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Sweet Dream Baby

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The setup would be obvious to anybody who'd ever read a book, but Eddie and Corey's lookalike sister Sawnie never have, and you wouldn't believe how long it takes them to convince themselves that Corey was run off the road by sociopathic Creek Indian Harry Feather, who got a little carried away e...

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Kirkus Reviews

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Delia introduces Travis to cruising in her Chevy, skinny-dipping, and the fatal lure of rock’-n’-roll, and he becomes “Killer,” after Jerry Lee Lewis, a name he’ll grow into in a horrifying manner over the summer: The is the summer Travis will become a man by having to protect Delia from herself.

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Publishers Weekly

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Watson (Weep No More My Brother) has created a stunning, intricate bit of Florida noir in this story about Eddy Priest, a non-practicing lawyer aiming for the simple life as a sailboat salesman on Florida's west coast.

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