Sweet Hearts by Melanie Rae Thon

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Synopsis

Marie Zimmer has stories to tell but will not speak. Deaf since the age of nine and motherless since she was eleven, Marie is a mute witness to her family's turmoil, the only one bold enough to tell the tale of Flint and Cecile, her sister's dangerous children.
At sixteen, Flint has spent eight years of his life in juvenile detention. Half child, half full-grown criminal, he escapes from the Landers School for Boys and comes home to find the one person he loves and trusts, his little sister Cecile. Together they rob and terrorize a local doctor, steal their mother's car, then strike out alone on a desperate journey south to the Crow Indian Reservation, where their ancestors once lived.
Is Cecile Flint's hostage, or his accomplice? Nobody knows. Only Marie, the children's deaf aunt, understands the strange logic of their crimes, their desire and fear, their devotion to each other.
Fusing family myth with American history, SWEET HEARTS exposes a never-ending chain of wandering and abandonment, the disappearance of mothers, the drowning of people. It is a devastating story, one woman's silent struggle to unravel the web of violence that has trapped her family for generations. This passionate tale is also a celebration of life in the midst of sorrow. In the fierce light of her imagination, Marie Zimmer weaves the past through the present, inventing a language of signs subtle enough to illuminate the mysterious ways in which we are all connected.
 

About Melanie Rae Thon

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Melanie Rae Thon is the author of two previous novels, "Iona Moon" & "Meteors in August," as well as two story collections, "Girls in the Grass" & "First, Body." She won a Whiting Award in 1997. Originally from Montana, Thon teaches at Ohio State University. She resides in Columbus, Ohio.
 
Published January 4, 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Sweet Hearts

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Rina’s poetic recollections of Native American ancestors form a dreamlike subtext to the narrative as Flint sinks deeper into madness and runs wild, taking Cecile with him.

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Publishers Weekly

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How hard and how long will we persist in the often hopeless quest to save the starved nestlings among usDneglected children? In her latest novel, Thon poses this question via the story of two deli

Jan 01 2001 | Read Full Review of Sweet Hearts

Publishers Weekly

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Evincing the psychological acuity demonstrated in the author's earlier Iona Moon and the stories of Girls in the Grass, it benefits from Thon's skillful use of nontraditional narrative devices, haunting evocation of Native American history and legend, and mystical vision of the power of forgivene...

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