The Sweet In-Between
By Sheri Reynolds
(Crown, Hardcover, 9780307393890, 224pp.)
Publication Date: November 25, 2008
List Price: $23.00*
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“[With The Sweet In-Between,] bestseller Reynolds delivers again . . . Simple prose rich with subtext, convincing dialogue, and a fascinating protagonist combine to produce a heartstring-plucker that’s explicit, tender, sad, and hopeful.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Kendra, or “Kenny,” has grown up in a family that’s not really hers. Her momma died of cancer when Kenny was very young, and “Aunt” Glo is, in fact, her daddy’s girlfriend, who took her in when her father was sent to jail for drug trafficking.
Nearing eighteen years old and facing confusion over her sexuality, Kenny binds her chest with ACE bandages and keeps her hair cropped short like a boy’s. Her gender ambiguity makes her an outcast at school and, even at times, at home, where her adopted family isn’t really sure what to make of her.
When a senseless murder occurs in their run-down coastal town—a college student mistakenly entering the wrong home is killed—Kenny becomes obsessed with thoughts of the dead girl and with her own fears that she will be alone in the world when she turns eighteen. She makes it her mission to become indispensable to Aunt Glo in the hopes that she can win the older woman’s love, despite their not being bound by blood.
A lyrical tale of a family of misfits in a town that’s seen its best days come and go, The Sweet In-Between is also a poignant story of an unforgettable character’s coming-of-age.
SHERI REYNOLDS is a professor of writing and literature at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She is the author of five novels, including the Oprah Book Club selection The Rapture of Canaan, which was a #1 New York Times bestseller. She lives in Cape Charles, Virginia.