The Death of Sweet Mister is about a 13 year old boy named Morris Akins, nicknamed Shug by his mother and names like "Fat boy" by his mother's boyfriend. It tells what life was like for Shug, growing up in the Ozarks surrounded by adults who are bad moral influences on him. Glenda, his mother, is an alcoholic who is in an abusive relationship with a man named Red, who may or may not be Shug's father. Red is a career criminal with an addiction to anything that can seem to give him a high- booze, prescription pills, gambling, drugs, etc. Shug is often brought along on these criminal escapades and witness to many events that he shouldn't have been, "Men stuff." Life is bad, but changes when a man named Jimmy Vin Pearce shows up in a green Thunderbird and develops an interest in Glenda.
This book is hard to say that I "liked" because of the subject matter. I thought the writing was good and I know that it has been read in many book clubs. I just found it to be bleak and depressing. I Not the cheeriest way to start 2017. I gave it 3/5 stars on Goodreads because I thought it was written well, despite the story. I'm not sure I would recommend it to anyone. American author, Dennis Lehane, wrote a foreword in this edition of the book and he says:
"Most of us remember parts of ourselves that didn't survive adolescence. At some point, to make our way in the world, we did as the Good Book suggested and put away childish things. And so it is in The Death of Sweet Mister, where the death in question is not physical. In some ways, though, it's worse. It's the death of the "sweet," the death of the soul, the end of anything approximating childhood or innocence." (xi)
Progress in The Monthly Keyword Reading Challenge: 1/12 months completed
Progress in MOUNT TBR Challenge 1/24 books