Sweet Hush
By Aurora Rose
Jan 8, 2004 - 4:25:00 AM

Family secrets ruin lives in Deborah Smith’s novel, SWEET HUSH. Hush McGillen, the fifth descendant bearing that magical name, is born into a poor, apple-growing family. Apple growing has slid by the wayside in Georgia in the early 1960’s. When Hush reaches her sixteenth birthday, she determines to pull herself out of misery and poverty. Image is everything to her as she slowly begins to amass a small fortune selling apples. Young and foolishly in love with her childhood sweetheart, Davy, Hush becomes pregnant. The discovery makes her angry at the world and bitter towards the unborn child. Davy wants the baby and can’t understand why his new wife resents the child within her. Hush’s grudging willingness to keep the baby for appearance’s sake and Davy’s fury at her create an unbridgeable gap between the pair.

However, as soon as Hush gives birth to her son she falls irredeemably in love with the flesh of her flesh. Unfortunately, the rift with her husband cannot be healed. As the years roll on, young Davis grows up, the apple of his mother’s eye. He’s twenty-three and she’s nearing forty, having built up a kingdom of apples. But life is about to change for the worse. Davis arrives on the farm unexpectedly with a young woman at his side. When he announces that the girl is the President’s only daughter and that they’ve been married for about six months and she’s pregnant, Hush’s carefully constructed world tumbles apart. The secrets of her past, those secrets she has worked so hard to bury or alter for her family’s sake, begin to surface.

Hush McGillen is an incredibly resourceful, intelligent and gutsy woman. She succeeds in growing the once failing apple farm into a two million dollar a year business. No matter how victorious we have become, Deborah Smith shows the reader we always take the chance that our secrets, large and small, will be revealed to destroy our personal victories. Nonetheless, the good comes with the bad in surprising ways.

SWEET HUSH is the story of a mother protecting her son, growing her business and falling in love for the second time. I highly recommend Deborah Smith’s novel for its strong portrayal of a magnificent woman and her poignant emotions.

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