Praise

“I am in love with this book - the language, the story, the sass. Five women bickering, judging, loving, growing old together. You won't stop laughing, even when your heart is hurting. Keep a pencil close - you'll be underlining all your favorite, funny lines.” – Kathryn Stockett, The Help

“Feisty Bernice and Margaret may be in a nursing home, but don't count them out. Steel Magnolias fans will love this one.” -- People (Great Reads for Your Book Club)

“This debut novel eloquently tells the story of five North Carolina women, and it is quite simply one of the most beautifully written books you'll ever read. The story plays like music in the heart. Descriptions promise a laugh. Beautifully crafted dialogue brings a quick catch in the throat. Strength fills this book, while reinforcing the love and respect Southerners hold for their mothers, grandmothers, friends, and daughters.” Southern Living

“Nothing short of amazing...I had a whole new perspective on both living and dying after reading this stunning novel.” – Birmingham News

“Hilarious and heartrending. If I live long enough, I want Lorraine to be my nurse, April to handle my affairs, Margaret and Bernice as my bunkmates, and I surely hope Rhonda can do my hair. Also, if my life were a book, I'd want Todd Johnson to write it.” – Sharon Randall, Scripps Howard News Service

“Give Todd Johnson an 'A'… He made me laugh and cry. Johnson's… five women are as convincing as Reynolds Price's Kate Vaiden and Allan Gurganus' Lucy Marsden.  From the first page they step into your life and start talking pure Southern music." Raleigh News & Observer

“Read The Sweet By and By. In his debut novel, Todd Johnson explores the lives of five Southern women who are unexpectedly connected to each other. While most of the action takes place in a nursing home, their stories never fall short of livelihood. Think of it as Steel Magnolias meets The Golden Girls.” Real Simple, "Entertainment Picks"

“Hilarious and heartbreaking. It is a testament to Johnson’s talent that he has managed to created five vibrant southern women and capture their voices and mannerisms to the extent that you can still hear them after you’ve turned the last page.” Litchfield Magazine

“Johnson’s novel is a welcome look beyond statistics to other, less tangible aspects of aging: what friendship and connectedness across generations can do for the quality of life—both for the young and the old.” AARP Bulletin

“Johnson has perfect pitch. He is unsparing in his depiction of aging but leavens his topic with humor and tenderness. It’s hard to believe that this is his first novel -- his assured style keeps the story moving briskly and develops each character with depth and affection.” Our State Magazine

“Packed with so much poignancy readers might want to keep tissues handy...this novel carries in it lessons of family, friends, kindness, generosity and love...heartfelt... [Johnson] realistically portrays the challenges the elderly face and captures the authentic voices of these five very different women. This is a novel not to be missed.” Las Vegas Review-Journal

“A poignant, realistic, funny tale…at times a tear-jerker...Johnson's depiction of the women reminds readers that friendships are ageless and that kindness of spirit--as well as humor--are needed to carry us through life…far from being stereotypically Southern, the characters show the humanity in all of us.” Durham Herald Sun

“Gentle, sensitive...sometimes funny, occasionally sad, and ultimately life-affirming… Johnson has done an admirable job of making each woman distinct and memorable…the reader will have a clear picture of each in mind -- and will feel fond of them..a fine debut. I look forward to seeing what Todd Johnson writes next.” Winston-Salem Journal

“The women of The Sweet By and By have found a devoted muse in Todd Johnson.” – Alice Walker

“In this heartfelt and stunning debut novel, Todd Johnson paints a lush portrait of Southern life in vivid detail with clarity and wit. You will be riveted by the story of a group of unlikely friends, five North Carolina women bonded by their shared histories, passions, and secrets. It’s a genuine page turner.” – Adriana Trigiani

“Bittersweet and often humorous...Johnson has a sure ear for Southern speech...the underlying message of the power of love and friendship resonates, as does its depiction of the way in which people leading unremarkable lives can have a tremendous impact on those around them.” Publishers Weekly

“You’ll want to save a place for this debut novel...Moving back and forth in time, Johnson does a fine job of illustrating the rich inner lives of those imprisoned by failing mental or physical health...Even with the conundrum of an abundance of good fiction and limited budgets, novels about everyday people like Lorraine are in short supply.  Strongly recommended.” Library Journal