Book Reviewed: Bitter, Sweet
Author: Laura A. Best
Genre: Young Adult; historical fiction
Released: October 2009
Publisher: Nimbus Publishing, Halifax, NS
My rating: Great read for young adults and adults of all ages
In December 2009 I read Bitter, Sweet by Laura A. Best. Her book was released in October of that year and late in November I purchased a copy at a local bookstore the day Laura was doing a book signing. It was a pleasure to meet her in person. I urge you to take the opportunity to meet authors when they are putting themselves out there to meet the public at book signings.
This week I re-read Bitter, Sweet and I must say that I enjoyed it even more the second time through.
Laura based her story in Dalhousie Road, Nova Scotia, Canada, in the 1940′s after World War ll, and captured a glimpse of the history of rural Nova Scotia sixty years ago. The family she created comes alive with interesting authentic dialogue and cleverly written point of view that holds the reader’s attention. I was drawn in right from the first words in chapter one.
The Burbidge family of six moved around a lot, but then finally settled into an old house in a secluded area. They struggled to get by, especially when the father went away to work and soon stopped sending money home. With him not in the picture anymore, and their mother becoming very ill, the four children have to learn how to survive and stay together should they end up alone. Their mother teaches well her older daughter, Pru.
Laura wrote in a way that lures the reader emotionally into the lives of this family whose story is told mainly by Pru. I found I was dismayed by the actions of one child, annoyed by the attitude of a nosy overbearing neighbour and disappointed by a trusted adult who turned out to be untrustworthy in a time of need. I felt the desperation of the children and sided with them in their trying situations.
Without giving away the story – in case you haven’t yet read Bitter, Sweet – I will hint that the challenges of life touched by those who had gone before added an interesting dimension to the story. There are unexpected twists and the reader is left with unanswered questions to answer however one wishes, and not in a disappointing way.
I encourage you to add Bitter, Sweet – by Laura A. Best – to your library. It has received much attention since its debut and is a book well worth reading – twice!
Watch for an upcoming interview with Laura A. Best.
Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)