Book Review: Bitter, Sweet by Laura A. Best

Bitter, Sweet by Laura BestBook Reviewed: Bitter, Sweet
Author: Laura A. Best
Genre: Young Adult; historical fiction
Pages: 144
Price: $10.95
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!

You can find Bitter, Sweet listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Watch for an upcoming interview with Laura A. Best.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!   🙂


18 responses to “Book Review: Bitter, Sweet by Laura A. Best

  1. Pingback: Relaxing « Laura Best, author

  2. Pingback: Relaxing « Laura Best, author

  3. Laura is a superb writer, not only of YA fiction, but adult fiction as well. Some of her published short stories are available as a link on her blog site (Laura Best, Author). It’s hard to get hold of the others, however, as they’ve been published in small literary magazines not readily available. I’m waiting for the book of The Collected Stories of Laura Best.


    • Thank you, Syr, for your comment. I have no doubt, judging by her blog and this book, that Laura is a superb writer in other genres as well. I am glad to be associated with her. 🙂 The Collected Stories of Laura Best sounds like a great book to have … sure hope that comes out soon! 🙂


  4. You obviously enjoyed Bitter, Sweet as much as I did, and I couldn’t agree more that it’s a “great read for young adults and adults of all ages.” 🙂


  5. I, too, have read Bitter, Sweet and found it to be a heart-warming story. Thank you for your review. Blessings…


  6. Thanks again, Lynn, for the wonderful review. I think your idea to do book reviews on your blog will be very rewarding for you! 🙂


    • Thank YOU, Laura. I agree, I think it will be fun and I have a plan developing in my mind regarding reviews and interviews. Now I just have to get it all worked out. 🙂


  7. Wonderful review, Lynn. Thank you. I have Laura’s book, haven’t been able to read it yet, prior obligations, but I’m yearning to now. I love the period, the story idea, and well, Laura is sweetheart to boot. What more can I ask for?


    • Thanks, Joylene. I’m glad my review has you yearning to read Laura’s book, I know you will enjoy it. I agree with your comment about Laura. She’s a great person to know. 🙂


  8. I love reading your reviews! You do a great job of making me want to read them! 🙂


  9. I was hoping to read Bitter,Sweet this week, but it’s still “in the mail” (3+ weeks, sheesh. Customs I guess.). Being out of town (as usual), I won’t see it now until early February, but it’ll be great, I’m sure of that.


    • You are correct, Dave, you will enjoy Laura’s book. 🙂 And I hope it gets to you soon, three weeks … much too long a wait for a great read. Thanks for stopping in.


  10. I too loved Bitter, Sweet and have been recommending it all over the place. I have ordered one for my mother, who is spending too much time in the hospital recovering from hip surgery. I know she will love it. It is so refreshing to read a Canadian story by a Canadian author. The characters are very real and the place and time so aptly described, you feel like you are there. I look forward to more of Laura’s work.
    Darlene Foster


    • I agree with you about Bitter, Sweet. Please tell you mother I wish her a full and speedy recovery and I will say a prayer for her tonight.
      Thank you, Darlene for your comment. I appreciate that you are checking my earlier posts and sharing your thoughts. 🙂


I look forward to reading your greatly appreciated comments. Thanks for making my day! :)

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