When strong-willed schoolteacher Imogene Grelznik is forced from Philadelphia by scandal, the only position she can find is in rural Pennsylvania. There she meets Sarah, a beautiful young student whose bright light of potential is on the verge of being extinguished by her father's arrangement to marry her off to an abusive, unfeeling man. Branded as lovers, Imogene and Sarah must flee to Nevada amidst suspicion and accusation. In a place of utter desolation, the two women struggle to love and care for each other as they seek freedom from prejudice and intolerance.
Bittersweet showcases Nevada Barr's powerful storytelling and strong, compassionate characters. Linda Stephens' heartfelt narration captures all the emotional depth of a story featuring life at its harshest, and at its most beautiful.
© Nevada Barr; (P)Recorded Books
"Barr has drawn on women's diaries from the Old West to bring detail to this unusual romance. The result is an intriguing story, sensitive and authentic-sounding, and far different from what is usually considered a Western novel." (The Miami Herald)
"The novel...is tender and gentle in its exploration of commitment between two women, especially in days when females were expected to live out their narrow lives doing exhausting work and obeying their husbands." (St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch)
"A solid, unabashed piece of writing that glows with authenticity." (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
The teacher who had so much to deal with in her life and lived it so true to herself
I loved the change they made when the farm hand died
this book is so heartwarming because these characters were able to overcome so much and I loved all the descriptions of the Stage Coach Stop. It held my total focus and it covered a vast array of characters.
Wife, mom of one amazing son, and I have the second best job in the world, working in a bookstore :)
unexpected, thought provoking, and heart warming
The first hint of mutual attraction between Imogene and Sarah
When they moved away.
I got teary eyed a few times.
It is hard to imagine the difficulties people went through before acceptance has become the norm.
A delightful surprise to find the story of two women and their loving relationship set in the wild west in the 1870's. Lots of twists and turns, unexpected directions, and had me completely engrossed from start to finish. Obviously the author had done her homework well - history records many such relationships after the Civil War, and she has brought the characters to life beautifully. Equally brought to life by Linda Stephens reading the book, warm and characterfilled. What a pity there arent more like this!
Simple and lovely love story. Harsh rugged life for two women who were willing to live a life removed generally from society so that they could be together. What they had to do to fool society so they could live that life. Violence in that one of the women was beaten by her husband. Lots of loss, especially regarding children.
I too thought that it was a bit drawn-out and that the characters could have been a bit more well-developed- particularly with regard to Imogene's past- and the relationship between the two women could have been more detailed, but I suppose that helps the book to appeal to the general public. One of this novel's strengths is that this ambiguity will help it appeal to a wider audience who would not normally be exposed to descriptions of the sort of true love described in the narrative. Large parts of the story are quite depressing, though!
This story is very entertaining to listen to, although I would of prefered more relationship development between Imogene and Sarah. Overall a highly recommened listen!
While I really have enjoyed the Anna Pigeon series, this book was not to my taste. I think this was much more autobiographical, and I'm not really interested in lesbian relationships. If you are, maybe this will appeal to you. But it was too long and the ending was much, much too abrupt. The characters are clear, but they don't develop and grow as do those of someone like PD James.
I listened to the whole thing, but I can't say I really enjoyed it.
This was pretty good...a female version of Brokeback Mountain I guess. Nevada Barr is an excellent author and I love her work, this is the only "ify" one in the 6 of hers I have listened to.
I enjoy the person who reads them.
"Bitter more than sweet"
The description of the world really sucks you in. The details of the world the characters inhabit become very real, with some truly excellent description. The feeling of women being of less value than a good horse, and are mere child bearing devises to be used and discarded as pleased by the ?men folk? is palpable.
Where the book fails however is in the description of the relationship of the two principles. You never really get to understand why they are so drawn to each other; other than they just are... it seems so much time is taken with the description of mundane items such as the daily chores that no time is left to actually get under the nails of the relationship the two women share.
The great thing about the mystery thrillers she writes are in those the stories are driven by the detail of the environment without focusing too much on the individuals ? here however the story should be about the individuals and less so on the environments
The book definitely dwells more on the bitter than the sweet and not one for people looking for an uplifting story
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