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Bittersweet | [Nevada Barr]

Bittersweet

Best-selling author Nevada Barr delights contemporary mystery fans with novels like Deep South and Blood Lure. In Bittersweet, she departs the mystery genre for a touching story of hardship, perseverance, and love in the old West.
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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Nevada Barr delights contemporary mystery fans with novels like Deep South and Blood Lure. In Bittersweet, she departs the mystery genre for a touching story of hardship, perseverance, and love in the old West.

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (234 )
5 star
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3.8 (79 )
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4.0 (80 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    M. McGuire Oregon 03-20-06
    M. McGuire Oregon 03-20-06 Listener Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    24
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    Overall
    "Good, but not what I expected"

    Overall I liked the content of the book. I REALLY wish the relationship between the two women was more detailed. I am a lesbian and found
    myself always hoping more passion would be revealed, but thought the time period may be partly responsible. It is fairly depressing, but hey, life back then wasn't a peach! :) I definitely recommend it and hope Audible adds more to their gay/lesbian list.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louella Blankenship 10-06-07 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Perfect Title for a Lovely Book"

    As with all of Nevada Barr's work, she creates a world that one wants to live in for as long as possible. I've been a fan or her Anna Pigeon series for a long time and approached this book with a little trepidation, knowing that the format and style would be completely different. My concern was unwarranted. This is one of the loveliest books I've ever read. Indeed, there is discomfort and unpleasantness, but her characters are so believeable that you push through the pain to find redemption. These characters will live in my memory for a long time.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy Phenix City, AL, USA 11-15-07
    Cindy Phenix City, AL, USA 11-15-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "bittersweet"

    I started this audiobook while on vacation in Panama City. At first I thought it was a little slow and then as I settled in and gave it a chance........well, it has been a remarkable read.
    First of all this is set in a time of human unrest and the way people think is interesting.
    I thoroughly enjoyed this 'read'. I know you laugh when I say 'read', but honestly as I sit and listen to these audio books I get much more out of them by listening than I ever did from actually "reading: them.
    I liked the book and I will probably give this author another chance also.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natasha Austin, TX, USA 05-07-06
    Natasha Austin, TX, USA 05-07-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Interesting but slow"

    I really enjoy Nevada Barr's books, and enjoy historical fiction. I thought it was interesting to see how these women dealt with the pressures of the time, but felt it was a bit long. It felt very autobiographical, in that there was a lot of details about different periods of their lives and you were led from one event to another, not sure when it was going to end. Although it was slow, I thought it was worth it to get an original story that showed with compassion the lives of two individuals who had to make hard choices to survive in a time not remotely accomodating for gays and lesbians.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nan Memphis, TN, United States 12-16-05
    Nan Memphis, TN, United States 12-16-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
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    Overall
    "Wonderful"

    This is a wonderful book, opens eyes to what life must have been like for a large group of people in history. It is sad to me that Audible seems to have chosen this one book to represent Lesbian Fiction. Hope it sells well so that Audible will open up to more.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Doniphan, MO, United States 12-08-11
    Janet Doniphan, MO, United States 12-08-11 Member Since 2011

    metoopaso

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Performance
    Story
    "Truely a Bittersweet story all the way through"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Bittersweet to be better than the print version?

    I did not read the book I only listened.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Bittersweet?

    Hard for me to find just one , but at the end with the doctor has stuck with me maybe because it was the end.


    What does Linda Stephens bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I felt like I was there.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I have not been able to get this book out of my mind it haunts me at times and my sorrow far outweighs any laughter. This book is a true representation of the old


    Any additional comments?

    I guess I am just surprised at how many mixed emotions I had throughout this book. I have read all of Nevada Barr's books and wasn't prepared for such a slew of emotions her Anna Pigeon books are light reads. Not this one..........

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Grey McCawley Sydney Australia 03-08-11
    Leslie Grey McCawley Sydney Australia 03-08-11 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "19th c Women's history - painful, worthwhile read"

    I admire Nevada Barr for her courage in writing a novel like this, but do wonder who the intended audience was. I would think that it is not graphic, passionate or erotic enough to appeal to lesbians, and is probably cringe-inducing for many (if not most) straight women. The historical context is very interesting and disturbing: the lack of basic legal rights for women, the medical ignorance, and the sheer prejudice against lone women much less lesbians. I found it harrowing and hard going, and had to space it out over months, as I got too upset. The ending was oddly abrupt but I was still relieved it was finally over! The narration was good. I prefer the author???s usual genre over this work but am glad I listened to it as it has piqued my interest in women???s history in the settling of the American West.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry L. Wright Flower Mound, TX United States 10-13-04
    Sherry L. Wright Flower Mound, TX United States 10-13-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    147
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    Overall
    "I'm sad....I miss them...."

    I was absolutely enthralled by this book and loved the characters - I miss them and just finished the book. I understand a lot of the information was actually taken from women's diaries of this time period - it makes me sad to realize how women have been treated throughout history. I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants a good story and a peak into history. I gave it only 4 stars because I did feel it was a little drawn out at times - droned on and on in some areas that there was no need - and some of the facts were a little off. Other than that I highly recommend - ENJOY!

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dandylion Adelaide, Australia 02-03-13
    Dandylion Adelaide, Australia 02-03-13 Member Since 2011

    rambunctiously soft spoken.

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    "Perfect Balance"

    A fellow reviewer had said that bitter sweet was a perfect title for this story and they where spot on .
    This is a book of constant contrasts ,I find myself still thinking about the people that inhabited the pages wondering what there doing now, they touched me on a deep level not only in a touching way but also in a traumatic way ,this is seamlessly well made and very well told every detail is laid out unashamed and un flinching ,something I found confuting and joyful mostly in the same sentence. This is a harsh tale set in a harsh land ,and at times I found it hard to hear ,If your after a fluffy romance ,skip this if your after a realistic poetic and raw experience this is for you .( have the tissues on hand).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    06-16-07
    06-16-07 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great book"

    I could not take off my ear phonne

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 28 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • Paul
    5/13/08
    Overall
    "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

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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