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Publisher's Summary

Recipient of the Zora Neale Hurston Society Award and a national best-selling author, Bernice L. McFadden returns with her sequel to Sugar. Sugar Lacey comes back home to a past she hoped to forget. She must face many obstacles and deal with secret truths about her family. This Bitter Earth is a striking novel about strength and victory.

©2002 Bernice L. McFadden (P)2003 Recorded Books. LLC

What listeners say about This Bitter Earth

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

I thought the narrator did a wonderful job in telling the story. I enjoyed how she changed her voice to emphasized each character's reaction and emotion, it made the storyline very easy to follow. I love how the author picked right off where the previous story ( Sugar) ended and how the pieces, characters and secrets fell into place. This was a very enjoyable listen.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Kinda heavy

I purchased this audiobook from Audible.com to complete the Sugar Lacey series. I read and reviewed the first book "Sugar" for Mocha Girls Read book club last year. (Review)
The first book centered around Sugar Lacey and her unexpected arrival in the small sleepy town of Bigelow, Arkansas. Now Sugar is not liked by the other women in town. The men like that about her and the women can't stop talking about her and her "ways". Book one ends with Sugar leaving the town and the towns people to gossip and pick up the pieces of the devastation, hurt, and accusations she left behind.
Book two starts with Sugar making her way back to her childhood home of Short Junction and the women who helped raise her. Sugar has been through some over the top violence and pain both physical and emotion. I love that Sugar is a strong woman and regardless of her past has the fortitude to take care of someone else. I love that about her. Without giving anything away, Sugar and most of the characters from book 1 are developed a bit more and have interesting back stories that Bernice McFadden wrote completely whole. (Hope that makes sense). I liked that about this book. But the one thing I have to say that is not positive about this book would be the amount of violence done to the characters. It honestly felt like someone died every single chapter for the first ten chapters. Needless to say there is a heavy darkness that hangs over the whole book. This series starts with a violent act in book one and ends with one at the end of book two.
LORD! I felt like I needed to come up for air after reading the first ten chapters. It was just soo much.
I don't know if that makes it a good book, or Bernice McFadden is a bad or good writer. I don't know if that makes this a must read. But if you read book one, and you want to find out what happened to Sugar then pick it up. Just read a light-hearted book next so you won't slit your wrist.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

It was just as good as the first book, Sugar.

I don't mean to sound cliché, but "what goes around comes around" and " you reap what u sow. Lappy Clayton got just what he deserved. Even though it took long enough to get it. He caused souch turmoil in lots of families. I'm glad it was the Tuckers who got him. They really needed the release and to be able to let go of some things and stress to have their family back as one. This town was meant for sugar this is where she was supposed to be. It took ten years, but she came back. In that time she grew up and the town now gives her respect and speak like she is a human being. Life just has a way for bringing you back to square one when you don't even know what's your next step. I feel like their should be a third book of Mercy and JJ.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow, Wow, wooow

Such a great story and follow-up sequel to Sugar. I was completely satisfied. It was gripping and had me hanging onto every word and the edge of my seat.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Must Read

I really felt the narrator brought each character to life in the way the author intended. Both Sugar and This Bitter Earth are beautiful written and captured me as a reader/listener. You won't be disappointed!!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Until Black lives truly matter

A heartbreaking reminder of the struggle of Black women to hold up the sky while nurturing the secrets and pain that hold ourselves, and the Black family together. Very little has changed in America since the setting of this work. The struggle continues to assure ourselves, and the world that Black lives, every one of them, matters.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Simply Amazing

I love how everything came full circle. With JJ and everyone else. The only thing I wished I had more of is the story of JJ.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

The story was way too graphic. The book was filled with sadness and killing. This is not what I expected at all for the second book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Well done

The reader did an amazing job on both books! The storyline was deep and intricate. Worth the time and money. Thanks!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Everything I hoped for

When I finished Sugar, I felt like I’d said goodbye to friends. When I found out (thanks, Ms. McFadden!) that This Bitter Earth was the sequel, I snatched it up and started listening right away.

These characters are so real and so sympathetically drawn that I wish I could knock on Joe and Pearl’s door and share a piece of her sweet potato pie while we catch up on how everybody’s doing — Sugar, Mercy, JJ, Seth (and Gloria and Jewel too), and maybe even Shirley Brown.

In family we find all the best, and sometimes all the worst, of this life. Sugar and This Bitter Earth showcase those themes. I’m so glad I discovered these stories and am looking forward to reading more of Ms. McFadden’s work.

Ms. Taylor does a fantastic job, narrating both books.

Highly recommend!