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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Review: This Bitter Earth

This Bitter Earth
Author: Bernice L. McFadden
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Recorded Books
Release Date: June 18, 2010
Audiobook: 8 hours 26 minutes
Narrator: Myra Lucretia Taylor 
Source: Purchased from

Book Description

In This Bitter Earth, Sugar Lacey is on her way out of Bigelow, Arkansas, where she’d come to break with the past. With her worn leopard-print suitcase and her head held high, she walks past the prying eyes of its small-minded, cruel-hearted townsfolk, praying for the strength to keep going. She doesn’t stop until she arrives at her childhood home in Short Junction.  Here she learns the truth about her parentage: a terrible tale of unrequited love, of one man’s enduring hatred, and of the black magic that has cursed generations of Lacey women.  A powerfully realized novel that brings back the unforgettable characters from Sugar, McFadden’s bestselling debut, This Bitter Earth is a testament to the ultimate triumph of the human spirit.


I purchased this audiobook from 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.  

Reviews by Other Bloggers


I recommend this book to adults only due to the amount of violence, language and sexual content.


This book is number 13 in my Audiobook Reading Challenge
This book is number 6 in my Diversity on the Shelf Reading Challenge
2nd book in a Series

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