I read Bitter, Sweet by Laura Best on February 1, 2010.
Here’s the thing, I’ll always support an artist I like as a person over one I couldn’t stand to know in real life. I’m that way with writers, musicians, actors and directors. One of the reasons I avoid the gossip rags? If I knew too much about the artist as a person in their everyday lives, and found out they abused animals or beat their girlfriends or hurt the people who love them, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy their work.
It’s happened before but I won’t name names…right now anyway. Muhahahaha.
When it comes to Laura Best, however, I’m pretty sure she’d be a person for whom my respect would increase if I had the opportunity to know her in the real world. She was one of the first visitors to my blog and right away I could tell she was good people. It wasn’t long before she won me over with her positivity and kind nature, but those are only a couple of reasons why I decided to buy her book.
Mainly, I bought Bitter, Sweet because the blurb on the back reminded me of the independent films that touch my heart and I enjoyed how Laura described things in her blog posts, i.e. I could tell she was a good storyteller. Plus, this was her first novel – she’s had numerous short stories published over the years – and I wanted to show my support.
A good story is a good story, no matter the genre, and that’s why I read: to let the writer sweep me off my feet, out of my reality and into theirs, where I connect with the story and can’t put it down. That was certainly the case with Bitter, Sweet.
It’s a tearjerker, and if it doesn’t get you riled up on a character’s behalf or tug at your heartstrings, I don’t know if too much could. What I enjoyed most was the bond between Pru and Mama, and all of Mama’s wise advice and observations. I guess this is classified as Young Adult Literature but I think it’s suitable and relevant for all ages.
Give this book a read if you enjoy character-driven stories centered around children forced to grow up too quickly, who must fight to protect themselves and their families, with a dash of magic and a hint of the supernatural.
Laura Best’s blog