I met Bernice McFadden at a reading and panel discussion a couple years ago. The brief conversation we had inspired my Master’s thesis. I’d already read both Sugar and This Bitter Earth by that time, so I was a little star-struck. But, a friendlier and more open woman you will not meet. So, thank you Ms. McFadden for being a source of inspiration and a reminder of the great things about working in this industry.
This review originally appeared on Goodreads.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’m not sure I have the words to adequately express the emotions and the tears this book dragged out of me. So vivid and so brutal. I wasn’t just reading Sugar’s loneliness, the despair, the hopelessness – I felt it. I was left feeling as empty as Pearl. At times I didn’t want to put it down, while not wanting to continue reading because I couldn’t face what I knew or suspected was to come.
Bernice McFadden has found a true fan in me. Her writing brings to life the tales that parents, grandparents, and great-grands never shared, found too difficult to speak of. The weary acceptance of being colored in the Pre-Civil Rights South. Of doing what you have to do just to make it another day.
What a compelling and thought-provoking story of true love, healing, real spirituality, the good and bad of small town life.
And that’s about as coherent as I can manage. Off to start This Bitter Earth.