Bestselling 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.
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"I have always liked Nevada Barr's Anna Pigeon books, and I supposed I would like this one. I was surprised to find it was not in that series, but gave it a whirl anyway. I'm glad I did. Just because you are not in a certain culture doesn't mean you can't understand that the people of that culture have human feelings just like you do, and Nevada paints a beautiful picture of this relationship. I found myself wishing it was a series of books, and that the characters went on and on.... But they didn't, and maybe that was the point--to help us to see and feel the humanity and beauty of love in it's many forms. How would you feel if your husband, daughter, wife, brother, were treated badly just because they were gray-haired, black, Chinese, or riding a motorcycle? No attention to whether they were good or bad, just of a different group. This is a powerful book and a well-written book, and deserves to be read. I don't know what kind of press it has gotten, but it deserves a ticker-tape parade. I heartily recommend this book to anyone willing to open their eyes."
Carolynn (5 out of 5 stars)