Bitter in the Mouth

Bitter in the Mouth

A Novel

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
4
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From Monique Truong, the bestselling and award-winning author of The Book of Salt , comes a brilliant, mesmerizing, beautifully written novel about a young woman's search for identity and family, as she uncovers the secrets of her past and of history.
 
Growing up in the small town of Boiling Springs, North Carolina, in the 70's and 80's, Linda believes that she is profoundly different from everyone else, including the members of her own family. "What I know about you, little girl, would break you in two" are the cruel, mysterious last words that Linda's grandmother ever says to her.

Now in her thirties, Linda looks back at her past when she navigated her way through life with the help of her great-uncle Harper, who loves her and loves to dance, and her best friend Kelly, with whom Linda exchanges almost daily letters. The truth about my family was that we disappointed one another. When I heard the word "disappoint," I tasted toast, slightly burnt.

For as long as she can remember, Linda has experienced a secret sense--she can "taste" words, which have the power to disrupt, dismay, or delight. She falls for names and what they evoke: Canned peaches. Dill. Orange sherbet. Parsnip (to her great regret). But with crushes comes awareness. As with all bodies, Linda's is a mystery to her, in this and in other ways. Even as Linda makes her way north to Yale and New York City, she still does not know the truth about her past.
 
Then, when a personal tragedy compels Linda to return to Boiling Springs, she gets to know a mother she never knew and uncovers a startling story of a life, a family. Revelation is when God tells us the truth. Confession is when we tell it to him.

This astonishing novel questions many assumptions--about what it means to be a family and to be a friend, to be foreign and to be familiar, to be connected and to be disconnected--from others and from the past, our bodies, our histories, and ourselves.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781400069088
Characteristics: 282 p. ; 25 cm.

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Jane60201 Aug 01, 2014

Not as good as her earlier works.

z
Zzoe
May 25, 2012

I must admit I could not get all the way through this book.

I thought her "flavours" associated with spoken words was interesting, but made the story-telling disjointed in parts and wasn't sure it led anywhere. I also didn't like how the author bounced around all the over the place in terms of the timeline.

I can't say I regretted not finishing it.

s
sathor
Feb 22, 2012

Half way through the book you could have blown me over with a feather, a surprise twist in the story that explains the odd characteristics between best friends.

DRucinski Mar 22, 2011

There was no excess in this tightly written novel. The relationships were rich, honest and believable and left me wanting to know more.

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