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Bitter Sweet by LaVyrle Spencer
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Bitter Sweet

by LaVyrle Spencer

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I read this book 25 years ago and remember nothing about it. I don't even remember why I kept it. I really only keep my keepers and I'm starting to get rid of books that I used to keep to have complete backlists of my favorite authors. But now i'm ready to get rid of this one. I liked a few of the authors other books so maybe that's why I kept this one. She is a good writer. ( )
  phyllis2779 | Dec 26, 2015 |
Could be a Soap Opera

I came across this book in some items I 'inherited' and decided to read it, not really know what to expect. I guess I expected a romance, and I guess it is...but not the typical, you know what's gonna happen romance. Not even the typical you know how it oughta end romance. The book was long..almost 500 pages. And like a typical soap opera, every time you think it could be resolved a new twist comes along. I'm not complaining...that is why we watch soap operas...right?

We pick up the story with Maggie, a widow in grief therapy. Maggie's husband was killed in a plane crash and the result is she has all the money she will ever need. She also has a daughter about to leave for college. Her therapist recommends getting in touch with old friends, and boy, does she ever. She ends up moving back to her home town, where her HS sweetie now lives with his wife and troubled marriage. He wants kids...she doesn't. He wants a small town life...she wants a cosmopolitan area. He wants a domestic woman...she wants a jet-setting career. Oh, and she is specatacularly beautiful; she doesn't like his family and they don't like her. The truth is, this marriage probably should have ended a decade ago, as they seem to have nothing in common.

Along comes Maggie, and though they seem to have good intentions in honoring his marriage vows...of course it doesn't work out as they plan. On one level, the whole story is about Maggie and Eric resuming their relationship. But at another level, it is about coping with change, and forgiveness. And a wise old woman...Eric's mom, Anna.

A couple of things about the story bothered me, and if you don't want to know....stop reading now. I don't want to spoil this for you if you plan to read the book.



Ok...first, though I do agree that Maggie, and any adult, has a right to do what is necessary to move on with life, I did think it was a bit selfish of her to pick up and move across the country 2 months after her daughter left for her freshman year of college. Not that she didn't have that right, because she did, but...she was ripping her daughter's life apart and didn't even acknowledge that. Yes, she moved back to HER home town where she spent her HS years, and it was comforting to HER, but in return she uprooted her daughter from HER hometown and HS friends...AND she didn't even get to say goodbye to them. She left for college assuming she'd be home at Christmas and probably hanging out with old friends next summer, not even SUSPECTING she'd be moving. I thought Maggie should have discussed it with her before she put the house on the market, and maybe offered to fly her out to see her friends, or even keep the house for a year, since she IS a millionaire now.
The second thing is that there were a lot of unanswered questions about Eric's wife, Nancy. The implication was that she'd had several one night stands while traveling for business, but that was dropped. The baby she aborted could have been the result of one of these, but we didn't get told about that. Neither did Eric. He was left feeling guilty because he cheated, and never even realized she did first. Also, we know that Eric and Maggie reunited and presumably lived happily ever after, but we aren't really told what became of Nancy. Did she return to Chicago? Did she find a partner who was enthusiastic about sharing her lifestyle and dreams. Nancy wasn't really a bad person...just scared. Once she was forced to acknowledge that Eric wasn't the right partner, perhaps she was also freed to find a man who was, but we don't know. ( )
  Time2Read2 | Mar 31, 2013 |
I loved this book. It was a great story and made me cry in parts.

Back Cover Blurb:
Maggie - shattered by the loss of her husband, she struggled each day to put her grief behind her. To be there for her teenaged daughter. And to face life again. When she returned to her Wisconsin hometown, she never expected to feel a spark of longing - for her old high school sweetheart, Eric.
His marriage to a driven career woman had left him childless and unhappy - he knew there had to be more to life than always wanting what you couldn't have. Seeing Maggie again filled him with hope . Maybe the answer to his dreams had just come to town.....
Their memory of young love blossomed into an affair that would shake both their lives - and would challenge everything they believed about loving each other. ( )
  mazda502001 | Dec 13, 2009 |
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Book description
How do you teach a heart to love again?

Maggie Pearson. Shattered by the loss of her husband, she struggled each day to put her grief behind her. To be there for her teenaged daughter. And to face life again. When she returned to her Wisconsin hometown, she never expected to feel a spark of longing-for her old high school sweetheart ...

Eric Severson. His marriage to a driven career woman had left him childless and unhappy-he knew there had to be more to life than always wanting what you couldn't have. Seeing Maggie again filled him with hope. Maybe the answer to his dreams had just come to town....

Their memory of young love blossomed into an affair that would shake both their lives-and would challenge everything; they believed about loving each other. Could they follow a dream from the past? Or had they missed the chance of a lifetime?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 051510521X, Mass Market Paperback)

A touching novel about first loves and second chances from the author who "knows how to tug at readers' heartstrings" (Publishers Weekly).

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:23 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In this poignant bestseller, high school sweethearts get a second chance after twenty-three years apart.

» see all 2 descriptions

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