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Any Bitter Thing by Monica Wood
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Any Bitter Thing (2005)

by Monica Wood

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started out not psyched about this book at all. but it had some good twisty turny stuff at the end. couldn't put it down. solid B chick lit. ( )
  pixiegenne | Nov 11, 2016 |
I really loved this. Wood writes about people I want to know more about---they are appealing characters and the intertwining of the events that occur to and with them are just so well done! ( )
  nyiper | Aug 20, 2016 |
Both my parents read this, then passed it on to me. Interesting story about a woman who was raised by her uncle, a priest, and how unorthodox that was, especially in their small town. She was taken away from him when she was nine, and never learned the truth about what happened back then. After fighting with her husband, she leaves the house and is hit by a car. While healing in the hospital, she's determined to find out the truth about both men she's loved. There are a lot of great twists in this book, and none are hokey or exaggerated. Very well-done. ( )
  howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
I have long delayed reading this book because of what I thought to be the subject matter - child sexual abuse. And yes, that is the underlying subject matter but not in the way I thought. The book is beautifully written. Monica Wood has a poet's ear for metaphor and phrasing. She also writes believable, fully realized characters; but as a cover-blurb says, she is a master of "...the forgotten, undersold virtue of good sound plotting..." I was very impressed by the way she introduced different elements of the story, almost as though she was choreographing a dance, or composing a piece of music.

The story is haunting, and there are no heroes in it -- just flawed humans trying to cope with the events of their lives. It's a perfect demonstration of how a major event in one life can affect the lives of whole families and communities.

In an interview in the back of the edition I read, Monica's sister asks if Monica thinks the book is about abandonment. Monica counters that yes, that is one element but there are many more. To me some of the elements were abandonment, loss, hope, love, religion as balm and brutality, and honesty/dishonesty.

It is at its base a great story that moves along at a good speed through many surprising twists and turns. A very good read, and very thought-provoking.
( )
  Kali.Lightfoot | Jan 10, 2014 |
This book was very surprising. I thought that I knew what was going to happen, how the book would end, but I was surpirsed. Simple descriptions caught me, surprised me with the strangeness and perfection of the images conjured. Read this book! ( )
  mlake | Oct 8, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
The full soul tramples upon the honeycomb,

but the hungry soul, any bitter thing tastes sweet.

--Proverbs 27:7
Dedication
in loving memory of Father Bob
First words
Despite its abrupt arrival, my accident felt anticipated after the fact, like a long-delayed package arriving as a thwup on the doorstep.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345477685, Paperback)

After surviving a near-fatal accident, thirty-year-old Lizzy Mitchell faces a long road to recovery. She remembers little about the days she spent in and out of consciousness, save for one thing: She saw her beloved deceased uncle, Father Mike, the man who raised her in the rectory of his Maine church until she was nine, at which time she was abruptly sent away to boarding school. Was Father Mike an angel, a messenger from the beyond, or something more corporeal? Though her troubled marriage and her broken body need tending, Lizzy knows she must uncover the details of her accident–and delve deep into events of twenty years before, when whispers and accusations forced a good man to give up the only family he had. With deft insight into the snares of the human heart, Monica Wood has written an intimate and emotionally expansive novel full of understanding and hope.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:26 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A near-fatal accident in the dark of night -- 30-year-old Lizzy is struck in a hit-and-run -- sets in motion a story of love, loss and sacrifice.

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