Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bitter Harvest: A Woman's Fury, a Mother's Sacrifice” as Want to Read:
Bitter Harvest: A Woman's Fury, a Mother's Sacrifice
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Bitter Harvest: A Woman's Fury, a Mother's Sacrifice

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  4,495 ratings  ·  170 reviews
On the night of October 23/24, 1995 in Prairie Village, Kansas, a fierce, wind-driven fire devastated the luxurious mansion of Dr. Debora Green and her husband, Dr. Michael Farrar. Trapped and burned to death in the flames were twelve-year-old Tim and his six-year-old sister Kelly. Lissa, ten, was barely able to leap to safety from the garage roof into the arms of her moth ...more
Audio CD, Abridged, 0 pages
Published January 31st 2005 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published 1997)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bitter Harvest, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Bitter Harvest

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Peggy Estrada
I read this book in the airport, on a layover in Jacksonville, Florida. If my flight would have been canceled again, I would not have cared or minded. More time to read!! Times just seems to fly when you're sucked into this book.
It's a really sad ending, why didn't people see danger coming? Where were the neighbors? The police? The teachers? The own father? Why didn't anyone do anything? Yet another example why if you see something wrong, you should do something...

One of Rule' s better works from when she had murder-to page-mojo. Fascinating and thorough in presenting the details without dumbing down the information. The arson investigation techniques were especially interesting. Presents the facts without sensationalism.
I am a huge Ann Rule fan. I love true crime books and she nails the story every time. This tale is fascinating in every way. Both parents are Dr's and the mother descends into an unimaginable madness. Chilling, devistating and a great read.
Rule is well-known for her true crime writing and justifiably so. Ever since Truman Capote popularized the form in In Cold Blood, true crime has become a popular genre.

This harrowing book tells the story of Dr. Debora Green, a very bright Kansas physician whose life unraveled into a nightmare of murder and virtual insanity. After her trial for the murder of two of her children and the attempted murder of her husband, Michael Farrar, psychiatrists attempted to answer why something like this could
Marus Jastrow
May 31, 2008 Marus Jastrow rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of true crime
You may have noticed that many of my books are about murder and crime. I am totally fascinated by human beings that have such anger or psychosis that they murder others. It is beyond my ability to understand. So I read about those who conduct these crimes in an attempt to somehow understand the behavior.

Ann Rule writes about true crimes and she does so in an insightful manner that helps the reader see how these crimes could have been committed. Bitter Harvest is about a female doctor, genius, mo
Reading this for book club. I don't care for how the information is coming across. It's reading as if it was an episodes of Forensics File or 48 hours or something. Granted, it's a true story but I wish it was written more with a traditional plot. Through the eyes of someone.

The book seems dated, I didn't care for the references just because Deborah had cut her hair short, wore unisex styled clothes and had a low sex drive that these would be cause for concern of either her marriage falling apa
Hot Cup O'Monkey
Mar 25, 2008 Hot Cup O'Monkey rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who like true crime and/or psychology
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is one of those ' truth stranger than fiction' stories. Debora Jones Green has an IQ of 165, but her emotional IQ is that of a child. Because of her extremely high IQ, she is successful academically and sips through medical school easily; however, in practice she has difficulty relating to her patients.
Debora Jones Green marries Mike Farrar in 1979. They met at the Truman Medical Vented in Kansas City when Michal was still in med school and Debora was a senior resident. They had three chil
This book was recommended to me and at first, it was hard for me to get into it. I was not familiar with the background story and did not realize at first that the way in which Ann Rule wrote the story included quotes from interviews and other documentation from the case. However, once I got into the story I couldn't stop reading it! When the book begins the reader knows that two of three Farrar children had died, and Debora (their mother) appears to be the main suspect. Debora, a brilliant phys ...more
Lynn Spencer
I'd heard good things about Ann Rule, but I have to admit that this one didn't impress me much. I had only vague knowledge of the Debora Green case at issue before I read the book, but one of the stronger points of the story was how the author managed to portray the shattering, heartbreaking quality of what happened. Two of Debora Green's three children perished in a fire in the 1990s, and Green was ultimately convicted of arson and murder.

The portrayal of Green's substance abuse and mental heal
♥ Marlene♥
I think this was one of Ann Rule's books that was translated in Dutch and I read just before I started to read English books because i wanted to read more books like this one.

What I only know is that it was very sad but very intriguing and that I loved it.
Kati Bowditch
I have had a love of Ann Rule's style of true crime writing for a while now. Bitter Harvest is the tale of Debora Green, a once doctor and mother who did the unthinkable and started a fire that left two of her own children dead. The story chronicles the marriage, decay of the relationship, the tug of war with children and affair that brought her to that point.

Ann's writing is as always, clear, quick paced, ever contentious and caring of the families involved, she manages to tell the story withou
Jody Shee
This Ann Rule true crime story was particularly interesting to me because the crime happened a few miles from where I lived. Debora Green continuously poisoned her husband (but he didn't die) and then she set her house on fire, killing 2 of her kids. It was huge news in Kansas City in 1995. Everyone followed the story with facination. It was an upscale neighborhood, and Debora Green was a doctor. How could a crime like that happen around here? Ann Rule was the perfect person to write the book, b ...more
P J Crawford
Missing the "rest of the story"

I like Ann Rule. I usually like her books. However, I did not find this one to be a satisfying read. It seemed to leave out a good bit of the most pertinent part of the story -- making it one-sided/unbalanced/incomplete. The facts of this case, like in most of Ann's true crime stories, are beyond sad and horrifying; But it also provides an opportunity for a riveting study of a brilliant mind gone bad-- begging the question WHY! However, this retelling of the case w
You know how some folks talk about what books they would want with them if they were shipwrecked on a desert Island? Well, nothing by Ann Rule would make my list-- not because they are bad-- but because they are so good at being what they are supposed to be-- well written, deeply detailed-- factual reporting on a true crime case-- and nobody does it better than Rule. So the reason I wouldn't want her books is the same reason I wouldn't want to have a copy of the newspaper accounts of Kennedy bei ...more
aPriL eVoLvEs
I can conceive of an otherwise normal family which may have a single family member who unreasonably twists reality into incredibly destructive fantasies, usually because of using a lot of alcohol or drugs (but not always), disrupts, argues and is a general drama queen day after day, which has the effect of controlling everyone around her through her unhappiness, rage, upset and nervousness. I CAN'T imagine that the other adult family members try very hard for years to accommodate and appease a ...more
This is the true crime story of Dr. Debora Green, who set fire to her home in Prairie Village, killing two of her three children. In the months leading up to the fire, Green had also been using castor beans to poison her husband, Dr. Michael Farrar, who was seeking a divorce. The book is a compellingly written account of an unthinkable tragedy perpetrated by a brilliant woman who, nonetheless, had deep emotional and psychological problems. It was all the more interesting to me because it happene ...more
Mirjam Penning
Bitter Harvest is the first book of Ann Rule I read. I 'met' Ann Rule in the library. It was love at first 'sight', from my side and in a book fan kind of way.

About the book
Deborah Green is an American emergency physician. Usually, people who work in the medical world have a need to save people. You couldn't tell in her private life. For her then husband she was a menace to live with. He starts an affair and wanted a divorce. She didn't take that well, at all. She made him sick, literally. And t
Shows how kooks can really be out there functioning in society - pretty scary stuff
Kay Usrey
The true story about a Dr. from Kansas City that tries to kill her husband.
Another interesting true crime portrayal of a wife who kills her husband.
this one was really good if you like this sort of thing...
Hard to get into--really sad, but true story.
There is no one better than Ann Rule when it comes to writing about true crime cases.

I had just had my first child the year that Deborah Green burned her house down and poisoned her husband. It happened right here in Kansas City, so it was a case I heard quite a bit about. When I heard about the fire, I immediately knew something was wrong because as a mother I would've died in a fire before leaving the house without my children. So, I wasn't surprised when the truth came out.

I had always wonder
Perry Whitford
On the night of the 23rd October 1995, qualified Doctor, sometime oncologist and mother of three Debora Green deliberately set fire to her luxury three-story house in Prairie Village, Kansas, then stood and watched unemotionally as two of her children were engulfed in the smoke and flames. This extraordinary arson was the final, tragic act of vengeance by a scorned wife on her estranged husband, a woman so consumed with hate and self-delusion that she could sacrifice the lives of her own childre ...more
First of all, if you don't drink coffee, or eat chicken salad sandwiches and spaghetti that tastes bitter, then, don't eat or drink them, and stick to it, or the consequences could be, and most likely will be, death..

.This is a story of a terribly dysfunctional family because of the pair of parents who eventually could not get along. The wrath of Dr. Debora Green, 1/2 of the dysfunctional couple, was a disturbed individual. The book is not completely clear on when, where,and how her dysfunctions
Mariah Stewart
I think this was a really good book. I love the how it was a true story and the intensity the author put in it. This book was about a mother of three children and how she attempts to kill all her children by burning her house and poison her husband while under the influence of alcohol. The main character in this story was the mother Debora Green. She was a mother of three and wife of one. She was a highly intelligent doctor who let an unhappy marriage end her in prison for the rest of her life. ...more
Fans of Ann Rule expect a great story when they open one of her books, and "Bitter Harvest" does not disappoint.

This is the story of Dr. Debora Green, a physician in Kansas, who seemingly descends into the depths of despair when her husband wants out of their marriage. At first, she attempts mariticide, serving her husband Mike a seemingly innocent chicken salad sandwich laced with the toxin Ricin. When her attempts to kill him ultimately end in failure, she is pushed further and further over th
Janis Gilbert
GIFTED WITH A BRILLIANT MIND, BLESSED WITH A BEAUTIFUL FAMILY -- AND CURSED WITH A DESTRUCTIVE MADNESS In this harrowing "New York Times" bestseller, Ann Rule is at her masterful best as she winnows horrific truths from the ashes of what seemed like paradise in Prairie Village, Kansas. Rule probes the case of Debora Green, a doctor and a loving mother who seemed to epitomize the dreams of the American heartland. A small-town girl with a genius IQ, she achieved an enviable life: her own medical p ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Before He Wakes: A True Story of Money, Marriage, Sex and Murder
  • Abandoned Prayers: The Incredible True Story of Murder, Obsession and Amish Secrets
  • Cruel Doubt
  • From Cradle to Grave: The Short Lives and Strange Deaths of Marybeth Tinning's Nine Children
  • She Wanted It All
  • Son
  • Murder In The Heartland
  • Till Death Us Do Part: A True Murder Mystery
  • Murder in Little Egypt
  • The Darkest Night: The Murder of Innocence in a Small Town
  • In Broad Daylight
  • A Death in White Bear Lake: The True Chronicle of an All-American Town
  • Murder In Brentwood
  • The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River Killer
Ann Rule is a popular American true crime writer. She came to prominence with her first book, The Stranger Beside Me, about the Ted Bundy murders.
At the time she started researching the book, the murders were still unsolved. In the course of time, it became clear that the killer was Bundy, her friend and her colleague as a trained volunteer on the suicide hotline at the Seattle, Washington Crisis
More about Ann Rule...
The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy The Shocking Inside Story Small Sacrifices: A True Story of Passion and Murder Green River, Running Red: The Real Story of the Green River Killer--America's Deadliest Serial Murderer If You Really Loved Me And Never Let Her Go: Thomas Capano: The Deadly Seducer

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »