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Bittersweet Manor

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After a four-month estrangement from her family, thirty-two-year-old Emma Michaels visits The Harbor View Assisted Living Home to tell her grandmother, Gussie, that she has made a decision: she’s going to sell the family property—her inheritance. Sitting on the dock of Poquatuck Village, Connecticut, looking across the harbor to their family’s longtime home, the two women ...more
Paperback, 358 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by She Writes Press
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Jenni Ogden
Jun 30, 2015 Jenni Ogden rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A book for a holiday. Such an evocative setting, and who doesn’t enjoy a fantasy about being one of the well-heeled, even if we screw our noses up at the same time at the very idea. Why else does “The Great Gatsby” still fly off the shelves, and the box go on when “Downton Abbey” is playing? Emma, the protagonist, has to grapple with actually being one of these people whether she likes it or not, and her story and whether she will hold onto that family manor ie entwined with that of her ...more
Kelly Kittel
Jun 09, 2014 Kelly Kittel rated it it was amazing
Having spent my earliest years in Mystic, CT, I loved the nearby setting for this well-written book. I also loved the train-related snippets as I’ve taken that train and been captivated by the lovely coastal scenery it affords. For me, the idea of stepping off that train and walking home, up the lane to Bittersweet Manor, was a satisfying entrée into one of the main characters in this story, the house—The Honor, mail-ordered from Sears and arriving in 30,000 pieces. And no porch. "How ...more
Connie Mayo
Jul 12, 2015 Connie Mayo rated it really liked it
This book is written in the style of many books being written today - a current day story alternating with a historical one that progresses through time. (If it's good enough for Pulitzer winner All the Light We Cannot See, it should be good enough for any book!) In Bittersweet Manor, the current day story took a little while to grow on me, given that the central conflict has to do with the fate of the family house, and I didn't initially have enough background to have an emotional stake in ...more
Liz Foote treacy
Feb 04, 2015 Liz Foote treacy rated it it was amazing
I read about this book in my Emerson College alumni magazine. I was impressed by the nice flow of the book and that you really got to know the primary characters throughout their lives. There were some passages that were too long or perhaps too whimsical but overall, an enjoyable book. I grew up on the Connecticut shoreline so these characters were very, very familiar to me- often I found myself transported back to my own childhood and family through the descriptive prose. Initially, I thought ...more
Gwendolyn Plano
Apr 15, 2015 Gwendolyn Plano rated it it was amazing
This was a sobering book for me to read, because it took me into my own heart where threads of stories and faded images reside. Reaching across three generations, author Tory McCagg reveals the complexity of family dynamics – the secrets, the wounds, the spoken and unspoken realities. And, in exposing this precious entanglement, she opens the door to possibility.

I recommend this book to all who are ready for a journey. For if you are like me, you will be remembering a little differently. I flas
Michelle Cox
Oct 20, 2015 Michelle Cox rated it really liked it
Bittersweet Manor is an intriguing story revolving around a house in Poquatuck Village, Connecticut which has been passed down through the family from Gussie Michaels to her granddaughter, Emma. Emma struggles to find meaning and a sense of how and where she fits in, made all the harder by the decision she now faces about what to do with the big, rambling house. I loved the flashbacks in time and the way the novel progressed through the family's history. It was interesting to see why certain ...more
Denise rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2014
Dianne Bowler
Enjoyable - a friend of my family is the author
J.A. Wright
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Jun 05, 2014 Tory marked it as to-read  ·  (Review from the author)
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Tory McCagg earned a M.F.A. from Emerson College's writing program in 1989; her thesis and novel, Shards, won the Graduate Dean's Award. She is an accomplished flutist and divides her time between Rhode Island and New Hampshire, where she and her husband have an off-grid house with eight chickens and two cats. Bittersweet Manor, coming out on She Writes Press in May 2014, is her first book to be ...more
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