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Bitter Harvest: A Womans Fury A Mothers Sacrifice

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,100 Ratings  ·  196 Reviews
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 epitomiz
ebook, 352 pages
Published February 15th 2000 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Marus Jastrow
May 31, 2008 Marus Jastrow rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Peggy Estrada
Sep 08, 2008 Peggy Estrada rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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...

Nov 14, 2008 Eric_W rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Heather Fineisen
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.
Sep 16, 2007 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Connie (Ava Catherine)
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
Kati Bowditch
Aug 01, 2011 Kati Bowditch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 29, 2014 Ashley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 liked it  ·  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.
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
Mar 27, 2013 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jody Shee
Nov 04, 2013 Jody Shee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Emily Lomaka
When I logged in to mark this book as "Read", I did not plan on writing a review. However, I was more than a little surprised by the number of high ratings and ended up feeling compelled to provide a different perspective.

There is no doubt the event itself is a gut-wrenching story. Yet, Rule's recounting of it felt heavily-biased, with most of it being told from the viewpoint of people who had the benefit of time to cultivate their own narrative (skewing positive light in their direction when po
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
Oct 15, 2014 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 does feral sometimes
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
Jan 03, 2015 Keely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 12, 2014 Mirjam Penning rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
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
I first heard about this case on an episode of Deadly Women.
I decided to read up on it because the episode made it seem as though when Debra`s daughter Lissa's jumped out of the window Debra didn't catch her & she fell to her death. It's true Debra didn't catch her on purpose but she didn't fall to her death. She survived but her big brother Tim and her little sister Kelly died in the fire that Debra set. While reading about Debra`s character the only woman I kept picturing in my head that r
Oct 26, 2015 Strange rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terribly written. Rule is supposed to be a professional writer yet she sounds like a catty preteen. And she goes in with her mind made up and uses her own confirmation bias to support her case.

There is inappropriate use of hyperbole, lots of assumptions not supported by the evidence, speaking in absolutes about things that are clearly opinions and not facts, constant use of bad metaphors...etc. She attempts to place herself in the case and writes like she was there. She wasn't. There is a horrib
Jan 02, 2008 Abbey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shows how kooks can really be out there functioning in society - pretty scary stuff
Kay Usrey
Jan 22, 2008 Kay Usrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The true story about a Dr. from Kansas City that tries to kill her husband.
Oct 26, 2007 Elyssa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: truecrime
Another interesting true crime portrayal of a wife who kills her husband.
Feb 15, 2008 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this one was really good if you like this sort of thing...
Hard to get into--really sad, but true story.
Jun 23, 2007 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another nutso!
Aug 28, 2012 Dionne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
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
Jun 10, 2013 Floy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Ann Rule was a popular American true crime writer. Raised in a law enforcement and criminal justice system environment, she grew up wanting to work in law enforcement herself. She was a former Seattle Policewoman and was well educated in psychology and criminology.

She came to prominence with her first book, The Stranger Beside Me, about the Ted Bundy murders. At the time she started researching th
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