Award-winning author Nevada Barr reveals another side to her remarkable storytelling prowess with this heart-wrenching yet tender tale of two women whose boundless devotion to each other is continually challenged in nineteenth century America.
The main plot of Bittersweet is the struggles of two very diffe...more
I sort of went through phases of really liking the characters, and then not liking them quite so much.
I'm a big fan of Nevada Barr's Anna Pigeon mysteries, so I was predisposed to enjoy any of her writing, especially when it's a bargain Kindle deal. This is very much a different story, written long before her mysteries, in a different sty...more
Have you ever wondered how lesbians and gay men got by in prev...more
The back copy of Nevada Barr’s Bittersweet promised me a truthful, accurate portrayal of two women living together in the 1800s West. Imogene, a spinster teacher, is forced from her job in the East when her secret affair with a female student is revealed. She ends up in small Pennsylvania farming town, where she starts a friendship with Sarah Mary. However, malicious gossip eventually finds her again, and Imogene and Sarah are chased ou...more
Still, it wasn't the happiest of novels either. It was very much like Jane Eyre, and other books from that era. There's an older guiding character and a young innocent here they just happen to both be women.
It was Barr's first novel and in places you can tell that. The end kinda drops off a cliff, the reader is chugging along and...more
This story is mostly about Sarah in...more
I can’t say I enjoyed this novel, exactly. Although I don’t regret reading it either. But I do feel as if I've been put through the ringer a bit.
Mystery writer Nevada Barr’s foray into historical fiction is so convincing in its depiction of the hardships of the Old West, I could practically feel my skin leathering in the relentless desert sun and taste the dust rising off the stagecoach trail. It tells the story of Imogene Grelznik, a "spinster" schoolteacher forced by a scandal [involving...more
Ms Barr's word choice is superb. Her descriptions of the locale, the scenery, the v...more
This book is not about Anna. It is about two women in the late 1800's who want to have a gay relationship. To say the society at that time didn't approve of such relationships, is like saying a hurricane is just a passing breeze. The book follows their lives as they move from town to town, trying to find a place the...more
The other main character is a woman so weak that I expected her to either kill herself, die of illness or declare, "This is too hard, I'll just marry some man."
The day to day hardships of life are detailed, so much so th...more
I was thoroughly invested in these characters. What I mean, I wanted to know what was going to happen and I wanted good things to happen to them.
This book took place right after the Civil War, out on the Nevada Territory and when Nevada became a state. It was a hard country and two women made it, in an amazing way. It was a beautifully written love story. I really loved Mac, the hard working cowboy. He was just such a true cha...more
Bittersweet shows life in this time with all its hardships, prejudices, and unfairnesses, especially against women. A woman was submissive to her husband, no oth...more
The story of Imogene and Sarah was heartbreaking and sweet - "bittersweet" is a great description of it. It disturbs me how women were treated in those days and how hard they had to work for such little respect.
Barr was named after the state of her birth. She grew up in Johnstonville, California. She finished college at the University of California, Irvine. Originally, Barr started to pursue a career in...more