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Archive BBR > Aug BBR: This Bitter Earth (Dosha & Anastasia)

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Anastasia Kinderman | 942 comments This is our thread! We will be reading This Bitter Earth


message 2: by Lee (new)

Lee | 708 comments A good one! Assuming "Sugar" was read first? lol


Anastasia Kinderman | 942 comments Lee wrote: "A good one! Assuming "Sugar" was read first? lol"

I've read Sugar.


Dosha (Bluestocking7) Beard (bluestocking7) | 3274 comments I read Sugar and was completely blown away. I am thrilled to be reading Sugar #2, aka This Bitter Earth. So far, it is just as good as book 1.


message 5: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (last edited Aug 04, 2016 06:25AM) (new)

kisha | 3909 comments Mod
I'm interested in seeing this discussion. I read both Sugar and This Bitter Earth and I'm a fan of Bernice McFadden. Sugar is by far one of my favorite books. I wasn't in love with this Bitter Earth but it still makes for a great discussion.


Dosha (Bluestocking7) Beard (bluestocking7) | 3274 comments I am only 33% through it, but wow! So far it is not as lighthearted as Sugar, so much more misery. It keeps me grounded in the fact that we, as Black people, come from strong and sturdy stock.


message 7: by Suzette (new)

Suzette Harrison I agree, Kisha, after SUGAR, This Bitter Earth left me hungry and less satisfied. SUGAR tops my all-time fav list, so I had great expectations. Still, I'm a die-hard Bernice McFadden fan.


Dosha (Bluestocking7) Beard (bluestocking7) | 3274 comments well, I'm more than halfway through and it is just as engaging as Sugar so far...I keep waiting for the part where it becomes less than Sugar, book 1, but I can happily say that has not happened yet. Sugar has shown me some personal growth, which I am proud of her for in regards to Mercy.


message 9: by Jane (new)

Jane Starting Sugar this week sorry a bit behind but it was this thread that got me to order it


Dosha (Bluestocking7) Beard (bluestocking7) | 3274 comments Jane wrote: "Starting Sugar this week sorry a bit behind but it was this thread that got me to order it"

I am so glad you are reading Sugar. What a book. I'm looking forward to your thoughts on it.


Anastasia Kinderman | 942 comments I am finished! It was a little hard to follow the story because it's been so long since I read Sugar. I found the ending mostly satisfying, what were your thoughts Dosha?


Dosha (Bluestocking7) Beard (bluestocking7) | 3274 comments My first thought is wow, you sure read fast! I enjoyed TBE as much as Sugar, if not more. Only a few weeks went by between books for me and book 2 did not disappoint. I found Sugar to be a more mature and caring person with the same strength and assuredness se always had.


Anastasia Kinderman | 942 comments Dosha (Bluestocking7) wrote: "My first thought is wow, you sure read fast! I enjoyed TBE as much as Sugar, if not more. Only a few weeks went by between books for me and book 2 did not disappoint. I found Sugar to be a more mat..."

I didn't want to keep you waiting too long haha. She strikes me as someone who has been through a lot but it has made them a better person overall.

I felt like the reveal of who her great-grandmother was was kind of just tossed in there and not really well-developed. What did you think? Did it contribute to the story at all?


Dosha (Bluestocking7) Beard (bluestocking7) | 3274 comments It had come up in Sugar. Shirley told Sugar FU#$ You not knowing she was talking to her granddaughter. It should have said great granddaughter. I remembered that and was looking for it to come up again. Not sure if I could have reacted the way Sugar did at the knowledge though. I think I would have made damned sure she knew exactly who I was. Shirley had a big secret in the first book, and Pearl knew it. btw, what about ole Pearl, huh?


Anastasia Kinderman | 942 comments Dosha (Bluestocking7) wrote: "It had come up in Sugar. Shirley told Sugar FU#$ You not knowing she was talking to her granddaughter. It should have said great granddaughter. I remembered that and was looking for it to come up a..."

Yeah it felt like it was introduced and then just dropped to me.

Pearl's character really surprised me. I almost wonder now, after having thought on it for a couple hours, was she dissociated? She seemed like a woman who feels very deeply and I know it hurt her to know her husband cheated. Do you think she coped with it by dissociating somewhat from reality?


Dosha (Bluestocking7) Beard (bluestocking7) | 3274 comments If Jude had been alive and well, there would have been a lot more trouble for Joe but I think Pearl fell apart and disassociated before Sugar arrived and never really recovered. Once the truth of Sugars parentage came out, it was easy for Pearl to remove herself from reality again and just go through the physical motions. Disassociate is a good description.


Anastasia Kinderman | 942 comments Dosha (Bluestocking7) wrote: "If Jude had been alive and well, there would have been a lot more trouble for Joe but I think Pearl fell apart and disassociated before Sugar arrived and never really recovered. Once the truth of S..."

She took the knowledge of her husband's infidelity and it finally coming out so well, from the description it seemed almost like she was in a dream state. I think it affected her more than it first appears in the book. She withdrew because the pain, on top of losing Jude, was just too much.

I wish at the end McFadden had shown Lappy begging for his life, I really wanted Joe to get the satisfaction of treating Lappy like he treated Jude. With no mercy.


Dosha (Bluestocking7) Beard (bluestocking7) | 3274 comments The end of the book had me on the edge of my seat. I was afraid Lappy was going to get away. Joe's family had been portrayed as basically peaceful people. It might have changed the vibes of their characters for her to detail their revenge. I liked just knowing he paid for his murders. The boy was crazy and mean. He died good. I enjoyed reading about his demise without gory detail

What did you think about Mercy? I would have beat her natural ass in Bigelow.


Anastasia Kinderman | 942 comments Dosha (Bluestocking7) wrote: "The end of the book had me on the edge of my seat. I was afraid Lappy was going to get away. Joe's family had been portrayed as basically peaceful people. It might have changed the vibes of their c..."

After everything he did to Jude I hope he suffered immensely. Maybe that's mean of me. I like to believe that there is a little good in everybody, however some people seem to take delight in ripping it out of themselves.

She was kind of a brat, imo. Sugar did so much for her and she was whiney and ungrateful and as soon as she could she was back into the mess she was saved from.
She was also not very smart. I mean.....taking drugs from someone you don't know? Who knows what's in it! I understand she was depressed over her grandmother but the reality is her grandmother was in that state because of Mercy's poor decisions.


Dosha (Bluestocking7) Beard (bluestocking7) | 3274 comments Mercy was a smart little girl, it is hard for me to believe she grew stupid. On the other hand, maybe the junk she injected into her arms did permanent damage to her brain.

I get the feeling Lumpy suffered. Suffered good. The whole family took their revenge. I'm also glad Shirley suffered.

Excellent writing. I'm looking forward to more books by her.


Dosha (Bluestocking7) Beard (bluestocking7) | 3274 comments I don't think it's mean to want him to get what he dished out. He came by it naturally through his blood. His dad wasn't much better. I think the author was showing us mental illness running in two separate families.


Anastasia Kinderman | 942 comments That's a good point about the mental illness!


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