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Drinking from a Bitter Cup [Kindle Edition]

Angela Jackson-Brown
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.49
 
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Book Description

“1978. The year I turned ten and the year my mama killed herself. She was thirty-five, and dying is the last thing that should have been on her mind.”

After the death of her mother, Sylvia Butler’s father, a man she knows only from an old photo, takes her from Louisville, Kentucky to Ozark, Alabama to live with his family. But his wife resents everything about this intruder, from her out-of-wedlock conception to her dark skin and nappy hair.

When the wife’s younger brother Charles returns from Vietnam, Sylvia thinks she has found a friend and confidante, only to be hurt again, but this time, in a manner she never could have imagined.

Set under the backdrop of the Deep South in the 70s and 80s, this coming of age story of redemption and grace follows Sylvia in her journey from awkward girl to confident young woman, at last standing on her own.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"I was utterly haunted by the protagonist of Angela Jackson-Brown's beautiful debut novel, Drinking from a Bitter Cup. If ever a character has reason to be bitter or jaded, ten-year-old Sylvia Butler is it, but instead she will level you with her strength, her courage, and her tenacious grip on hope." --Katrina Kittle, The Kindness of Strangers

"In Drinking from a Bitter Cup, the challenges and revelations of Sylvia Butler's life become her inheritance...delivered in Angela Jackson-Brown's evocative prose, textured with beauty and weight." --Ravi Howard, Like Trees, Walking

"Riveting throughout, with a harrowing climax, Drinking from a Bitter Cup is a deeply moving, voice-rich novel about the ways in which we find resilience even in the most traumatic situations. An impressive debut indeed." --K.L. Cook, Love Songs for the Quarantined and Last Call

"Superbly crafted. . . .A necessary read for all." --Adriena Dame, The Moo: Stories and a Novella

"There are many lessons to be found in this powerful book, perhaps none as profound as the one our heroine learns over the course of her journey: that the ultimate form of love is survival, which she does with dignity and grace. This story of heartache, longing, loss, and faith is a wonderful novel, one whose voices will remain in your head long after you read the final lines." --Rachel Harper, Brass Ankle Blues: A Novel

About the Author

Angela Jackson-Brown is an English Professor at Ball State University in Muncie, IN. She graduated from Troy University in Troy, AL (B.S. in Business Administration); Auburn University in Auburn, AL (M.A. in English); and Spalding University in Louisville, KY (MFA in Creative Writing). Her work has appeared in literary journals, such as: Pet Milk, Uptown Mosaic Magazine, New Southerner Literary Magazine, The Louisville Review, Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal, Blue Lake Review, and 94 Creations. Her short story, Something in the Wash was awarded the 2009 fiction prize by New Southerner Literary Magazine and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in Fiction. Her play, Wade in the Water, was professionally read at The University of Louisville in the summer of 2012. She is the mother of two sons, Justin and Michael, and the wife to Robert L. Brown.

Product Details

  • File Size: 808 KB
  • Print Length: 211 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: WiDo Publishing (December 17, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HE60SJG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #493,169 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ms. Jackson-Brown's debut novel, Drinking From a Bitter Cup, pulled me in with the first sentences: "1978. The year I turned ten and the year my mama killed herself." And, as only happens with the best books, I couldn't stop reading and yet I didn't want the novel to end. The characters are complex and unforgettable, the story hauntingly told from the first person point-of-view of Sylvia Butler, beginning at the age of 10, filled with yearning, kindness, and reverence.
Before her mother, Rose, kills herself, she tells Sylvia, "Don't love anybody too much. Keep just a little back," advice she doesn't understand at the time, but learns the full meaning of only too soon.
Drinking From a Bitter Cup is full of heartbreak and hope, told with a compelling voice. There are so many memorable moments, such as one of my favorites, where Sylvia's father speaks of her mother Rose's singing voice: "She could cut you open with one note and sew you up with another." The same could be said of Ms. Jackson-Brown and her powerful novel.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Drinking from As bitter cup January 20, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Liked everything about this book until it veered off into sexual abuse. Thought it was very reminiscent of a Toni Morrison book. Character development was very good.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing!! January 2, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The main character in this novel is a young girl desperately in need of a family. The death of her mother leaves her alone, in the care of her biological father whom she has never met. Although the father welcomes Sylvia into his home, the new stepmother sees her as proof of infidelity and cannot accept her emotionally. The complex emotions of the characters are well written, rich and believable. Kudos to Ms. Jackson-Brown, I eagerly await your next novel.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book and really became engulfed in the life of Syl. The story will take you up and down with emotions in hopes of a better life and survival for Syl. I enjoyed the resilience of her character and the presence of good people always there to help when things turned bad. I'm ready for the next book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars compelling character, nuanced narrative December 20, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just wait until you meet 15 year old Sylvia Butler, the courageous, resourceful, gritty heroine of this beautifully wrought debut novel. A character-driven story rendered with compassion and grace, this novel will remind you why you love to read. Young Sylvia is in need of a family. Along the way, she discovers the steely core inside herself, despite the obstacles life pelts her with. Though the story comes to us through Sylvia’s adolescent and childhood eyes, this is an adult novel, a clear-eyed portrayal of the human condition in all its glory and depravity. Jackson-Brown compels her reader to look beneath the surface, subtly leading the way to empathy and perhaps redemption. Sylvia is a survivor. Her quest for family may be thwarted by human foibles, but her soul is not corrupted. This girl reminds me to seek the God-spark that is in every human heart.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart wrenching January 28, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book held me from the first page I couldn't put it down. It's not happy ever after and it will make you cry.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Growing up isn't easy January 28, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story of Sylvia grabs you from the first paragraph. It is happy, sad, makes you angry and gives you good feelings. I read it in a day and a half and look forward to reading more by Ms. Jackson-Brown.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
No matter where you live or what you are going through the great thing to remember is that you are not alone. For Sylvia Butler, the main character in Angela Jackson-Brown's DRINKING FROM A BITTER CUP, we are able to see that even in the face of unspeakable horror there are slivers of goodness that can keep up inspired and motivated.

Sylvia goes through things that many of us can not even imagine, but when her world is seemingly lost she is able to find some happiness---even if it seems to come at a cost. Written in a way that alows you to not just take her journey along with her but understand her choices, this book is really about what you have to lean on when it seems that everything around you is gone.

Angela is a remarkable storyteller, and this book is sure to not just keep you turning the pages but enjoying the journey as well.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it! The book was easy to read and ...
I loved it! The book was easy to read and very well written. The characters were relevant to the many issues family's face today.
Published 2 months ago by LuvAAfiction
5.0 out of 5 stars Southern Scenes
Drinking From A Bitter Cup is such a breathtaking read. Jackson-Brown drew me in immediately and held my attention until the last page. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Stacy Lawrence-Campbell
4.0 out of 5 stars Drinking from a Bitter Cup
Excellent book. Heartbreaking and heartfelt I can't wait for another book by this author. Well done!
A must read for all.
Published 2 months ago by janet colbert
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Product as described - Fast Shipping - Very Satisfied!!!
Published 2 months ago by Diamond
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent!
This story of a young girl's painful journey to adulthood is powerfully told, honest and wrenching, but also beautifully poetic.
Published 3 months ago by Robert M Gray Jr
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
one of the best books I have ever read!
Published 4 months ago by L. Mandeville
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality at its best
Five stars is not enough:)I was so moved by this story that I actually cried and said to myself how silly I was being.You see,I could totally relate to what she had to endure. Read more
Published 4 months ago by freda
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read couldn't put it down.
Published 5 months ago by leah fullerson
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully haunting book that I absolutely could not put down
Angela Jackson-Brown's debut novel is a winner on so many levels. A wonderfully haunting book that I absolutely could not put down! Read more
Published 5 months ago by T. Gemmill
5.0 out of 5 stars Drinking from a Bitter Cup - Good to the last drop...
This was one of the best books I have ever read. I felt like I knew the main character - Sylvie Brown. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Angela Jackson-Brown was born in Montgomery, Alabama and grew up in Ariton, Alabama. She is an English Professor at Ball State University in Muncie, IN. She graduated from Troy University in Troy, AL (B.S. in Business Administration); Auburn University in Auburn, AL (M.A. in English); and Spalding University in Louisville, KY (MFA in Creative Writing).

Her work has appeared in literary journals, such as: Pet Milk, Uptown Mosaic Magazine, New Southerner Literary Magazine, The Louisville Review, Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal, Blue Lake Review, Identify Theory, Toe Good Poetry, and 94 Creations. Her short story, "Something in the Wash" was awarded the 2009 fiction prize by New Southerner Literary Magazine and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in Fiction. Her debut novel, Drinking from a Bitter Cup will be published by WiDo Publishing January 7, 2014.

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