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323 Reviews
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT
This is a moving book, a story of a young man born into slavery. When the Civil War comes along and slaves are free, technically, the lords of the manors still feel they have the right to discipline any person of color who gets out of line. Their word for such behavior is uppity.
The story opens with this young man running from the KKK as his parents and two younger...
Published 18 months ago by Vickie Woodard

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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promise of Things to Come
First and foremost, this guy can spin a yarn. On the surface it would appear to be just a straight ahead revenge tale but the author throws in some plot twists that I'm sure you won't see coming. That said, there are major issues which could have been fixed with a good proof read and some minor editing that distract me time and time again. Even so, I still really...
Published on September 22, 2012 by Christopher S. Doyle


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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promise of Things to Come, September 22, 2012
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This review is from: A Strange and Bitter Fruit (Kindle Edition)
First and foremost, this guy can spin a yarn. On the surface it would appear to be just a straight ahead revenge tale but the author throws in some plot twists that I'm sure you won't see coming. That said, there are major issues which could have been fixed with a good proof read and some minor editing that distract me time and time again. Even so, I still really enjoyed the story and can't wait until Mr. Davis gets his feet under him and really settles into his style. Technique can be learned but he's got something I don't think can be taught - he's a storyteller.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT, June 11, 2013
By 
Vickie Woodard (HOPKINSVILLE, KY, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Strange and Bitter Fruit (Kindle Edition)
This is a moving book, a story of a young man born into slavery. When the Civil War comes along and slaves are free, technically, the lords of the manors still feel they have the right to discipline any person of color who gets out of line. Their word for such behavior is uppity.
The story opens with this young man running from the KKK as his parents and two younger sisters are lynched. The title comes from a song comparing swinging, swollen bodies to strange fruit, but I only know that cause I'm pushing 60. We aren't told why the family 'deserved' this treatment for most of the book.
The boy escapes, gets into a minor skirmish that isn't his fault and escapes again. He seems to be an accomplished soldier on the frontier, but you can't escape racism. Strangely enough, our former slave seems to be one of the few people interested in making peace with indigenous people. The worst Lt. at the fort would rather kill every person of color he sees, even if they're wearing the same uniform as he is.
A bloodbath ensues. It gives him a head start on the revenge he had always planned to take on the klansmen who tied the nooses.
But now they know he's coming; he has to hide for a little while. While hiding, he falls in love. And she doesn't believe in revenge.
There's much more to the story than this. And you can tell I haven't explained all of it. There are more tears before there's any joy, but there's plenty of both before this story is told.
I only have one objection to this book. While Tee was on the frontier the author said counting coup was killing a man. No, Mr. Davis, it isn't.
Counting coup is considered the ultimate act of bravery. A warrior would touch his enemy. That's all. Usually the warrior would use a coup stick, more slender than even a drumstick. Touch your enemy and leave. Turn your back on an armed man and walk away. Do you see why counting coup requires more bravery than killing a man?
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely excellent, March 10, 2013
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This review is from: A Strange and Bitter Fruit (Kindle Edition)
Someone please tell me that there plans on making a movie out of this book. The first pages had me hooked. I was very against ebooks at first. Now I can't put this kindle down. I search everyday for something to read. This book was a great find.

I routed for the main character the whole way. But in the end God will work it out. Don't want to ruin it for you. It is a great book.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, March 26, 2013
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This review is from: A Strange and Bitter Fruit (Kindle Edition)
Omg. I love historical fiction, and this book did not disappoint. The storyline was great. The characters so real. I felt like I was right there with them. This author has the ability to make you feel each and everyone of the characters. Keep up the great writing. I will definitely find more books written by this wonderful author.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good plot, flawed execution, August 14, 2013
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This review is from: A Strange and Bitter Fruit (Kindle Edition)
This is a powerful, but flawed, historical novel. I am a retired American history teacher, and I have studied the period of Reconstruction. The plot of "Strange and Bitter Fruit" grabbed me from the first page. Though generally true to this period, there were some historical errors. For example, the author has "renegade" Indians in Dakota Territory speaking Cherokee, not a dialect of the Lakota languages. He also has electric wires over the streets of Philadelpuia in 1883. This is 5 to 10 years too early. The main problems I found were the many spelling errors, and a failure to do basic editing. At one point, I seriously considered stopping reading of this book. I am glad I continued, for the endinfg was powerful. Thomas "Tee" Powell was a very strong character who had to deal with a devastating moral dilemma. This book is worth reading.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great and Thrilling, February 11, 2013
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This review is from: A Strange and Bitter Fruit (Kindle Edition)
The author keep you at the edge of your seat the entire book. His writing style was extremely engaging, and allowed you to actually visualize the characters and what was happening to them. I have already downloaded another one of his books.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Strange And Bitter Fruit by Barry C. Davis, April 2, 2013
This review is from: A Strange and Bitter Fruit (Kindle Edition)
This book was very very good! So many things that happened in the book happened in real life. The promising of rewards but receiving death instead. A must read for everyone.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite offensive, but not for the reasons you think. Also an illustration why forgiveness is needed., March 29, 2014
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This review is from: A Strange and Bitter Fruit (Kindle Edition)
The ‘n’ word is used quite extensively. Lots of other bad words are in the book. A few naughty bedroom scenes, none of which involve people who are otherwise married to each other. But that isn’t what gives offense from this story set in reconstruction and post-reconstruction America.

What really offends is a time and place when the sheriff and some of his sidekicks can lynch a man, apparently because he was getting people registered to vote. While he was on a horse with the rope around his neck, he watched his wife get lynched. Moments before that, they both watched three of their children swing from the rope. Next day, all the black folks in the area were marched out to see the bodies, then asked who else wanted to vote.

What’s offensive is a time and place when it’s okay that one of the people who orchestrated the above event could rape a slave, ship her to a far off plantation to give birth to the resulting child, place the child to be raised in a white family when mild complexion and red hair appear, watch over the adult as his son, and the key people in the county (but not the son) know all about it.

A white soldier who hates blacks so much that he beats, shoots, and kills soldiers in the U.S. Army merely because they are black. Now that’s offensive.

A national detective agency that will kill as many black people as you want, if you pay an adequate fee. Kidnapping the target’s children is no extra charge, since they are on the kill list. That’s offensive.

The author labels killing off alpha males and females in the post-reconstruction era as terrorism. Sort of hard to disagree with that assessment based on my other reading of the times.

In terms of the overall theme of vengeance or forgiveness, I’ve come to realize that one more reason Jesus commands us to forgive those who offend us is that the lack of forgiveness will hurt us. For our health we need to forgive others.

Tee pays a terrible price for carrying his desire for vengeance so long. So many other innocents pay as well. His rage and destructive vengeance outlives him. Payback will continue for another generation.

The book is a wonderful tale, with lots of things to learn and think about. It highlights the urgent need that at some point we need to forgive others. Do we forget? No. Do we ignore injustice? No. But at some point we must forgive, for our safety, for our health, and for the health of those around us. Even if that involves forgiving those who killed our loved ones.
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Read, May 24, 2013
This review is from: A Strange and Bitter Fruit (Kindle Edition)
First, I found the scene of Tee' s family hanging from a tree very shocking. This is the beginning Tee' s bitterness. I kept hoping he would be redeemed, but his son became one Tee' s victims. There are some great lessons in this story. Sure missing is forgiveness. On the negative, I think the story is a bit overdone on the killing and brains being spattered all over. I would recommend this as an insightful read on black history during the Reconstruction period in America.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, June 19, 2013
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This review is from: A Strange and Bitter Fruit (Kindle Edition)
An enjoyable book. Some hard truths about the way people treat each other. Could use some minor edits including a pet peeve of mine, the misuse of the word vagina. Can definitely see this as a film.
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A Strange and Bitter Fruit
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