Drinking from a Bitter Cup Paperback – January 7, 2014
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"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
- Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
- Paperback : 298 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1937178420
- ISBN-13 : 978-1937178420
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.62 x 7.99 inches
- Publisher : WiDo Publishing (January 7, 2014)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,579,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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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.
Sylvia has endured so much in her young life. Her mother's mental health issues and eventual suicide. Moving to live with a father she didn't know and all she encountered there. She endured so much sadness and brutality in her short life but she rose above it all.
The author has done a terrific job of telling this gripping tale; one that draws you in and I it were possible, reach into the pages and strangle some of the characters. I would have loved to know what happened beyond where this book ended. I hope there will be a follow up book.
And two ARRGH errors: ..."what happened between Drew and I..." and "what happened between Uncle Charles and I..."
One confusing sentence: "...because Cousin Jean and I found one in her brother, Henry's room."
One sentence reminded me of my own childhood: "She did all the mothering things but without any hint of being a mother.
I instantly fell in love with Sylvia, and I wanted to reach into the pages of the book and bring her home with me. Her sweetness, strength and resilience in the face of soul-crushing devastation, which no child should ever have to go through, was heart-breaking but inspiring.
Ms. Jackson-Brown did a wonderful job developing the story with a great cast of supporting characters, none of which, ever hit a wrong note.
Endearing, uplifting, sad, hopeful, scary, infuriating, suspenseful, horrifying, heart-breaking, and ultimately, satisfying is the journey Ms. Jackson-Brown took me on with Drinking from a Bitter Cup. I enjoyed every minute of it.
My only gripe is with the cover of this book. I understand the meaning, but I don't think it conveys any connection to Sylvia and her gripping tale.
Beyond that complaint, this is a story well-worth your reading time