Sunday, June 23, 2024

BITTER AND SWEET by Rhonda McKnight, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

A wonderfully complex story about motherhood and the effect of growing up without a birth mother. For sisters Sabrina and Mariah, other family members step up to be there for them. They are both resilient, strong women who often clash with each other but learn from letters left by their great great grandmother, Tabitha, another strong woman.

The story brings to light the difficulties of African Americans in the south in 1915. It is heartwarming to see family pull together, to learn to forgive and support each other through all that life throws at them or what they get themselves into. *The devil likes to use shame. He uses it because it works, but not when you resist him.* Wise and strong grandmother Gail: *Everything we struggle through has a purpose. Good and bad and the bitter and sweet.* 

A worthy offering from a very talented author who writes with honesty and sensitivity and shows that faith and grace matter. So glad I read this book and hope to read more.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley. All opinions are mine alone.*5 stars and a strong faith thread

BackCover Blurb:
From the beloved author of
The Thing About Home comes a dual timeline tale of family, grief, secrets, and the sweet redemption that lies within the bonds of sisterhood.

-The Present-

When summoned to Georgetown, South Carolina, sisters Mariah Clark and Sabrina Holland both assume their ailing grandfather's health has gotten worse. Neither expects their grandmother's undeniable request--save the family restaurant.

Mariah is at a crossroad in her life. After being dumped by her husband and forced to walk away from their diner that she helped rescue from bankruptcy, bitter feelings consume her. Even though the restaurant has been in the family for eighty-six years, giving her all to another struggling business isn't something she wants to do.

Living out of her van and striving for a fresh start, Sabrina yearns for stability for herself and her daughter and a chance to turn her baking hustle into a bona-fide business. The family restaurant may be just the blessing she needs--but as old tensions and angry disagreements resurface, Sabrina wonders if her sister will let her have a say.

-The Past-

After falling victim to a love she thought would last a lifetime, Tabitha Cooper finds herself away from home and struggling to survive in Charleston in the early twentieth century. She is determined to turn corn into cornbread and to take care of her children the best way she knows how--by serving food that's good for the soul--and along the way forges a path that leaves a legacy of success for generations to come.

Through letters that reveal Tabitha's complicated past, the sisters discover truths that just might be the right recipe to mend their hearts--if they can find a way to savor the blessing of today and leave the bitter aftertaste of old memories behind them.

Thomas Nelson, June, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback and audiobook:
Buy BITTER AND SWEET at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House

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