Bitter in the Mouth

Bitter in the Mouth PDF/EPUB ´ Bitter in ePUB Ù



10 thoughts on “Bitter in the Mouth

  1. jo jo says:

    this book is simply fantastic i consider it nothing short of a masterpiece as i was reading it i kept thinking, how did she do it but she did it the story is nothing one can summarize and make the book sound as enticing as it is what makes this book worth reading in spades is the absolute genius, the delightful brilliance of its composition which composition reveals itself slowly after the first few chapters the only thing that kept me reading was the loveliness of the language about hal this book is simply fantastic i consider it nothing short of a masterpiece as i was reading it i kept thinking, how did she do it but she did it the story is nothing one can summarize and make the book sound as enticing as it is what makes this book worth reading in spades is the absolute genius, the delightful brilliance of its composition which composition reveals itself slowly after the first few chapters the only thing that kept me reading was the loveliness of the language about half way through it took me that long i realized that truong was writing with magic boxes in one box you find a little bit of story, and it s nothing really special but that s okay you notice that it is only a fragment of story but don t really mind often stories are bits of stories writers leave a full explanation a full narrative out you re used to it and then the bits of stories become a bit too many, like say one or two too many, and you think, ugh but you are reading a beautifully written novel and figure, well, it s that kind of novel, the author is into the slightly frustrating practice of dropping little threads, not seeing them through maybe it s good this way maybe it s a technique and just at this point, just when you are happy to live with all the question marks in your head, truong hits you straight at the center of your heart with a revelation but you weren t expecting it you weren t expecting anything you barely noticed that there were all these unexplained things because they weren t REALLY unexplained it was mostly like life, little things here and there you don t get, like when someone writes on facebook i m going to spend the weekend with my brother and you wonder, do i know she has a brother has she ever talked about a brother but don t ask, cuz you figure maybe it s you or none of your business or maybe you ask, and a riches of narratives is poured into your lap so, in this book, once you are explained the first thing, once the first revelation hits you straight at the center of your heart, you need to go back in your head and revisit the entire narrative in the light of this awesome explanation, then you know to expectin truth, i really didn t i thought some of the things had just passed me by even having been SHOWN that eventually all the mysteries little life mysteries, not big whodunnits would be explained, i STILL thought, maybe we ll never be told about this one well, we are told about all of them even the ones we didn t really notice we didn t understand until truong explained them to us and this is how the book ends, with the explanation you spent the entire book thinking to yourself you were never going to get not expecting it at all this is how magic this book is it keeps you wondering, uncertain, off balance, all the way through like life i wish i could writebut i ve noticed that i am reluctant to read long reviews and i imagine other people are too, so i ll just add this thing truong could have written this story straight, beginning to end, and it would have been another story of growing up in the south but she chose to tell it like this, with magic boxes that spring open at the least expected moments, and the story is magnificent, amazing it will stay with me forever and the talent of this writer, the talent of this writer is etched in my heart


  2. Elizabeth Elizabeth says:

    This is a book that is easy to fall into The setting, characters have a familiar lilt to it, reminiscent of Southern classics like To Kill A Mockingbird The main character s synesthesia allows for some interestingly poetic interpretations of classic scenes boy meets girl scenes, especially Others have mentioned that the book is a little self conscious I think it started outcharming and engaging than self conscious, but toward the middle some of the Southern story characterizations, This is a book that is easy to fall into The setting, characters have a familiar lilt to it, reminiscent of Southern classics like To Kill A Mockingbird The main character s synesthesia allows for some interestingly poetic interpretations of classic scenes boy meets girl scenes, especially Others have mentioned that the book is a little self conscious I think it started outcharming and engaging than self conscious, but toward the middle some of the Southern story characterizations, tropes, plot started to become a littleobvious and tiresome The sense of imaginative ness and quirkiness kind of dissolved as the plot moved along The main character grew into one of those all black wearing loner intellectual types I m still into reading it though I like what she s attempting to do the big reveal, which was spoiled for me in some of the reviews interviews I listened to , and her writing is easy on the ears.Just finished I felt like the story was going through the motions in the second half Everything seemed too on the nose and pat toward the end I really wanted to like this book, because there are lots of smart and observant moments in the book Maybe the smart and observant qualities would have beenfitting in an essay, not necessarily in a family drama Maybe there was just too much there in the service of making a point.I think the appeal of this book is similar to that of a genre novel You sort of have to enjoy inhabiting the world of this book family drama dysfunction and its conventions how it goes about detailing the South, resolving or coming to terms with family drama dysfunction to be able to forgive some of the predictable moves the writer makes.But it was worth reading The intentions behind the book were original I think Just sometimes not the execution, which seemed a little clinical at times you can almost see the cliff notes that might go along with the story.I actually loved the distractions in the book The historical vignettes especially, about Virginia Dare, the Wright Brothers, George Moses Horton The writer s voice shines in these asides but kind of irritatingly gets ruined, because you realize it sometimes serves to bring home certain points the author wants to make a little too obviously


  3. Susan (aka Just My Op) Susan (aka Just My Op) says:

    This lovely book is literary Southern Lit with a bit of a twist Linda is a child who can taste certain spoken words, is sometimes bombarded with tastes Her mother is distant Her acerbic grandmother, on her death bed, tells Linda, What I know about you, little girl, would break you in two Her father loves her But most of all, she has her great uncle, Baby Harper I love this character, my favorite in the entire book He was Linda s soft place to land, the person who knew and accepted her j This lovely book is literary Southern Lit with a bit of a twist Linda is a child who can taste certain spoken words, is sometimes bombarded with tastes Her mother is distant Her acerbic grandmother, on her death bed, tells Linda, What I know about you, little girl, would break you in two Her father loves her But most of all, she has her great uncle, Baby Harper I love this character, my favorite in the entire book He was Linda s soft place to land, the person who knew and accepted her just as she was And she accepted him, even as she learned his secrets Friendship, family, betrayal, love, and too many secrets they are all here Action not so much Throughout, there are hints of what is to come, but the story unravels slowly And interspersed are bits and pieces, snippets of stories about people who lived long before Linda.The book was sometimes hard to read when Linda was experiencing too many flavors because the word she heard and the word she tasted were merged into one bigger word, with the flavor in italics Linda s own name was Linda mint Too many strung together were a challenge to read, but the effect was perhaps intentional, showing how hard it was for the character to concentrate on the words when the flavors got in the way Although this word tasting had a valid place in the story, it sometimes felt just a little like a gimmick Still, I very much enjoyed this soft, lyrical story Thank you to jcwlib for giving me her copy of this book


  4. Nan Nan says:

    The protagonist of this novel is a young woman who experiences tastes when she hears words The story is of her adolesence and early adulthood I found this book to be rather gimmick y and annoying Tangents about Viginia Dare, the Wright brothers, and a poet who was a slave kept popping up Asaavy reader probably could make sense of this, but I kept thinking Again with Virginia Dare And, frankly, as an Ohioan, I m always annoyed by North Carolinians claiming the Wright brothers Dayton The protagonist of this novel is a young woman who experiences tastes when she hears words The story is of her adolesence and early adulthood I found this book to be rather gimmick y and annoying Tangents about Viginia Dare, the Wright brothers, and a poet who was a slave kept popping up Asaavy reader probably could make sense of this, but I kept thinking Again with Virginia Dare And, frankly, as an Ohioan, I m always annoyed by North Carolinians claiming the Wright brothers Dayton, Ohio, baby The revelations about her family oh, he is gay seemed contrived I raced through it just to know why her grandmother, on her deathbed, said what I know about you could break you in two Great line, but the the story didn t live up to it


  5. Judy Judy says:

    I was completely enchanted by Monique Truong s first novel, The Book of Salt Of course, it was set in Paris, with a fictional Vietnamese immigrant who served as cook to Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas So tasty.Bitter in the Mouth is set in the American south, but as I know from William Faulkner, the south can be another country to a northerner like me In that area of the United States they have their own customs, including a finely honed talent for not noticing the most obvious matters when I was completely enchanted by Monique Truong s first novel, The Book of Salt Of course, it was set in Paris, with a fictional Vietnamese immigrant who served as cook to Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas So tasty.Bitter in the Mouth is set in the American south, but as I know from William Faulkner, the south can be another country to a northerner like me In that area of the United States they have their own customs, including a finely honed talent for not noticing the most obvious matters when they don t fit the customs Women who marry but don t have children, anyone who drinks too much, homosexuality, any other race than white, women who break the mold, are just a few of those matters of which one may not speak, except by way of gossip, alluding, or backstabbing remarks.Linda grows up knowing she was adopted, knowing that her adopted mother does not love her, depending on her father and uncle for love, closeness and any happiness there is to be found She is a character for a reader to admire highly intelligent, a reader herself, in a love hate relationship with words She and her best friend Kelly have written letters to each other since grade school, even when they lived just a few houses apart But Linda has auditory gustatory synethesia, a secret sense that causes her to taste words, sometimes a blessing, often a curse.Much happens in such a medium length novel The writing made me feel respected and intelligent as a reader I love that approbation from a novelist The coming of age, the long slow process of learning about herself, the stratagems Linda adopts in order to survive, are all presented from Linda s viewpoint and revealed to the reader only as she gains understanding about her life and the people in it.Monique Truong says she used To Kill A Mockingbird and Truman Capote s Other Voices, Other Rooms as inspiration as she wrote Bitter in the Mouth I m glad I didn t know this before I read the book, but knowing it afterwards explains why I felt so much familiarity with her characters.The end of the book, where Linda makes her peace with life, was a bit too melodramatic for me a little too spelled out in terms of what she, and therefore the reader, realized I would have preferred a fewrough edges remaining But getting to that point surely made a satisfying and moving story


  6. Vy Vy says:

    I really enjoyed the middle of this book I liked almost all the characters, and I was drawn in to the story I carried this book with me, hoping for a few moments here or there to learn what would happen next I was actually disappointed when I found no line at all on my errand to the post office because I was sure I d be able to get a fewpages in while waiting The beginning was a bit slow, and it took some time to get used to the author s habit of coming back to the same people and event I really enjoyed the middle of this book I liked almost all the characters, and I was drawn in to the story I carried this book with me, hoping for a few moments here or there to learn what would happen next I was actually disappointed when I found no line at all on my errand to the post office because I was sure I d be able to get a fewpages in while waiting The beginning was a bit slow, and it took some time to get used to the author s habit of coming back to the same people and events multiple times Soon, though, I began to like this rhythm Every time she revisited an event, there was a drop or two of additional information that created a ripple in my understanding of the characters involved I think that s what kept me so engaged The pace at the end, though, felt all wrong Suddenly, instead of a trickle of information, we were deluged with a flood, and the last few chapters seemed so rushed That took away from my enjoyment of the book, but I still love it enough to recommend it


  7. Amy Bradley Amy Bradley says:

    On the cover is a beatiful magnolia and the book is set in North Carolina which are two positives for me Boy was I disappointed The main character s grandmother says some memorable words on her death bed that leads the main character on a search for who she is She has synaesthesia so she tastes words I don t really know what this added to the story other than it made it hard to read Linda mint, you cannedgreenbeans may have for Triscuitgotten this, but you cannedgreenbeans had gone off to Yale On the cover is a beatiful magnolia and the book is set in North Carolina which are two positives for me Boy was I disappointed The main character s grandmother says some memorable words on her death bed that leads the main character on a search for who she is She has synaesthesia so she tastes words I don t really know what this added to the story other than it made it hard to read Linda mint, you cannedgreenbeans may have for Triscuitgotten this, but you cannedgreenbeans had gone off to Yale avocado She did have a homosexual cross dressing uncle who was a mortician She dearly loved him and they spent many hours together I would pass on reading this book


  8. Lorraine Lorraine says:

    What if words had taste I bet we d be kinder to our kinLinda, the protagonist, suffers from synethesia which converts words into flavours It is a neurological disorders and has no known cure.Ultimately, though, the novel becomes a moving investigation of invented families and small town subterfuge, a search for self heightened by the legacy of Vietnam and the flavors of language Binding everything together is a new Southerner s deeply American recognition that we all need a story of whe What if words had taste I bet we d be kinder to our kinLinda, the protagonist, suffers from synethesia which converts words into flavours It is a neurological disorders and has no known cure.Ultimately, though, the novel becomes a moving investigation of invented families and small town subterfuge, a search for self heightened by the legacy of Vietnam and the flavors of language Binding everything together is a new Southerner s deeply American recognition that we all need a story of where we came from and how we got here Otherwise, how could we ever put down our tender roots and stay If you liked To Kill A Mockingbird , you ll enjoy this book as well Well written and the story really unfolds 3 4 into the book


  9. Christie Christie says:

    Wow I highly recommend this one It s a multi sensory experience and an important look at life in the South.


  10. Jill Jill says:

    It s been a long time since I ve been introduced to a character as original as Linda a woman who suffers from auditory gustatory synesthesia Or, in simpler terms, she has the rare ability to taste words as a result of a neurological condition that caused the involuntary mixing of the senses Monique Truong represents her condition by marrying tastes with words for example, I thought youcannedgreenbeans knewpeanut butter Or Lindamint Stopcannedcorn it While the narrative can become It s been a long time since I ve been introduced to a character as original as Linda a woman who suffers from auditory gustatory synesthesia Or, in simpler terms, she has the rare ability to taste words as a result of a neurological condition that caused the involuntary mixing of the senses Monique Truong represents her condition by marrying tastes with words for example, I thought youcannedgreenbeans knewpeanut butter Or Lindamint Stopcannedcorn it While the narrative can become a little cloying with this consistent device, it does serve to show the reader how estranged Linda is from her family and indeed, just about everyone else in her life.Except for her colorful great uncle, Baby Harper Baby Harper harbors his own secrets he, too, is not in sync with their rural North Carolina hometown and he has a particularly strong bond with his grand niece, whom he accepts wholeheartedly.There are several twists and turns in this sometimes elegiac book, and I would not want to provide unnecessary spoilers The book is well worth reading for many reasons the first is that it provides the only in depth look of synesthesia I recall in my many years of reading For example, Linda says, I sometimes would crave a word For me, there was, and still is, an appreciable distinction between hearing the word said and saying it for myself, though both would produce the same incomings It was the difference between being served a good meal and having to cook one for myself Another reason Bitter In The Mouth is a wonderful examination of loneliness and yearning for love, as in this differentiation between the missing and the void The void was the person, place or thing that was never there in the first place The missing existed but was no longer present One was theoretical loss The other was actual Which was worse Both the missing and the void are explored in their various manifestations At times, the intrusions of North Carolina history halt the forward progression of the novel And the ending is a little too wrapped up Yet it is still a fascinating look at the experience of being an outsider within a dysfunctional family an acerbic and infantilizing grandmother, a respectable father, a distant mother in the honeyed south


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bitter in the Mouth ➮ [Read] ➪ Bitter in the Mouth By Monique Truong ➺ – Polishdarling.co.uk From Monique Truong, the bestselling and award winning author of The Book of Salt, comes a brilliant, mesmerizing, beautifully written novel about a young woman s search for identity and family, as sh From Monique Truong, the bestselling and award winning author of The Book of Salt, comes a brilliant, mesmerizing, beautifully written novel about a young woman s search for identity and family, as she uncovers the secrets of her past and of historyGrowing up in the small town of Boiling Springs, North Carolina, in thes ands, Linda believes that she is profoundly different from everyone else, including the members of her own family What I know about you, little girl, would break you in two are the cruel, mysterious last words that Linda s Bitter in ePUB Ù grandmother ever says to herNow in her thirties, Linda looks back at her past when she navigated her way through life with the help of her great uncle Harper, who loves her and loves to dance, and her best friend Kelly, with whom Linda exchanges almost daily letters The truth about my family was that we disappointed one another When I heard the word disappoint, I tasted toast, slightly burntFor as long as she can remember, Linda has experienced a secret sense she can taste words, which have the power to disrupt, dismay, or delight She falls for names and what they evoke Canned peaches Dill Orange sherbet Parsnip to her great regret But with crushes comes awareness As with all bodies, Linda s is a mystery to her, in this and in other ways Even as Linda makes her way north to Yale and New York City, she still does not know the truth about her pastThen, when a personal tragedy compels Linda to return to Boiling Springs, she gets to know a mother she never knew and uncovers a startling story of a life, a family Revelation is when God tells us the truth Confession is when we tell it to himThis astonishing novel questions many assumptions about what it means to be a family and to be a friend, to be foreign and to be familiar, to be connected and to be disconnected from others and from the past, our bodies, our histories, and ourselves.


10 thoughts on “Bitter in the Mouth

  1. jo jo says:

    this book is simply fantastic i consider it nothing short of a masterpiece as i was reading it i kept thinking, how did she do it but she did it the story is nothing one can summarize and make the book sound as enticing as it is what makes this book worth reading in spades is the absolute genius, the delightful brilliance of its composition which composition reveals itself slowly after the first few chapters the only thing that kept me reading was the loveliness of the language about hal this book is simply fantastic i consider it nothing short of a masterpiece as i was reading it i kept thinking, how did she do it but she did it the story is nothing one can summarize and make the book sound as enticing as it is what makes this book worth reading in spades is the absolute genius, the delightful brilliance of its composition which composition reveals itself slowly after the first few chapters the only thing that kept me reading was the loveliness of the language about half way through it took me that long i realized that truong was writing with magic boxes in one box you find a little bit of story, and it s nothing really special but that s okay you notice that it is only a fragment of story but don t really mind often stories are bits of stories writers leave a full explanation a full narrative out you re used to it and then the bits of stories become a bit too many, like say one or two too many, and you think, ugh but you are reading a beautifully written novel and figure, well, it s that kind of novel, the author is into the slightly frustrating practice of dropping little threads, not seeing them through maybe it s good this way maybe it s a technique and just at this point, just when you are happy to live with all the question marks in your head, truong hits you straight at the center of your heart with a revelation but you weren t expecting it you weren t expecting anything you barely noticed that there were all these unexplained things because they weren t REALLY unexplained it was mostly like life, little things here and there you don t get, like when someone writes on facebook i m going to spend the weekend with my brother and you wonder, do i know she has a brother has she ever talked about a brother but don t ask, cuz you figure maybe it s you or none of your business or maybe you ask, and a riches of narratives is poured into your lap so, in this book, once you are explained the first thing, once the first revelation hits you straight at the center of your heart, you need to go back in your head and revisit the entire narrative in the light of this awesome explanation, then you know to expectin truth, i really didn t i thought some of the things had just passed me by even having been SHOWN that eventually all the mysteries little life mysteries, not big whodunnits would be explained, i STILL thought, maybe we ll never be told about this one well, we are told about all of them even the ones we didn t really notice we didn t understand until truong explained them to us and this is how the book ends, with the explanation you spent the entire book thinking to yourself you were never going to get not expecting it at all this is how magic this book is it keeps you wondering, uncertain, off balance, all the way through like life i wish i could writebut i ve noticed that i am reluctant to read long reviews and i imagine other people are too, so i ll just add this thing truong could have written this story straight, beginning to end, and it would have been another story of growing up in the south but she chose to tell it like this, with magic boxes that spring open at the least expected moments, and the story is magnificent, amazing it will stay with me forever and the talent of this writer, the talent of this writer is etched in my heart


  2. Elizabeth Elizabeth says:

    This is a book that is easy to fall into The setting, characters have a familiar lilt to it, reminiscent of Southern classics like To Kill A Mockingbird The main character s synesthesia allows for some interestingly poetic interpretations of classic scenes boy meets girl scenes, especially Others have mentioned that the book is a little self conscious I think it started outcharming and engaging than self conscious, but toward the middle some of the Southern story characterizations, This is a book that is easy to fall into The setting, characters have a familiar lilt to it, reminiscent of Southern classics like To Kill A Mockingbird The main character s synesthesia allows for some interestingly poetic interpretations of classic scenes boy meets girl scenes, especially Others have mentioned that the book is a little self conscious I think it started outcharming and engaging than self conscious, but toward the middle some of the Southern story characterizations, tropes, plot started to become a littleobvious and tiresome The sense of imaginative ness and quirkiness kind of dissolved as the plot moved along The main character grew into one of those all black wearing loner intellectual types I m still into reading it though I like what she s attempting to do the big reveal, which was spoiled for me in some of the reviews interviews I listened to , and her writing is easy on the ears.Just finished I felt like the story was going through the motions in the second half Everything seemed too on the nose and pat toward the end I really wanted to like this book, because there are lots of smart and observant moments in the book Maybe the smart and observant qualities would have beenfitting in an essay, not necessarily in a family drama Maybe there was just too much there in the service of making a point.I think the appeal of this book is similar to that of a genre novel You sort of have to enjoy inhabiting the world of this book family drama dysfunction and its conventions how it goes about detailing the South, resolving or coming to terms with family drama dysfunction to be able to forgive some of the predictable moves the writer makes.But it was worth reading The intentions behind the book were original I think Just sometimes not the execution, which seemed a little clinical at times you can almost see the cliff notes that might go along with the story.I actually loved the distractions in the book The historical vignettes especially, about Virginia Dare, the Wright Brothers, George Moses Horton The writer s voice shines in these asides but kind of irritatingly gets ruined, because you realize it sometimes serves to bring home certain points the author wants to make a little too obviously


  3. Susan (aka Just My Op) Susan (aka Just My Op) says:

    This lovely book is literary Southern Lit with a bit of a twist Linda is a child who can taste certain spoken words, is sometimes bombarded with tastes Her mother is distant Her acerbic grandmother, on her death bed, tells Linda, What I know about you, little girl, would break you in two Her father loves her But most of all, she has her great uncle, Baby Harper I love this character, my favorite in the entire book He was Linda s soft place to land, the person who knew and accepted her j This lovely book is literary Southern Lit with a bit of a twist Linda is a child who can taste certain spoken words, is sometimes bombarded with tastes Her mother is distant Her acerbic grandmother, on her death bed, tells Linda, What I know about you, little girl, would break you in two Her father loves her But most of all, she has her great uncle, Baby Harper I love this character, my favorite in the entire book He was Linda s soft place to land, the person who knew and accepted her just as she was And she accepted him, even as she learned his secrets Friendship, family, betrayal, love, and too many secrets they are all here Action not so much Throughout, there are hints of what is to come, but the story unravels slowly And interspersed are bits and pieces, snippets of stories about people who lived long before Linda.The book was sometimes hard to read when Linda was experiencing too many flavors because the word she heard and the word she tasted were merged into one bigger word, with the flavor in italics Linda s own name was Linda mint Too many strung together were a challenge to read, but the effect was perhaps intentional, showing how hard it was for the character to concentrate on the words when the flavors got in the way Although this word tasting had a valid place in the story, it sometimes felt just a little like a gimmick Still, I very much enjoyed this soft, lyrical story Thank you to jcwlib for giving me her copy of this book


  4. Nan Nan says:

    The protagonist of this novel is a young woman who experiences tastes when she hears words The story is of her adolesence and early adulthood I found this book to be rather gimmick y and annoying Tangents about Viginia Dare, the Wright brothers, and a poet who was a slave kept popping up Asaavy reader probably could make sense of this, but I kept thinking Again with Virginia Dare And, frankly, as an Ohioan, I m always annoyed by North Carolinians claiming the Wright brothers Dayton The protagonist of this novel is a young woman who experiences tastes when she hears words The story is of her adolesence and early adulthood I found this book to be rather gimmick y and annoying Tangents about Viginia Dare, the Wright brothers, and a poet who was a slave kept popping up Asaavy reader probably could make sense of this, but I kept thinking Again with Virginia Dare And, frankly, as an Ohioan, I m always annoyed by North Carolinians claiming the Wright brothers Dayton, Ohio, baby The revelations about her family oh, he is gay seemed contrived I raced through it just to know why her grandmother, on her deathbed, said what I know about you could break you in two Great line, but the the story didn t live up to it


  5. Judy Judy says:

    I was completely enchanted by Monique Truong s first novel, The Book of Salt Of course, it was set in Paris, with a fictional Vietnamese immigrant who served as cook to Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas So tasty.Bitter in the Mouth is set in the American south, but as I know from William Faulkner, the south can be another country to a northerner like me In that area of the United States they have their own customs, including a finely honed talent for not noticing the most obvious matters when I was completely enchanted by Monique Truong s first novel, The Book of Salt Of course, it was set in Paris, with a fictional Vietnamese immigrant who served as cook to Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas So tasty.Bitter in the Mouth is set in the American south, but as I know from William Faulkner, the south can be another country to a northerner like me In that area of the United States they have their own customs, including a finely honed talent for not noticing the most obvious matters when they don t fit the customs Women who marry but don t have children, anyone who drinks too much, homosexuality, any other race than white, women who break the mold, are just a few of those matters of which one may not speak, except by way of gossip, alluding, or backstabbing remarks.Linda grows up knowing she was adopted, knowing that her adopted mother does not love her, depending on her father and uncle for love, closeness and any happiness there is to be found She is a character for a reader to admire highly intelligent, a reader herself, in a love hate relationship with words She and her best friend Kelly have written letters to each other since grade school, even when they lived just a few houses apart But Linda has auditory gustatory synethesia, a secret sense that causes her to taste words, sometimes a blessing, often a curse.Much happens in such a medium length novel The writing made me feel respected and intelligent as a reader I love that approbation from a novelist The coming of age, the long slow process of learning about herself, the stratagems Linda adopts in order to survive, are all presented from Linda s viewpoint and revealed to the reader only as she gains understanding about her life and the people in it.Monique Truong says she used To Kill A Mockingbird and Truman Capote s Other Voices, Other Rooms as inspiration as she wrote Bitter in the Mouth I m glad I didn t know this before I read the book, but knowing it afterwards explains why I felt so much familiarity with her characters.The end of the book, where Linda makes her peace with life, was a bit too melodramatic for me a little too spelled out in terms of what she, and therefore the reader, realized I would have preferred a fewrough edges remaining But getting to that point surely made a satisfying and moving story


  6. Vy Vy says:

    I really enjoyed the middle of this book I liked almost all the characters, and I was drawn in to the story I carried this book with me, hoping for a few moments here or there to learn what would happen next I was actually disappointed when I found no line at all on my errand to the post office because I was sure I d be able to get a fewpages in while waiting The beginning was a bit slow, and it took some time to get used to the author s habit of coming back to the same people and event I really enjoyed the middle of this book I liked almost all the characters, and I was drawn in to the story I carried this book with me, hoping for a few moments here or there to learn what would happen next I was actually disappointed when I found no line at all on my errand to the post office because I was sure I d be able to get a fewpages in while waiting The beginning was a bit slow, and it took some time to get used to the author s habit of coming back to the same people and events multiple times Soon, though, I began to like this rhythm Every time she revisited an event, there was a drop or two of additional information that created a ripple in my understanding of the characters involved I think that s what kept me so engaged The pace at the end, though, felt all wrong Suddenly, instead of a trickle of information, we were deluged with a flood, and the last few chapters seemed so rushed That took away from my enjoyment of the book, but I still love it enough to recommend it


  7. Amy Bradley Amy Bradley says:

    On the cover is a beatiful magnolia and the book is set in North Carolina which are two positives for me Boy was I disappointed The main character s grandmother says some memorable words on her death bed that leads the main character on a search for who she is She has synaesthesia so she tastes words I don t really know what this added to the story other than it made it hard to read Linda mint, you cannedgreenbeans may have for Triscuitgotten this, but you cannedgreenbeans had gone off to Yale On the cover is a beatiful magnolia and the book is set in North Carolina which are two positives for me Boy was I disappointed The main character s grandmother says some memorable words on her death bed that leads the main character on a search for who she is She has synaesthesia so she tastes words I don t really know what this added to the story other than it made it hard to read Linda mint, you cannedgreenbeans may have for Triscuitgotten this, but you cannedgreenbeans had gone off to Yale avocado She did have a homosexual cross dressing uncle who was a mortician She dearly loved him and they spent many hours together I would pass on reading this book


  8. Lorraine Lorraine says:

    What if words had taste I bet we d be kinder to our kinLinda, the protagonist, suffers from synethesia which converts words into flavours It is a neurological disorders and has no known cure.Ultimately, though, the novel becomes a moving investigation of invented families and small town subterfuge, a search for self heightened by the legacy of Vietnam and the flavors of language Binding everything together is a new Southerner s deeply American recognition that we all need a story of whe What if words had taste I bet we d be kinder to our kinLinda, the protagonist, suffers from synethesia which converts words into flavours It is a neurological disorders and has no known cure.Ultimately, though, the novel becomes a moving investigation of invented families and small town subterfuge, a search for self heightened by the legacy of Vietnam and the flavors of language Binding everything together is a new Southerner s deeply American recognition that we all need a story of where we came from and how we got here Otherwise, how could we ever put down our tender roots and stay If you liked To Kill A Mockingbird , you ll enjoy this book as well Well written and the story really unfolds 3 4 into the book


  9. Christie Christie says:

    Wow I highly recommend this one It s a multi sensory experience and an important look at life in the South.


  10. Jill Jill says:

    It s been a long time since I ve been introduced to a character as original as Linda a woman who suffers from auditory gustatory synesthesia Or, in simpler terms, she has the rare ability to taste words as a result of a neurological condition that caused the involuntary mixing of the senses Monique Truong represents her condition by marrying tastes with words for example, I thought youcannedgreenbeans knewpeanut butter Or Lindamint Stopcannedcorn it While the narrative can become It s been a long time since I ve been introduced to a character as original as Linda a woman who suffers from auditory gustatory synesthesia Or, in simpler terms, she has the rare ability to taste words as a result of a neurological condition that caused the involuntary mixing of the senses Monique Truong represents her condition by marrying tastes with words for example, I thought youcannedgreenbeans knewpeanut butter Or Lindamint Stopcannedcorn it While the narrative can become a little cloying with this consistent device, it does serve to show the reader how estranged Linda is from her family and indeed, just about everyone else in her life.Except for her colorful great uncle, Baby Harper Baby Harper harbors his own secrets he, too, is not in sync with their rural North Carolina hometown and he has a particularly strong bond with his grand niece, whom he accepts wholeheartedly.There are several twists and turns in this sometimes elegiac book, and I would not want to provide unnecessary spoilers The book is well worth reading for many reasons the first is that it provides the only in depth look of synesthesia I recall in my many years of reading For example, Linda says, I sometimes would crave a word For me, there was, and still is, an appreciable distinction between hearing the word said and saying it for myself, though both would produce the same incomings It was the difference between being served a good meal and having to cook one for myself Another reason Bitter In The Mouth is a wonderful examination of loneliness and yearning for love, as in this differentiation between the missing and the void The void was the person, place or thing that was never there in the first place The missing existed but was no longer present One was theoretical loss The other was actual Which was worse Both the missing and the void are explored in their various manifestations At times, the intrusions of North Carolina history halt the forward progression of the novel And the ending is a little too wrapped up Yet it is still a fascinating look at the experience of being an outsider within a dysfunctional family an acerbic and infantilizing grandmother, a respectable father, a distant mother in the honeyed south


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *