Some writers have very special gifts, and when they write, their words not only pierce the heart but also melt it. I found this incredibly beautiful novel enchanting from its very first sentences.
I will not spoil this book for future readers. However, if you have ever felt or been different, worked with people who were different, then this rare novel is a `must read.' It is written with unusual sensitivity and insight. It is filled with music and color, as well as the importance of love, understanding and acceptance.
The prose is exquisite. Truong's writing demonstrates that special union that only a few writers possess [in my opinion]. This is Linda and her great-uncle Harper's story, as well as how people may find their soul mates within a family. Actually, it is much more than this. Before I knew it, I was enmeshed in their lives. I felt every hurt, as well as any triumph.
If one reads carefully, and I am a most deliberate reader, one will find that most delicate thread that laces people, family and friends together. There is a special thread for it holds mysteries, as well as firms those essential bonds we all form.
`We both liked music because it was a river where we stripped down, jumped in, and flailed our arms around each other. It was 1975 then, and the water everywhere around us was glittery with disco lights. My great-uncle Harper and I though, danced to Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Fats Domino. We twisted, mashed- potatoed, and winked at each other when we opened our eyes. My great-uncle Harper was my first love. I was seven years old. In his company, I laughed out loud.' This passage is on the very first page. It said to me, `Come on in. Do join us. You're in for a treat!' I joined Linda and her truly great-uncle Harper and found myself delightfully lost in this book.
Linda has a condition known as synesthesia. Some words produce certain tastes in Linda's mouth. I had no idea that this condition existed, but allow me to share that Linda is in extremely good company
As I've stated earlier, I really don't want to give anything away. I think that readers should come to a book like this as `fresh' as possible. I will share that Linda and her father, Thomas, have an extremely close relationship. One senses their love and understanding of one another. Read carefully about when `Mom' becomes DeAnne.
Linda and Kelly share a wonderfully enriching friendship. This friendship is an enduring one. I loved their letter writing, their support of one another.
This is a most compassionate look at family. One might even look at this as a different `take' on what family is, should be and/or capable of being. It is a memorable, meditative book - one that stirred my memories.
`Bitter in the Mouth' may not be for everyone, but it certainly is a book for me. I loved every minute of it.
It may [perhaps not] be helpful to know that I taught my mother how to do `the twist.' My father and I sang many duets - one was `You Belong To Me.' Also, I like Kandinsky, as well as absolutely love Scriabin.
Did I mention that I loved this book?