Bitter and Sweet

A Lowcountry Novel

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Pub Date Jun 11 2024 | Archive Date Jul 11 2024

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". . . a poignant story of sisterhood, motherhood, and new love found in old places. McKnight's writing is as delectable as the Gullah cuisine at the heart of the novel." --Denny S. Bryce, bestselling author of The Other Princess and Wild Women and the Blues

From the beloved author of The Thing About Home comes a dual timeline tale of Lowcountry flavor, 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.

". . . a poignant story of sisterhood, motherhood, and new love found in old places. McKnight's writing is as delectable as the Gullah cuisine at the heart of the novel." --Denny S. Bryce...

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Featured Reviews

BITTER AND SWEET by RHONDA McKNIGHT is a dual timeline novel, written in beautiful prose, that takes us through the joys and griefs of three generations of an African American family from Georgetown Carolina, starting with Tabitha Cooper in 1915, and ending with her great great granddaughters, Mariah and Sabrina in the present day, who have come to Georgetown at their grandmother’s request to restore Tabby’s Meats & Sweets to its former glory. The depth of the author’s character analysis is outstanding. I particularly like the way she expresses their strong and practical faith in God…..
A strong sense of the strength of family and other relationships, hard work, restoration, and unconditional love is mixed with that of grief, betrayal and hardship.
I cannot recommend Bitter and Sweet highly enough as a most enjoyable and inspirational read.
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Thomas Nelson. The opinions in this review are completely my own.

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Wow, what a great book. We meet Tabitha who is the great, great grandmother of Sabrina and Mariah. We get to see these 3 women’s stories and how they intertwine. Mariah and Sabrina are estranged sisters who are back home to help their grandparents as they navigate their broken relationship. We learn about their resilience as well as their relative, Tabitha as she navigates life as a single Mom. There were so many layers in this story regarding betrayal, forgiveness, strength, sorrow and joy. This was simply a wonderful book full of black history. Can’t wait to read more by this author.

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Thank you NetGalley & Thomas Nelson Fiction for the ARC; I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. This review is also posted on Goodreads.

The title says it all: bitter and sweet. I would also add beautiful and redemptive when describing this book. McKnight crafts a beautiful story that expands over generations and connects sisters in present day.

When their grandfather has a stroke, Mariah and Sabrina's grandmother calls them home with one task: save the family restaurant. Tabby's Meats and Sweets, named after their great-great grandmother, has been passed down over generations of the family matriarchs. Their grandmother is determined to not let it close for good after nearly nine decades of operation.

Mariah is at a crossroads in her life. Her husband has left her, her dream work project has vanished, and she's bitter. Sabrina is living out of her van, grieving the loss of her partner while raising their child, and is trying to find positives in every day life. Both sisters are adamant in the fact that they will never be close. They fail to notice one thing they have in common: they're both looking to hurting and need to heal.

Their grandmother is keenly aware that her granddaughters desperately need healing and reassurance that all will be okay. She encourages the girls to read their great-great grandmother Tabitha's letters from the early 1900's. Readers are immersed into a split timeline where we receive Tabitha's story first hand, feeling the same impact of her experience as Mariah and Sabrina do in present day.

I instantly fell in love with the setting, the focus of the restaurant, and the Gullah traditions. I could practically smell the food as it was described. I felt like I was right there with everyone in Tabby's kitchen. I loved each and every character and grew attached. I was transported into the this family's story, and I was so sad to leave it when I finished reading. But that's the magic of books - I can always go back, and I definitely plan to visit.

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Three women, all stronger than they realize. Sabrina and Mariah, sisters who have been at odds for years are now thrown together to try and save their great grandmother’s legacy. A legacy that was founded by hard work and determination. Tabitha who was left with children and nothing much else except her love for cooking. Cooking her much loved Gullah Geeche soul food and wonderful sweets. Her granddaughters have that same passion, they just have to find it. After they discover that family is everything. Wonderful boo. Rhonda McKnight is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. After reading The Thing About Home I couldn’t wait to read this one. Thank you NetGalley for giving me the chance. Five wonderful stars.

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Rhonda McKnight has written an amazing dual timeline (which I loved) story of sorrow and joy, She masterfully weaves a tale between a great great Grandmother and her descendants Mariah and Sabrina. The result is a beautiful tapestry that shows us life is Bitter and Sweet. Mariah and Sabrina, sisters, learn through the trials and triumphs of their ancestor, that they have within themselves the strength to bring healing, restoration and victory. Fellow readers you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to introduce my bookclubs to this great book, Bitter and Sweet.

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The author did an amazing job with writing this book. It was so intriguing how she brought two timelines together in one book. Two sisters who are dealing with their own issues are asked to come home to help preserve the family restaurant while their grandmother tends to their grandfather who had a stroke. The girls read letters from their great-great-grandmother and it showed the importance of how much the family restaurant meant to her and now they are faced with similar challenges.

The author has done an amazing job with the character development. You connect with them and you can feel what they are going through with their issues. This book will have you smiling and crying. I think it is also important to note that the author has brought out how it is okay to seek therapy when life gets too much to handle. I look forward to reading more books by this author.

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Bitter and Sweet by Rhonda McKnight is a well written novels that speaks a captivating tale of love, loss, and redemption. The authors ability to mesh family drama, healing, secrets and history left me emotionally satisfied. The character development is phenomenal and keeps you engaged from beginning to the end.

The power of forgiveness is a beautiful thing! I love how this books touches on lessons that touch on resilience and also knowing when to let go.

Rhonda McKnight left no crumbs, and as always has you satisfied yet wanting more.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own

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I really enjoyed this book and think that it was very well written. This is the first book by this author that I’ve read. The struggles of this family is very relatable for a lot of people.

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Rhonda McKnight continues to prove why she should be on everyone’s “go to author” list. Butter and Sweet is such a great story about two sisters struggles with marriage, life, disappointments, grief/loss, self-discovery, forgiveness and healing. Mariah and Sabrina’s story was so well written. I truly recommend this for anyone who likes a story that will make you feel every emotion.

Thank you NetGalley, the author and publisher for the opportunity to read and review this ARC. The opinions expressed are all my own.

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Bitter and Sweet by Rhonda McKnight was everything I hoped it would be and more. I read her novel, The Thing About Home, last year and loved it! Like, loved it, loved it. Though it seemed unfathomable to me when I picked up Bitter and Sweet that I could love it as much as The Thing About Home, I did!

Bitter and Sweet is a dual timeline novel with three narrators: sisters Mariah and Sabrina and their great-great grandmother, Tabitha. Have tissues with you when you read! It will break your heart, but it’ll make you cry tears of joy too. Mariah and Sabrina don’t have a good relationship, but when their grandmother texts them to come home, they do. They both assume that their grandfather, who had a stroke, was worse and that their grandma needed them. She does need them. She needs them to save the restaurant that’s been in their family for almost 100 years. This forces them to work together; at least that’s the plan. From there…well, you have to read it!

Rhonda McKnight has written a novel that’s so moving and convicting and just breathtakingly beautiful. It’s about forgiveness: forgiving others and forgiving yourself. You know the old saying about holding onto grudges hurts you more than it hurts the other person…truth! Bitter and Sweet shows that it’s okay to not be okay; and it’s important to get help when you’re not okay. There is so much depth in this novel, and I wish I had the words to tell you just how much it moved me. I highly recommend this exceptional novel!

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

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This is my first book from Rhonda McKnight and definitely won’t be my last.
She captivated me right from the first chapter. I had such a hard time putting it down.
It’s a powerful story of family and the trials and tribulations that families endure.
A heartfelt story of how sometimes you need to talk and seek out help to get over the past to help you through.
Thank you NetGalley for the advance copy for my honest opinion

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Bitter and Sweet by Rhonda McKnight is a great and thorough read. It is the story of Sabrina and Mariah, two sisters who are completely different, yet have deep and hidden similarities. Along with their story, the story of their descendant, Tabitha is also a story of love, regret and second chances. Her story blends with Sabrina and Mariah who find out about Tabitha thanks to her letters kept by their grandmother. I only say so much because I want the readers to indulge in this beautifully written and informative. You won't regret getting a copy when it is released in June.

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Rhonda McKnight's latest novel is a true gem. From the very beginning, I was hooked and couldn't put it down. The characters were so well-developed that I felt like a part of their world, seeing bits of myself in each of them. McKnight's ability to evoke deep emotions in her readers is truly impressive, making this book a definite winner in my eyes. I found myself torn between wanting to know what happened next and not wanting the story to end (or at least follow Kenni into adulthood!). This book has earned a permanent spot on my list of favorites, and I can't wait to revisit it again in the future.

Thanks Thomas Nelson and Netgalley for providing the ARC and opportunity to provide an honest review.

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i received a complimentary copy of this book.......(thank you!!) and these opinions are completely my own..... so when you receive a free copy of a book, you never know what you are going to get! somethimes i struggle through a book and it takes me forever...however i finished this book in only a couple of days! i totally enjoyed it!! i usually love books that go back and forth through time...and this did not disappoint!! i loved the time changes and i loved the on going story of the relationship between sisters! the characters were well developed and interesting! i will put this author on follow and definately read another on of her books! thanks again for the advanced copy, it was a very good surprise!!

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This is certainly a well named book. There is much bittersweetness within its pages and very real depiction of life's sorrows, jolts and joys. Women made strong thereby get through with help from God, each other and therapy. Themes laced throughout touched on prejudice, forgiveness and reconcilation. There's cautionary input regarding the wiles and lure of some men but also of decent manhood.

I loved the two-pronged timelines of the main protagonists, two sisters who were the great-great granddaughters of Tabitha who struggled but overcame. The parallel-like lives of the two different generations is notable, endearing and helpful to the younger women. Despite the bitterness there were the lovely good, tender and sweet times which gave balance to the emotions as one read through the saga.

I also liked the down-home feel and the input about the Gullah people group, which lent further character to the book with its lingo, recipes and community way of life. I had never heard of the Gullah folks before so this was of interest to me.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and found it to be a good satisfying read.

A 5-Star rating from me.

~Eunice C. Reviewer/Blogger~

March 2024

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Net Galley and the publisher. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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A dual timeline novel, Bitter and Sweet follows the story of Tabitha in the early 1920s and her great-great-grandaughters, Mariah and Sabrina in present day. Tabitha's story of perseverance as an African American woman in a male and white dominated world is inspiring. Though she faced multiple trials, Tabitha never stops believing in herself and her capability to care for her children and those around her. We discover that she has written her story in letters and her legacy inspires Mariah and Sabrina to persevere through their own challenges. Never close the sisters are brought together to save their grandparents restaurant. As they each face trials of their own, they learn the importance of family and forgiveness. McKnight also weaves the story of each character's journey with faith throughout. A few of my favorite quotes include, "Tabitha decided she liked doing what was right. She always met Jesus there." and "Everybody is not Christian. Judging them for it won't get them to be." I appreciated each woman's journey towards bettering themselves and the lives of those around them. I didn't want to put this novel down!

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson, I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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This book deals with family, grief, secrets, and the sweet redemption that lies within the bonds of sisterhood. Two head strong sisters return home to help with the family restaurant and Grandpa’s health issues. This book is a great read and very interesting. You will find yourself falling in love with all the characters and you will be vested in them. I definitely recommend this book for your summer reading.

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Forgive my grief. These are three of the most powerful words contained in this novel and they sum the story up for me. In Bitter and Sweet Rhonda McKnight has penned an awesome novel showing how great one’s life can be impacted by grief. Not all grief is due to death.

I loved this storyline and the characters. This book will cause you to examine your relationships. Perhaps it could be time to let go of some long standing bitterness you may be holding. It definitely serves as a wake up call for me.

I highly recommend this book. I would give it 10 stars if it was possible.

Thank you Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book.

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Bitter and Sweet tell us the story of two sisters, whose relationship is not close. At the same time, it tells the story of their grandmother, Tabitha, who struggled as a single parent in the early 1900’s, yet rose above obstacles in her way. It is a beautiful story of survival, forgiveness, and true love. It was great and. I loved it.. I will highly recommend it.

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Oh My Goodness. I LOVED this story. The care. The tenderness. The love. The way I felt for each and every character. McKnight writing is like a spring night on the porch after the rain, in your favorite rocking chair . It’s refreshing. It’s cool to the spirit. It’s the familiar motion that makes everything around you fall away. It’s like your beverage of choice that can either send a buzz clear through to your fingertips and toes. Or a cool drink that cleanses your palette and send a chill down your spine. Or it good be a hot cup of tea that you hold near that not only warm your hands but warms the soul. Rhonda McKnight is an auto buy author for me because I LIVE for all the feels she makes me feel 🙌🏾

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Bitter and Sweet is the tale of two sisters, whose lives are derailed in different ways. Mariah and Sabrina haven’t always gotten along, but they must work together to save their grandparents’ restaurant.

Sabrina stole my heart from the get-go because of her difficult situation, plus the relationship with her adorable daughter, Kenni. Also, she’s super creative.

Mariah is the perfect example of individuals who allow circumstances, people, and relationships to make them so bitter, no one can live with them. Her meanness made me dislike her until way later, when she realized who she’d become.

The story kept me engaged and I rooted for both women to find their happy place and move from where life flung them off-course. Their grandmother was smart to bring them together and have them collaborate on a meaningful project, which helped to repair their relationship.

My favorite character was Tabitha, their great-great grandparent (if I remember correctly). She’s a picture of true resilience. After being tricked and ending up in a bad situation, she did everything to not only survive, but eventually thrive.

The novel was nicely flavored with the food and customs of the Gullah-Geechee people and provided an interesting look at the culture. Some of the language reminded me of Jamaican Patois, so of course I sounded out the speech while reading. 😊

Bitter and Sweet took me through a range of emotions, but mostly I cried for Tabitha and Sabrina because of the awful things that happened to them. At the end of the story, I rejoiced for all the characters who found forgiveness, healing, restoration, and love.

If you enjoy stories about families, their struggles and triumphs, and faith, be sure to treat yourself to a copy of Bitter and Sweet.

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Rhonda McKnight's "Bitter and Sweet" is a captivating dual-timeline story filled with woe and delight. Through the lives of Mariah, Sabrina, and their great-great-grandmother, McKnight beautifully explores the complexities of family and the power of resilience. Readers will be drawn into the journey of these sisters as they discover their own strength and resilience. A must-read that will leave you feeling both moved and inspired.

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WOW. What a GREAT book! I could not put it down and I felt connected instantly. My patrons will definitely love this one!

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What a great read to get lost in. Told in dual time, the early 1900's to the present, through a gift of letters.

There is a lot of family dynamics here, and more and more come to light as you continue through this book.

There is a lot information about the Gullah people, I never knew this, and we work with the food from this region, and I loved how this all blends into this story!

There are a lot of family dynamics here, strong women, and you really need to read all the way to the end for it all to blend together. Be ready for strong emotions and a feeling that you want to fight for justice!

I will be look for more from this author!

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a positive review.

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Wow! First it was The Thing About Home. Now it’s Bittersweet. I absolutely loved everything about this book. Sabrina & Mariah sister fighting to re open a restaurant that’s been the name sake for 87 years. While grandma is fighting for the love of her life. This is a heartwarming read. Not much drama but more about family sticking together. From broken marriage , sister feud , family crisis i give it 5 stars and will pre-order the hard copy!
Thank You NetGalley for the ARC I just reviewed Bitter and Sweet by Rhonda McKnight. #BitterandSweet #NetGalley

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What a wonderful story.

# Southernfiction

This story is written on a dual timeline.
One of my favorites. The story goes back In time . For me this was a perfect story.

This is a book that takes you away to another time in another place. Just a Fabulous story.

In the future, we have 2 sisters. Not close, but maybe one day. There's so much about this story. That's just phenomenal, Learning too, get along and be a family. So much loss from the past. A book full of history.

I just absolutely loved this book.
The author has an amazing style of writing.

What I loved about this story everything.

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This story reads like a movie. Dual time lines, past and present. What I enjoyed most was the nuances of the characters. There are a lot of people to keep up with in this family drama that spans generations but you get to know each one and how different they all are but have similar life experiences. Two sisters learn their family history and meet their great-grandmother through her letters that their own grandmother had been saving for them. Sometime you aren’t ready to learn a lesson or the timing of information will not be beneficial for you and their grandmother held on to those letters until they were needed.
This family had so many secrets. The past held dangerous but not surprising secrets. The present held secrets that were simply rooted in shame. This story is told so that you learn history of the family before you learn the families secrets. You see in both the past and present how and why those lies and webs began to unravel. This story is well written and the characters are people you know, some of your family, present and long lost. This is a story of family. A story of Gullah culture. A story of forgiveness. A story of love. I recommend this story if you love a family drama/saga or a multigenerational story.

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This dual time line book by Rhonda McKnight is a wonderful book about family and how the mistakes we make can be forgiven and we can move on from the past. This dual time line book that alternates between the great-grandma in the 1910's-1925 and present day great grand daughters Maria and Sabrina was wonderfully written. The author talks about Gullah, a southern culture and cuisine found in South Carolina which was new to me and sounds wonderful to try.

There was information on historical struggles of African Americans in the early part of the 20th century which were written about to highlight strengths and weaknesses of human nature. The present day struggles of Mariah and Sabrina were also things that many of us go through - divorce and financial struggles where we see the characters experience growth through working through these things. The author portrays these difficult subjects in a real and caring way. Their grandma does a great job of being an encouragement to both women in the present day timeline.

There is some light romance in the book, but the biggest part of the book is the story of the women of this novel. This is a truly well written women's fiction book. After reading this one, I definitely want to check out other books written by this author. Despite the difficult subjects, the book to me is clean fiction, though geared towards a late high school to adult audience.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson Fiction and Netgalley for the opportunity to read an ARC of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Once again Rhonda McKnight give us a beautiful story of family, legacy, history, and connection.

Watching Mariah and Sabrina was heartbreaking. We learned about their grief over relationships lost in more ways than one, but watching Mariah struggle with so much anger and how most of it was geared toward Sabrina was gut wrenching. Having a sister myself I can attest to how sometimes, you have to set aside fights from your past to move on and keep your relationship in the future. Watching Mariah go to therapy and fight for her sister in the story was beyond beautiful!

As with past Rhonda McKnight books, we also get the story of a relative, Tabitha, as she built the restaurant that Mariah and Sabrina are hoping to reopen. I spent so much of my time reading Tabitha story saying "no girl, don't do it" she had me stressed :)

As with The Thing About Home. I LOVED this book and can't wait to read more.

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When I saw this as read now I had to download right away because I loved this author book The Thing about Home. This book was well written. This book includes - sibling conflict, broken marriages, and family crisis. The emotions I felt while reading made this book an easy five star read. I truly didn’t want this book to end.

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Bitter and Sweet
by Rhonda McKnight
Pub Date: June 11, 2024
Thanks to the author, publi isher and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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.
With the lessons in their family's past guiding them, both sisters have a chance at a different life--if they can find a way to bridge the gap that tragedy and unhealed trauma forced between them. Told in a dual timeline that alternates between the 1920s and present-day Charleston, SC, Bitter and Sweet is an emotional story about love, one family's perseverance, and the bonds of family and heritage.
What a great read! This is a story of family. A story of Gullah culture. A story of forgiveness. A story of love. I recommend this story if you love a family drama/saga or a multigenerational story.

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Thank you #Netgalley for providing a copy of this lovely story. I really enjoyed the dual storyline and found it to be a page-turning tale I hated to put down. I recommend this book and will not divulge too much as I hate reviews that spoil the story for others, just grab a copy and dive in. #Bitterandsweet excellent read!

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Grandma Cooper has called her granddaughters, Mariah and Sabrina home to Georgetown SC to get the family restaurant, Tabitha’s, remodeled and up and running again.
Sisters, Mariah and Sabrina have never liked each other and the thought of working together is unthinkable.
Tying the dual time lines of the multigenerational women together are letters written by their great-great grandmother, Tabitha, the original owner of Tabitha’s Restaurant. As the sisters begin to finally work together, even with their own problems and not unlike their great-great grandmother, bitter were their struggles but sweet was their success, resilience and respect for each other and themselves.
Thank you Netgalley and Thomas Nelson Fiction for an early copy of this empowering family drama with struggles, successes and finally forgiveness. This review is my honest opinion.

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Bitter and Sweet is a treasure. Oh, how masterfully Rhonda McKnight is in writing family drama. This is the second book I’ve read from her and I loved it. I laughed, I cried. My heart went out to the suffering of the generations of this family. These strong women helped support one another through those heartbreaks in this split-time novel. It was full of Southern traditions, faith and love. Oh, and the food. Let’s not forget the food. It will make you hungry ;)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions expressed are completely my own.

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Rhonda McKnight did such a beautiful thing with this book 😍

This is the first time reading this author but it won’t be the last. I loved “Bitter and Sweet” for the relatable characters and the deep messages that still led to the happily ever after and resolution we all want!

At the heart of this story is the complexity of family and the restoration of even the most dismal circumstances and relationships. If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself rooting for Tabitha, arguing for Sabrina and wanting to shake some sense into Maria. And then it will be someone else you want to hug the next minute.

⭐️I loved the spotlight on therapy
⭐️ The dual timelines added a layer of depth and intrigue to the story that kept me hooked
⭐️The sister dynamics felt so real to me

This is a Christian fiction that doesn’t feel corny or unrealistic and is such a unique story that I was drawn in almost immediately. So good!

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Okay this is the second book I read from Ms McKnight and let me tell you this is another one of my favorites I will definitely be reading more of her books .I loved everything about this story so heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.I adore reading stories that make me feel emotional(in a good way).
Such a great story I adore all of the characters... like the diff pov between the sisters and Tabitha story was amazing and the plot twist at the end abt Tabitha step dad family Wow didn't see that coming

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You want to talk about a multigenerational family story done right?! Bitter and Sweet is it. I was immediately pulled in with this story and couldn’t put it down. The story followed sisters Mariah and Sabrina as they saved the family’s restaurant at the request of their grandmother. However, the relationship between the sisters was extremely strained due to childhood traumas and issues they were struggling with presently. We also got to go back in time to read their great great grandmother’s story and see how the restaurant came to be. Bitter and Sweet was such a beautiful book that will have you tearing up as well. Each of these women were resilient in their own way and they worked very hard to become successful. Even though I wanted to yank Mariah through the book initially for being so mean and hurtful, I admired her growth and the fact that she went to therapy to be a better sister, granddaughter, and auntie. Not only that, she also did the work to break generational curses. I absolutely loved this book and cannot wait for you to read it when it comes out! You will be rooting for these ladies the entire time!There was also some romance that unfolded in this book. Add it to your list and thank me later!✨

Thank you to Netgalley and Thomas Nelson for this eARC

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This was a really great read… I will say although fiction there were a few parts that took away from the story because it just seemed as if it was too perfect as far as the ending. I get Mariah had a turnaround however it was as if she became too perfect too quick…

I loved everything about Great granny Tab and I wished we had more especially seeing how everything turned out for her.

Sabrina I loved her and I’m so happy how things worked out for her. She deserved everything that she got and I would love to see how the sisters work together in their place..

All in all this was a great read and I’m giving it a 4.75

Thank you NetGalley and HearOurVoices for the free ARC..

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The way I’m loving this book. I really need to hear the audio version so that the characters can come to life. The emotion that is being evoked from me already by just starting the book is definitely a winner for me. I just know this story is a good one. Love her writing.

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I liked that this was a dual time line story. I was invested in both storylines, honestly It was a captivating read. I really enjoyed learning about the history of Tabitha’s cooking and eventually owning the restaurant, it was inspiring to witness her resilience. I also enjoyed that the sisters Mariah and Sabrina are able to work on both their individual issues and mend their relationship along the way. Overall, this story was very entertaining and ultimately a tale of faith, family, and forgiveness.

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This story is a masterpiece that I enjoyed reading from beginning to end. From following Tabitha on her journey to watching Mariah and Sabrina heal and become the sisters that they weren’t able to be due to their childhood experiences.

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The path to redemption is not as narrow as we think, Miss Cooper.”

Bitter And Sweet by Rhonda McKnight 💗💗

This was a joy to read ! This dual timeline story follows the lives of a multi generational family of strong women in Georgetown, South Carolina, the choices that shaped their lives. I was so wrapped up in this story, falling in love with the characters, seeing myself in them, as well as being comforted by the wisdom of Grandma Gail. A must read!! An unforgettable experience. So grateful to Netgalley for allowing me to hear the voices of struggle, pain, and life experiences that mold this family matriarchal lineage.


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Estranged sisters Mariah and Sabrina are summoned home to save their family’s historic restaurant. Arriving while dealing with difficult challenges in their lives, the Holland sisters must learn from the past, face some hard truths, and settle their differences to keep the restaurant going.

Bitter and Sweet is such a wonderful, multigenerational story! This emotional read told through an alternating timelines explores the bonds of sisterhood, the lingering effects of grief, and the impact of living with regrets.

I truly enjoyed getting to know exacting Mariah and free spirit Sabrina. My heart ached for these women when the root of their estrangement was revealed. Because of all the bitterness these two have experienced, I was thrilled to see them grow and be able to rekindle their sisterly bond so they could enjoy the sweetness that had been missing from their lives for so long.

The story of Mariah and Sabrina’s great-great grandmother Tabitha is simply inspiring. It is through Tabitha’s letters that the sister gain perspective on dealing with life’s struggles and see her resilience in action. These two couldn’t have a better role model.

I highly recommend this moving family saga focused on resiliency and forgiveness.

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I love me good storyline that offer visions of family gatherings and history...Bitter and Sweet by Author Rhonda McKnight offers how the past and present collide!

As you turn each page, you'll be swept away by the beauty of tradition and the resilience of the human spirit. "Bitter and Sweet" is a testament to the enduring legacy of family where the echoes of the past resonate deeply in the present.

I invite you to add this one to your reading list and you can thank me later.

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This book was everything I didn't know I needed. One of the many things I love about Ms. McKnight books is her ability to capture the essence of family - the good, the bad, and everything in between. This was historical fiction at its best!

Sabrina and Mariah are sisters, but you wouldn't know it. Both are dealing with heartbreak and childhood trauma. Their grandparents call them to their hometown to help revitalize their restaurant. Mariah and Sabrina are like oil & water...they just don't mix!

There is a dual storyline about their great grandmother Tabitha. It details her teen years, to her family life, all the way to opening her restaurant. Along the way, we read about the hurt, betrayal, and losses that she faced.

This book was amazing. I honestly can't say which storyline I liked better. They were both engaging and pulled me all the way in. I felt a range of emotions while reading: sad, hurt, angry, happy and I even swooned a few times lol.

Thank you to the author and Netgalley for my ARC.

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Title: Bitter and Sweet
Author: Rhonda McKnight
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five
"Bitter and Sweet" by Rhonda McKnight

My Perception:

'Bitter and Sweet' was an interesting, powerful story about grief. The main characters gave the reader much to think about long after reading. We are given a story of 'several generations of a family that had their secrets, struggles with marriage, life, disappoints, self-discovery, forgiveness and healing, grief, sorrow, redemption, and struggles.' The story was about how this grandmother tried to restore peace and love in this family. Will it happen? I enjoyed reading about Mariah, Sabrina, and Tabitha's stories. These Gullah people were very interested in reading about their recipes and community way of life in the trials and tribulations that families endure. I loved how the power of forgiveness turned out to be such a wonderful thing for this family.

You must pick up this good read to learn why these two sisters came home in the first place.

Thank you, Thomas Nelson and NetGalley, for allowing me to read this book.

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Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson - Fiction for this read. This was well done. The book was written smooth. Not one chapter was too long. The book was just a great love story that passed through generations. A story of resilience. Well done.

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Two estranged sisters are called home at the behest of their grandmother. They must save the restaurant that's been in the family for decades.

Then there is the story of Tabitha. Their great-great grandmother.

It's the way I devoured this book. I loved Tabitha's story. The way she persevered in the early 1900s, wow.

One quote from the book that sums up a lot "Honey, this bitterness is not serving you"
Sometimes we choose a certain emotion because that's all we know.

I love the way God was talked about it this book. It didn't feel forced. It felt natural.

The topic of therapy was real. The fear that people face when confronted with their weaknesses.

It's the way this book had me so emotional. Bitter and Sweet is about grief, family, their relationship with God, overcoming bitterness & shame.

It's okay to go back home.

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Originally called back home by their grandmother, two sisters believe they are being asked to return home to see about their ailing grandfather. However, they quickly learn that their grandmother has other plans. With good intentions, she tasks the feuding sisters with the job of restoring the family’s restaurant that has existed for many generations. Shouldering challenges of their own, we watch as the sisters not only rebuild their family’s legacy, but find healing and work towards rebuilding their personal lives and relationship with each another.

I love a good book centered around familial connections because often it comes with a message or messages that I need at that very moment. This book fed my soul. I enjoyed the stories of past and present. Witnessing things unfold for the sisters brought me joy and was proof that sometimes you have to take the bitter with the sweet because eventually things will work out.

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Grab a cozy blanket and your favorite snack and dive into this beautifully written story about two estranged sisters who not only need to save their family diner but their relationship with each other and themselves. This book gave me all the feels. From the first scene where Mariah mentions muscadine wine, I was hooked. I knew this story was for me! Like Sabrina and Mariah I too spent my summers in South Carolina and my grandaddy grew muscadine grapes! I instantly remembered the taste of those grapes I loved so much.
And even remembered me and my cousins stomping them so my grandaddy could make wine. I loved every aspect of the story especially the past storyline of their great grandmother Tabitha and how her life journey influenced and inspired her descendants. Sabrina and Mariah's relationship was complex and real. This is a story about faith, forgiveness and finding yourself in the place that never left you.

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In BITTER AND SWEET, Rhonda McKnight tells the story of Sabrina and Mariah, returned to home to the startling request from their grandmother to revive a failing family restaurant. At crossroads in their everyday lives, the sisters dive deep into hard work, difficult memories, long buried secrets, finding ways to remember, forgive, and forget the bitter for the sweet. I was there with them, felt like they were real people struggling with the realities of beloved ones in failing health, impossible circumstances, and tough challenges in admitting the truth about history, themselves, and the future yet to come. I received a copy of this book and these opinions are my own, unbiased thoughts.

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Phenomenal!!! Amazing story with well fleshed out characters. I loved the multiple povs and the past and present timelines. Rhonda does these faith based, historical fiction stories so well and I am a huge fan!! Well done!!

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I was thrilled to get this ARC because I connected so heavily with The Thing About Home, and this book did it for me again. This was such a beautiful story that gave me all the feels. Definitely one of my favorite reads this year!

I loved how the author seamlessly alternated between current day and the early 1900s. The dual timelines gave such a unique perspective and had me fully engaged. The story read like a movie.

There were so many lessons and words of wisdom spread throughout this book. I was impressed how the story was able to touch on so many sensitive topics such as PPD, metal health, grief, betrayal, infidelity, family relationships, and more without ever feeling like it was too overwhelming and heavy.

I loved Mariah and Sabrina and was rooting for them both. They were both such strong women in their own ways. Mariah's concern for Jordy was such an extra special piece of the story to me and Sabrina's creativity and tenacity was so admirable. The way they both came running when grandma reached out was also beautiful me because I could relate so deeply with the bond and would've done the same in a heartbeat.

Overall this book was one of a kind and a page turner. I couldn't have asked for more. Rhonda doesn't miss!

#bookworm #bookstagram #bookreview
#blackgirlsreadtoo #fiction #romancenovel #blackromance #blackfiction #arcreview #arcreader #netgalley

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Bitter and Sweet, by Rhonda McKnight, is a Christian dual time line story that follows Tabatha Cooper, her daughter, and great granddaughters as they all work to keep the family restaurant alive. In the early 1900’s Tabatha starts a restaurant that is past down in her family. Currently it is run by her daughter and her husband. When he becomes ill, she calls her granddaughters home to take over.

This is a well written, easy to read enjoyable story. This story deals with many issues that women find themselves in and struggle with how to move forward. I like how the story shows that God provided the answer to their problems at the right time for each of them. I enjoyed reading of how the sisters worked through not only the issues of the failing restaurant as well the issues of their estranged relationship. This is one of those stories that has so much meaning to it, that it stayed with me after finishing reading it.

I voluntarily received a complimentary copy of this book, this is my honest review.

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Bitter and Sweet by Rhonda McKnight was so beautifully written and I couldn't put it down!

Thank You NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!

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It is one of the BEST reads this year, hands down! My introduction to Rhonda McKnight and THIS BOOK had me running to download other titles to my Kindle. BITTER AND SWEET is your classic Southern story that includes drama, love, class, heartbreak, and redemption. Without giving away too much, there seems to be some generational hold on the women in the family. In 1915, Tabitha Cooper had a dream to open her restaurant. After cooking for her family she decided it was time to make a living out of what she loved. Years later she runs into a gentleman who she later finds out has an entire family (wife and children) and as her mother does not pass the skin color test, she was too dark to be involved with the deceased.

Tabitha's great-granddaughters are going through a struggle all of their own which mirrors Tabitha's all too well. Mental Health, death, and abandonment are all issues tackled as well in this coming-of-age story!


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Get into it . . . . Get into it . . . GET 👏🏽 INTO 👏🏽 IT‼️ This is my second book by McKnight and she delivered a masterpiece yet again. You know a book is good when it evokes a million emotions out of you. One minute you’re happy smiling, the next you’re emotional and in your feelings, then you become angered by some of the actions of these characters.

Dare you to ask what McKnight brought to the table. She served up a multigenerational family story filled with drama, sisterhood, survival, trauma, family legacy and traditions, with a dash of drama, and a whole lot of forgiveness. The title was so perfect for this book because I felt like Mariah was bitter and Sabrina was sweet. But once you really get into their backstory’s you understand why they behave so differently.

I know I’m not the only one who thought Mariah was gonna do her soon-to-be ex-husband like Helen did Charles in The Diary of a Mad Black Woman. Had she done so I wouldn’t have been against it lol sometimes people need to see what it’s like when the shoe is on the other foot. The dual timelines 🤌🏽 (chef’s kiss) I really enjoyed Grandma Tab’s timeline. Joseph……Joseph…..Joseph‼️

Overall, I loved everything about this book highly recommend y’all give this one a read. It was compelling, immersive, and filled with unforgettable characters promise you won’t put it down. The character development and exploration of their emotions was perfectly executed. I literally sympathized with them all even Mariah. I just knew there was more to her mistreatment towards Sabrina. If you’re looking for a book that’s both heartwarming and thought-provoking, and will leave a lasting impression you found it. Special thanks to @authorrhondamcknight @hearourvoicestours & @tnzfiction for my gifted copy‼️

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I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This is the second book I’ve read by Rhonda McKnight and just like the other one it did not disappoint. Marian and Sabrina are sisters who both happen to be going through a trying time in life. After receiving messages from their Grandmother to come HOME, things change forever. This story has a lot of poignant stories that are told within the story that pulled at my heartstrings. Learning of Tabitha’s life story and the things she went through before she got to the “Sweet” part of life was just wow. Joseph had me fooled for a minute but my blinders came off quickly. I loved how things went between Tab and Grady. Because I had tears dropping for them by the end. I’m a definite Rhonda McKnight fan now. This was just so beautifully written.
This is the second book I’ve read by Rhonda McKnight and just like the other one it did not disappoint. Marian and Sabrina are sisters who both happen to be going through a trying time in life. After receiving messages from their Grandmother to come HOME, things change forever. This story has a lot of poignant stories that are told within the story that pulled at my heartstrings. Learning of Tabitha’s life story and the things she went through before she got to the “Sweet” part of life was just wow. Joseph had me fooled for a minute but my blinders came off quickly. I loved how things went between Tab and Grady. Because I had tears dropping for them by the end. I’m a definite Rhonda McKnight fan now. This was just so beautifully written.

Thank you Thomas Nelson, HearOurVoicestour, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in advance

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This was my first book by Rhonda McKnight and it was honestly incredibly. I can't want to discover more works by her. This book was about family through generations. Women facing hardships, but never letting these things stop them from being great. I loved the story of the two sisters. They both had their own personal issues to work through along with not really getting along, but eventually they are able to understand each other better and see eye to eye. They end up coming together to support each other and maintain their family legacy through their great great grandmothers restaurant.

I also loved reading about Tabitha. It gives us a view of how the business came to be. Tabitha was a bright eye young girl who was deceived by a man she thought she loved. Though heartbroken by the unfortunate truths, she's able to start fresh with her children. Despite having fears of seeing her family again after straying from her faith and going against their beliefs, they welcome her back with open arms in the long run.

Definitely a five star read!

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This was my first book by this author and it will not be my last. This book was an emotional rollercoaster for me. I honestly didn't think I would respond to this book the way that I did, but so many themes in this book touched on real life. This book covers it, sisters, bonding, grief, divorce, sickness. you name it, this book has it. It was all written so beautifully and the only think I could think was " mama would have loved this book."

I related a bit to Sabrina as the younger sister. I know what it has felt like to feel not so loved by those closest to you. I loved that Mariah sought therapy to help her with herself. She sought help and guidance but focused on healing herself. Then she took accountability. At first, I didn't care for her, but boy does she remind me of my big sister. Strong, firm in her stance, but so loving.

I enjoyed the Gullah references as my husband is Gullah. So its always nice to be able to make those connections. Grandma Tabitha was that girl! I wish she knew what she was capable of. The legacy she left her family after all she endured. She's a strong woman...especially after dealing with Joseph.

Oh, and Kenni's grandma was about to catch these hands at one point. I'm just saying.

Overall, I'm a sucker for historical fiction and in dual timelines and multiple POVs. This was an easy 5 star read for me.

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This story is a heartfelt and engaging exploration of family, legacy, and personal redemption. The plot skillfully weaves together the present-day struggles of sisters Mariah and Sabrina with the poignant history of their ancestor, Tabitha Cooper. The setting of Georgetown, South Carolina, adds a charming backdrop that enriches the narrative with Southern hospitality and tradition.

Overall, this story is a delightful read that balances drama, nostalgia, and hope. It captures the essence of familial bonds and the importance of preserving one’s heritage while finding the strength to move forward. I am really enjoying her writing in dual time.

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After reading Long way home by this author I was thrilled to get an ARC of her newest novel and definitely recommend this one too!

The synopsis sums up the book brilliantly.

Characters you will fall in love with, root for, cry over and laugh with. All the emotions. Death,love, life, healing and redemption also forgiveness.

“Sometimes it’s funny, and sometimes it’s sad. Everything we struggle through has a purpose. That’s what God’s Word says. We have to take the good and bad and the bitter and sweet.”

Inspirational for sure and such healing of souls and relationships while showing relatable real life situations.

“Forgive my grief.” These words will stay with me. As a woman who has had to learn to love myself before being able to love others, the words are simple yet deep and profound.

Thanks to Netgalley and Thomas Nelson for my advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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This was an exceptional and inspirational read! Written very well. The author shows the characters' progressions in realistic and relevant ways. This novel tackles many hard subjects including grief and the concept of therapy v religion but does so without being preachy.

An overall great read. Definitely recommend

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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.*

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What a dynamic and remarkable read from an author who does not miss! From the beginning of this book until the very end you are taken on two distinct journeys that intersect beautifully in the end. This is a triumphant story of the past involving Tabby Cooper who despite a rocky start built a legacy that continues to stand nearly 90 years later and two of her great granddaughters who are sisters. The sisters are each dealing with traumas and victories and have been estranged over the years.
I especially appreciate the author tackling tough topics in such a delicate way and from a perspective that we don't ordinarily see. She sheds a different light on issues such as colorism, grief, forgiveness and maternal-fetal loss among other things. The storytelling is captivating and I did not want to stop reading this book once I started it! I then checked out the audio and it is a superb production that I highly recommend. The narration is top-notch! The story and narration are so compelling that I immediately started the audiobook over once I completed it! I've never done that before!

Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC copy of this work. Audiobook purchased from Audible.

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It’s safe to say Ms. Rhonda you have done it again. This will be my favorite book of the year just like The Thing About Home was my favorite last year.
I love dual time line and I especially love when the present learns something from the past. Sisters Mariah and Sabrina both grieving the past they had no control over and now grieving the life they thought would have. The story is weaved in a way that makes you think and forces you, well forced me to look at myself. I cried with the sisters, I healed with these sisters, I learned to forgive with sisters and to learned to love with these sisters. Through the letters of their great-great grandmother they were able to see that the glass is always half full and never empty. This truly spoke to heart. It’s a must read.

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Talk about a book that grabs you from the first page! This book has a dual timeline that was brilliantly done. I would love to see this as a movie. The sisters, Mariah and Sabrina, are great characters. Finding their great-great grandmother’s letters sends the sisters down a path that will change them forever.

These timelines! My word! I enjoyed both timelines, but Great-Great Grandma’s timeline was so intriguing. There are so many reminders for me in this book that there’s no shame in asking for help. You don’t know what you don’t know, and you don’t always have to figure things out alone. (That is one of my constant struggles.) This made me want Great-Great Grandma to have her own book. I want to know more about her.

I love how the book comes together, and it flows perfectly. The themes of this story, grief, shame, and healing, are important and should never be overlooked. With dual timelines, trauma, and healing, this is a must-read.

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𝑩𝒐𝒐𝒌 𝑻𝒐𝒖𝑹 𝑹𝒆𝒗𝒊𝒆𝒘 📖

First Thank you @hearourvoicestours and @authorrhondamcknight for allowing me to be apart of this tour. Thank you as well for my ARC. I’m happy to say it has also found its way to my mom’s nightstand currently and she is enjoying it as well.

Whew the ancestors were wrapped all through this one. I finished this book in two days. I’m new to this author but I will look forward to her next book. Just throwing this out there if I could get a book in the daddy or the brothers that would be great. Come on I know some other people had to think the same thing 😆. This story is told from dual timelines past and present. It was very well done. The reader is thrown into the lives of three women,Mariah, Sabrina and Tabitha. Mariah and Sabrina are sisters who are lost and down on their luck. Shame and embarrassment keeps them from seeking out family, until they make it home to see about their grandparents. The elders of families always have a plan. They come to know themselves, each other, and the matriarch of their family Tabitha through her letter. Man you talk about a precious family heirloom. Tabitha’s life was anything but easy. This woman came out the other side of Teen pregnancy, kept womanhood, shame, poverty, racism and verbal/mental abuse to just name a few. The best part is she also found love of her self, family and with her husband. It was a beautiful thing to read. In the present her granddaughters are fighting similar battles. The overlap of effects of generational trauma is so real. Sadly many people don’t make it past it. When you make peace with the demons of your past and live for the present it’s a beautiful thing. Sometimes you just need something that is worth fighting for and for this family it was their grandmothers legacy.
I really enjoyed this one.

#bittersweet #rhondamckinght #resturant #foodtruck #love #homelessness #passing #white #black #read #books #drbooksreads #historical

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This book was a little confusing about who was who and what was going on at first as the foundation was laid, but within a few chapters it was clear and I was hooked (so keep reading!). I loved the relatable characters going through hard things in life, and watching how they healed and matured over time. Growing up in the Carolinas myself, I also loved seeing familiar places mentioned and the history of Charleston immersed in the story. I've walked the streets of Charleston many times, and now I'll do so with fresh eyes. This book made me appreciate and admire the courage and strength of people who had to overcome many challenges to make a better life, both because of being female and because of race. Though it's a very different story and time frame, it reminded me of Vanessa Miller's "The American Queen" because of the historical, woman power, and faith themes.

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I found this book difficult to read at first, but the further I got into it, the more I liked it. Revolving around three main characters, it takes place in a fictional area of South Carolina, but reads like it should be in Louisiana or Florida swamp lands.

Sabrina and Mariah have been called back to help their grandma after their grandpa had a stroke. Grandma needs help finishing the refurbishing of Tabby's Meats and Sweets restaurant. Both girls have experience and their own unique set of skills to bring to the table. The thing is they both have a rather contentious relationship. Sabrina doesn't understand the animosity Mariah has toward her and Mariah doesn't quite have a full grasp on it herself. As the two girls work together to get the restaurant off the ground, they both delve into their history and find out who they really are.

By the end of the book, I found myself drawn in and consumed by the plot. Rhonda McKnight writes in such a way that women of all colors find themselves in her stories and find points of common interest with the characters. I have to imagine that Rhonda is as beautiful a woman as she writes her characters to be.

This is a five star book, with two thumbs up, and a jar cake to tickle your taste buds.

Thomas Nelson Fiction provided the copy I read for this review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

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Bitter and Sweet is a story chock-full of southern culture, coastal nuances, and the rigor of relationships. This dual-time novel brings a lot to the table to be sorted out and laid to rest. It embraces the wisdom of the matriarch, sisters in conflict, loss of love and trust and the resilience we have when we hold to faith and family. It is Christian women’s fiction, with southern flair, at its best.

I have to say that this story in audiobook is stellar. So, if you enjoy this format, this is a book that you will want to listen to. The use of multiple narrators created distinguishable characters and lent clarity to the dual-time frames and multiple POVs.

This book is suitable for teens and older with no inappropriate intimate scenes and no bad language. I received this book from the author/publisher free of charge, with no expectation of a positive review.

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It’s a “Ten”!

Women’s Fiction…
Southern Fiction…
Dual Timeline…
with all the feels!

Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary read that captures your attention from the beginning to the end.

The engaging dual timeline makes for an edge-of-your-seat read that you won’t want to put down! It’s a perfect blend of the past meets the present, exploring the implications of family secrets, grief, forgiveness, and redemption.

Rhonda McKnight gives you an emotionally engaging story with all the feels, including therapy on the page. Not to mention, the real, raw emotions of the characters that keep you turning the pages wanting more.

Bitter and Sweet is a tell a friend to tell a friend page-turner that is totally book hangover-worthy.

It’s historical fiction at its finest.

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This book was wonderful. Deep, made me think, moving. I loved learning more about the Gullah traditions, culture and accent. I loved the complicated relationships between the family members and the grandmother was by far my favorite person. I loved how I could sympathize and empathize with both sisters. This was a great book, first one I've read by this author and will not be my last. Highly recommend.

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What a perfectly appropriate, descriptive title for this great dual timeline historical fiction. I often prefer one timeline over another but both here are equally compelling. I knew nothing about the Gullah culture and really enjoyed learning about it along with all the mouthwatering food descriptions! It was compelling watching each of the main characters grow and change through their different but connected journeys of heartbreak, healing, forgiveness woven into a moving tale of faith and family relationships.
Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for the opportunity to read for my honest review.

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OMG I’ve been told to give this author a try and I’m oh so glad that I did! This story told in alternating timelines was so amazingly told! I was captivated and couldn’t put it down! I loved reading about how strong Tabitha had to be and how her love of cooking came through the bloodline to the “black women who dared”. What a powerful story and even though it was fictional, I’m sure there are aspects of this book that could have actually happened!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Rhonda McKnight has done it again! She has woven a beautiful story of secrets, repressed feelings, and eventual mended relationships. Two sisters have a tumultuous relationship, and each feel they are slighted by the other. Their grandmother calls them home to South Carolina to help rebuild and run the family restaurant. Neither sister knows they have been summoned home until they are there. Both sisters have unresolved problems in their lives and don't want to be involved with such a huge undertaking, especially alongside each other. The book vacillates between two time frames to explain the inception of the restaurant and why this means so much to their family. The reader watches the sisters' relationship change as they learn about the past and how this affects the present. Of course, intertwined in the main story line is a little bit of romance. This is the 2nd book I've read of Rhonda's and have loved! She has a way of endearing you to the characters and teaching you some history. Bravo, Rhonda!
Thank you to Thomas Nelson, a registered trademark of Harper Collins Christian Publishing, Inc. and NetGalley for this advanced reader's copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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I knew I would like this book before I read it, but I never expected to love it too. This is an inviting book from the very start and it captured me to the point of staying up to finish it. I enjoyed the traveling of the years between the past and the future times. The letters from the second grandmother were fun to read as well. All the characters of this charming book make the title of this story come alive. This author is new to me and I've been entertained by one of the best books to hit the shelves this year!

**Thank you to Netgalley & Thomas Nelson Publishing for an eBook copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion/review of this book!

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What a wonderful book! A dual time novel that plays in the 1910s-1930s and nowadays. This book was a total surprise for me. I was a little hesitant requesting it, wanting to read something uplifting and I wasn’t sure this book would have that. Well, it did! Two sisters who didn’t get along. At all. And never had. I was starting to get really fed up with the “mean” one but … not all was as it seemed and it showed the impact our upbringing can have on our adult life. Good character development for both women. Lots of wisdom, beautiful early 20th century story and a peek into Gullah culture. I loved it. Having grown up in Europe, this was totally new to me and super interesting. While reading, I found myself researching the Gullah culture, which helped in understanding the riches of the book better. One of my favorite passages was when one of the characters was scared of going to therapy because she feared losing control of her feelings. “Therapy is an opportunity to get strategies. It doesn’t mean you’re unwell, it just means you need a little help coping.” “You are not going to live your life not taking action because of fear. If you had a lump in your breast, you’d be scared but you’d go to the doctor. We don’t avoid help because the treatment might be hard.” This is such an enriching book, I’d highly recommend it.

Many thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for an ARC. All opinions are my own. I was not required to leave a positive review, but was very happy to do so!

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One thing Rhonda is going to do, is write a story worth telling. I loved the different point of views between the three women: sisters, Mariah and Sabrina, as well as their great-great-grandmother, Tabitha. I love Rhonda’s writing so much, I want to visit the low-country to experience it myself. Another thing, the low-country men written in these stories are dreams, so you know I loved Mr. Quinten. I still think about Mr. Nigel from The Thing About Home.

Mariah, the older sister, was quite annoying majority of the book but I finally understood her struggle by the end of the story.

Sabrina, the younger sister, struggled raising her daughter as a single mother but she was doing her best. She was really trying to find herself and bake cakes like her mother did.

Tabitha, their great-great-grandmother, story being told from letters written long ago. I loved her story. I could read a book about her alone. Her stories help guide the sisters toward a different life.

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I loved this story by Rhonda McKnight that effectively and beautifully weaved the past and present together. Ms McKnight is a genius at intertwining the lives of strong and resilient women. Mariah, Sabrina and Tabitha are unforgettable characters. I loved how Ms McKnight interwove the Gullah culture into the storyline.. the story is captivating and I highly recommend it for your reading pleasure

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