Bitter In The Mouth, Paperback Book


'The truth about my family is that we disappointed one another.

When I hear the word 'disappoint' I taste toast, slightly burnt'.

Growing up in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, in the '70s and '80s, Linda Hammerick knows that she is different.

She has strong, almost paralysing associations between words and tastes; she doesn't look like everyone else; and she isn't popular at school.

She finds her way through life with the help of her great uncle 'Baby' Harper, who loves her and loves to dance, and her best friend fat-thin-fat Kelly with whom she has been exchanging letters since they were seven.

Her adoring father considers himself a Reasonable Man, but turns out to be just a man, with a weak heart.

Even as Linda escapes her vengeful grandmother and her semi-detached mother, to go north, she still doesn't know the truth about her past, until a tragedy and the revelation that follows make her question everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.

Truong draws on her own experience as a child of Vietnamese parents in a small Southern town to give us an intricate, irresistible novel about a young woman discovering who she is and where she belongs.


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