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Any Bitter Thing

A Novel

By

Paperback published by Ballantine Books (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
After surviving a near-fatal accident, thirty-year-old Lizzy Mitchell faces a long road to recovery. She remembers little about the days she spent in and out of consciousness, save for one thing: She saw her beloved deceased uncle, Father Mike, the man who raised her in the rectory of his Maine church until she was nine, at which time she was abruptly sent away to boarding school. Was Father Mike an angel, a messenger from the beyond, or something more corporeal? Though her troubled marriage and her broken body need tending, Lizzy knows she must uncover the details of her accident–and delve deep into events of twenty years before, when whispers and accusations forced a good man to give up the only family he had. With deft insight into the snares of the human heart, Monica Wood has written an intimate and emotionally expansive novel full of understanding and hope.
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After surviving a near-fatal accident, thirty-year-old Lizzy Mitchell faces a long road to recovery. She remembers little about the days she spent in and out of consciousness, save for one thing: She saw her beloved deceased uncle, Father Mike, the man who raised her in the rectory of his Maine church until she was nine, at which time she was abruptly sent away to boarding school. Was Father Mike an angel, a messenger from the beyond, or something more corporeal? Though her troubled marriage and her broken body need tending, Lizzy knows she must uncover the details of her accident–and delve deep into events of twenty years before, when whispers and accusations forced a good man to give up the only family he had. With deft insight into the snares of the human heart, Monica Wood has written an intimate and emotionally expansive novel full of understanding and hope.
Product Details
Paperback (368 pages)
Published: April 25, 2006
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780345477682
Other books byMonica Wood
  • When We Were the Kennedys

    When We Were the Kennedys
    A Memoir from Mexico, Maine
    1963, Mexico, Maine. The Wood family is much like its close, Catholic, immigrant neighbors, all dependent on a father’s wages from the Oxford Paper Company. Until the sudden death of Dad, when Mum and the four closely connected Wood girls are set adrift. Funny and to-the-bone moving, When We Were the Kennedys is the story of how this family saves itself, at first by depending on Father Bob, Mum’s youngest brother, a charismatic Catholic priest who feels his new responsibilities deeply. And then, as the nation is shocked by the loss of its handsome Catholic president, the televised grace of Jackie Kennedy—she too a Catholic widow with young children—galvanizes Mum to set off on an unprecedented family road trip to Washington, D.C., to do some rescuing of her own. An indelible story of how family and nation, each shocked by the unimaginable, exchange one identity for another.    “Monica Wood has written a gorgeous, gripping memoir. I don’t know that I’ve ever pulled so hard for a family.”—Michael Paterniti, author of Driving Mr. Albert

    Ernie's Ark

    Ernie's Ark
    Stories
    Acclaimed novelist Monica Wood again turns her keen eye and wry humor to small town Maine. Nine interrelated stories create a layered and complex portrait of a community in the midst of crisis as a strike wears on at the paper mill, and the residents of Abbott Falls feel the reverberations of the towns shifting fortune. Ernie, just days shy of retirement when the strike hits, finds new purpose in building an ark in the backyard. Written with a quiet grace and lyrical power, Ernies Ark is a moving work by a writer who understands the vagaries and hopes of the human heart.

    Secret Language

    Secret Language
    Connie has trouble with time. She always has to stop and think a minute: How old is she now? . . . Faith always seems to know, though her life is the same as Connie’s: back and forth to theater towns all over. The same dingy food, the same noisy sidewalks, the same cramped suites in the same hotels. . . Sometimes they go to school, sometimes not, though they always have books to read: big packets of books that Armand sends to them in every city. Armand is their parents’ lawyer, the only person they know who likes children. . . . Faith and Connie endured the same childhood as daughters of egocentric, semi-famous actors who can scarcely take care of themselves. But the two sisters could not be more different. Connie learned to beg for attention, clamor for approval, and fill the silence with words. Faith turned inward, shrinking from the tender emotions that make up an ordinary life. Despite their differences, the sisters came to rely on each other exclusively. But lately, after years of quiet connection, Faith and Connie seem to have lost the ties that once held them close. Faith has a home and two growing sons, but is still unable to fathom unconditional love. Connie, a flight attendant, is always searching, ever-expecting to find her true place in life at the end of each long flight. But a series of shocking, revelatory events will bring the sisters back to each other—and forever alter how they define love, fulfillment, and most importantly, family. From the Trade Paperback edition.

    My Only Story

    My Only Story
    An unconventional love story frames this graceful, funny, and moving novel by a writer of exceptional talent. Rita, a hair stylist in her 20s attuned to the suffering of others and the ways that she can help, meets John Reed who, she observes, though not yet out of his thirties, "...seemed old, the way all sad people do." As they come to know, trust, and eventually love one another, John tells Rita "his only story," the one story that each of us tells that defines us the most. In a dark, terrible moment five years earlier, John's brother Roger killed his own wife and then himself, orphaning their then 3-year-old daughter, Aileen. After Aileen is adopted by her dead mother's close-knit trio of sisters, John is excluded from contact with her in memory of his brother's tragic act. With Rita's help, ties are slowly reestablished with Aileen, and John and Rita's own relationship moves in a direction that seems at once inevitable and completely unexpected. An exploration of love, sacrifice, and the bonds of family which will appeal to readers of Lorrie Moore, Ann Hood, and Rosellyn Brown, Monica Wood's novel speaks to our deepest longing and brightest hopes.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • Despite its abrupt arrival, my accident felt anticipated after the fact, like a long-delayed package arriving as a thwup on the doorstep.

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
  • After that, I asked for a story about my parents. We begin there.

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