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The Road to Bittersweet
Cover of The Road to Bittersweet
The Road to Bittersweet
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"Southern fiction at its finest . . . a mix of heart and adventure" from the author of The Education of Dixie Dupree (Historical Novel Society).

Set in the Carolinas in the 1940s, The Road to Bittersweet is a beautifully written, evocative account of a young woman reckoning not just with the unforgiving landscape, but with the rocky emotional terrain that leads from innocence to wisdom.

For fourteen-year-old Wallis Ann Stamper and her family, life in the Appalachian Mountains is simple and satisfying, though not for the tenderhearted. While her older sister, Laci—a mute, musically gifted savant—is constantly watched over and protected, Wallis Ann is as practical and sturdy as her name. When the Tuckasegee River bursts its banks, forcing them to flee in the middle of the night, those qualities save her life. But though her family is eventually reunited, the tragedy opens Wallis Ann's eyes to a world beyond the creek that's borne their name for generations.

Carrying what's left of their possessions, the Stampers begin another perilous journey from their ruined home to the hill country of South Carolina. Wallis Ann's blossoming friendship with Clayton, a high diving performer for a traveling show, sparks a new opportunity, and the family joins as a singing group. But Clayton's attention to Laci drives a wedge between the two sisters. As jealousy and betrayal threaten to accomplish what hardship never could—divide the family for good—Wallis Ann makes a decision that will transform them all in unforeseeable ways . . .

"You will fall in love with Wallis Ann Stamper." —Sandra Dallas, New York Times bestselling author

"Southern fiction at its finest . . . a mix of heart and adventure" from the author of The Education of Dixie Dupree (Historical Novel Society).

Set in the Carolinas in the 1940s, The Road to Bittersweet is a beautifully written, evocative account of a young woman reckoning not just with the unforgiving landscape, but with the rocky emotional terrain that leads from innocence to wisdom.

For fourteen-year-old Wallis Ann Stamper and her family, life in the Appalachian Mountains is simple and satisfying, though not for the tenderhearted. While her older sister, Laci—a mute, musically gifted savant—is constantly watched over and protected, Wallis Ann is as practical and sturdy as her name. When the Tuckasegee River bursts its banks, forcing them to flee in the middle of the night, those qualities save her life. But though her family is eventually reunited, the tragedy opens Wallis Ann's eyes to a world beyond the creek that's borne their name for generations.

Carrying what's left of their possessions, the Stampers begin another perilous journey from their ruined home to the hill country of South Carolina. Wallis Ann's blossoming friendship with Clayton, a high diving performer for a traveling show, sparks a new opportunity, and the family joins as a singing group. But Clayton's attention to Laci drives a wedge between the two sisters. As jealousy and betrayal threaten to accomplish what hardship never could—divide the family for good—Wallis Ann makes a decision that will transform them all in unforeseeable ways . . .

"You will fall in love with Wallis Ann Stamper." —Sandra Dallas, New York Times bestselling author

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About the Author-
  • Donna Everhart is a USA Today bestselling author who writes stories of family hardship and troubled times in a bygone South. A native of North Carolina, she resides in her home state with her husband and their tiny heart-stealing Yorkshire terrier, Mister. Readers can visit her at www.donnaeverhart.com.
Reviews-
  • Booklist

    December 15, 2017
    The Stamper family is scattered when they are swept away in the catastrophic 1940 Tuckasegee River flood in the mountains of North Carolina. Fourteen-year-old narrator Wallis Ann, a scrappy girl who can work like a man, manages to survive on her own until everyone makes it back to Stampers Creek. But winter is coming, and their cabin and barn are gone, so as soon as Papa fixes the truck, they head south. Before the flood, the Stampers achieved some small fame as a musical act with Wallis Ann's older sister, Lacibeautiful, musically gifted, and autistic (an idiot savant, a doctor calls her)as the star. In the novel's second half, the Stampers are hired on as performers in a traveling carnival. As they work to scrape enough money together to go back home and rebuild, Wallis Ann has to contend with jealousy over the attention Laci draws. The two halves of the novel don't quite mesh, but Everhart (The Education of Dixie Dupree, 2016) is a good storyteller and makes her characters and their experiences come alive.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

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    Kensington Books
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The Road to Bittersweet
The Road to Bittersweet
Donna Everhart
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