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review 2018-03-11 19:21
The Road to Bittersweet by Donna Everhart
The Road to Bittersweet - Donna Everhart

A Historical Fiction, the Story takes place in the Appalachians of North Carolina in the 1940s. This book is beautifully written with a plot that grabbed me from the first word and well developed characters that I fell in love with. When you look at the cover of this book don't let it fool you! The cover does not do the book justice!

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review 2017-12-25 00:43
The Road to Bittersweet
The Road to Bittersweet - Donna Everhart

By:  Donna Everhart

ISBN:  9781496709493

Publisher: Kensington

Publication Date:  12/26/2017

Format: Paperback 

My Rating:  4 Stars 


Donna Everhart takes readers to Stampers Creek, 1940 North Carolina along the Tuckasegee River with the Stampers family. THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET —a gritty Southern tale of despair, family, and hope. A perfect and fitting title for this coming-of-age journey through life's ups and downs from childhood to womanhood. 

"It takes courage to find your way." 

In the Appalachian mountains, near Cashiers, NC, we meet Wallis Ann. Fourteen-years-old and wise beyond her years. She takes most of the burden caring for her sister, Laci. Her sister is two years older, yet she will never be able to read or write or solve problems. They all wondered what she must be thinking. There was also the younger brother, Seph; only three-years-old. 

Laci is "savant." Gifted. A person affected with a mental disability (such as autism or mental retardation) who exhibits exceptional skill or brilliance in some limited field (such as mathematics or music).In this case, music. The family played music, known as The Stamper Family. From the piano, banjo, fiddle, among others. 

There is a devastating flood after the waters broke over the dam. The worst this area had ever seen. Torrential rains. This event scared Wallis more than anything she had ever experienced. They are swept away by the strong currents. 

After losing everything, the Papa takes them to his brother, Hardy in South Carolina. They are on the road trying to survive by singing for money to have enough to eat. 


The momma depended on Wallis Ann for so much of Laci's care, and Laci experienced guilt from some of the events happening in the story. Wallis Ann feels somewhat invisible at times due to her sister's disability. 

Along the way, there are more struggles, and challenges striving for survival amid life's storms. Burdens to carry. Hearts broken. Dreams unfulfilled. Guilt-ridden. Betrayal. 

Heartstrings are pulled especially with Wallis Ann. She is brave, and resilient while suffering from hardships, hopelessness, and other situations and emotions she encounters. Deeply emotional a mix of Southern fiction/Gothic, coming-of-age, historical, and literary fiction. 


“Windows give you a view. Otherwise you can't see nothing, no matter how hard you try. It ain't much different in how we look at our world from inside ourselves."

I enjoyed the theme of water which is apparent throughout the novel from the river, the flood, the waterfalls and symbolic in many ways to the peaceful trickle of water sliding over the rocks. On a side note: My favorite places in the NC mountains are the Highlands and Cashiers. Beautiful waterfalls and scenic mountains. I miss my log cabin in Big Canoe, GA. 

The characters are well-drawn (as the secondary ones) and the times researched, drawing you into their world of survival and vivid settings. 

"We're going to keep on having hope until there's no possibility of having it anymore. That's all we can do."

Descriptive storytelling, a well-written emotional Southern coming-of-age novel of family, heartbreak, love, loss, and acceptance. 

For fans of Southern historical fiction and authors: Leah Weiss, Kim Michele Richardson, Wiley Cash, Emilie Richards, Diane Chamberlain, and David Joy. 

A special thank you to Kensington for an advanced reading copy and the introduction to this talented North Carolina author. Look forward to reading more.



About the Author


Donna Everhart is a USA Today bestselling author of THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE, an Amazon Best Book/Debut Spotlight, Indie Next Pick for November 2016 and longlisted for the Southern Book Prize,
(formerly the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize)


Her next novel, THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET, January 2018, is a Publisher’s Lunch Buzz Book for Fall/Winter 2017-2018 and a 2018 Southern
Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Trio pick.


Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, she has lived close to her hometown for most of her life. For several years she worked for high tech companies, specializing in project management and product introduction. She carries a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. She lives in Dunn, North Carolina with her husband, Blaine,
and a tiny, heart-stealing Yorkshire terrier, named Mister.


She is a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and Women’s
Fiction Writers Association. Read More 


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/11/03/The-Road-to-Bittersweet
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review 2017-12-17 00:00
The Road to Bittersweet
The Road to Bittersweet - Donna Everhart I received this book in response for a good review. This book has had me on my toes since I started it. Wallis Ann has become my favorite character so far. This book has definitely changed my way of thinking about some things
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review 2017-01-07 05:18
The Education of Dixie Dupree - Donna Everhart


Donna Everhart

Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 25th 2016 by Kensington
1496705513 (ISBN13: 9781496705518)
I really enjoyed this book despite some of the difficult to hear subjects represented in the book. Everhart writes from Dixie Dupree's point of view and does a great job of giving the characters personality. The story line kept me coming back to check in on Dixie while she dealt with some pretty serious stuff for an 11 year old. I would definitely recommend this, with the disclaimer of be ready for some serious subject matter. This is not a bad thing, as the subjects need to be talked about (I'm trying not to add spoilers).


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review 2016-09-26 00:00
The Education of Dixie Dupree
The Education of Dixie Dupree - Donna Everhart This one I have to think over a bit before I try to review it. With the nature of the evil in this one, I first must reconcile it in my mind before I can share it. A full review will follow shortly on my blog.

My Review:
A story that is as old as families and just as sad as a child's tears. The education Dixie gets is one too many children got, and still get. Ms. Everhart writes with words that will bring you to tears time and time again in this sad story of a Southern-Northern family that tears itself apart and puts itself back together, but too late to save the innocence of a child. She makes you want to strike out at some. She makes you want to shake some. And she makes you want to shield the innocent.

This book left me sad and frustrated and not wanting to write a review. I recommend this book for those of you who read the real tear jerkers in women's lit. This one certainly qualifies. Don't forget the tissue box.

I was provided an eARC by Kensington and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley of Blue Cat Review
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