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Bittersweet Paperback – 5 Jun 2014

101 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Head of Zeus (5 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781855897
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781855898
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 2.8 x 13 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'An epic saga of love, betrayal and redemption in 1920s Australia' Take A Break.

'A novel of love, loss and betrayal - think of Scarlett O'Hara and multiply by four' The Lady.

Book Description

From author of THE THORN BIRDS, one of the biggest-selling books of all time, comes this long-awaited epic saga.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By The Curious Dame on 15 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback
Bittersweet by Colleen McCullough is a family saga about four Latimer sisters – two sets of twins from two different mothers. The story is set in a small Australian town during the aftermath of World War I and the Great Depression. The four sisters, Edda and Grace, and Tufts and Kitty, leave their hometown to become nursing trainees at a nearby hospital. Upon their arrival, they are under the supervision of a very harsh Matron. Despite the terrible living and working conditions, the sisters persevere. Things improve when a new hospital superintendent named Dr. Charles Burdum takes over.

Four sisters - different from the other, with their own set of future aspirations. The story unfolds as each sister follows their own dreams and make their own life altering decisions. Despite their struggles, it is the bond of family that holds them together.

This is a novel about choices and the seeking of happiness and the many different ways this affects lives. The story has a little of everything, from sadness to great joy, life and death, and great love. Told with the author’s great wit, there are many poignant moments as well as humorous ones. A profoundly enriching novel!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Susan Pope on 15 Aug. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved 'The Thorn Birds' but feel nothing Colleen has written since has had the same emotional punch. However, 'Bittersweet' is a saga of dramatic content, full of Australian history during the 20's and 30's. Two sets of female twins, with the same father but different mothers, embark together on a career in nursing in New South Wales. We follow the fortunes and misfortunes of each girl and their relationships with each other and the men in their lives. The book is packed to the gunnels with so much story it is sometimes difficult to keep track of everyone. I recommend this book to all Australian readers and anyone else in the world that has an affinity with Australia.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Gill Kindle on 18 Dec. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Had previously re-read and enjoyed The Thorn Birds so thought this would be good but it was great! Really engrossing with great characters. Looked forward to reading it each time and started watching the percentage read with dread as the end got nearer! Now looking at other Colleen McCullough books but need to get these people out of my head first.
Highly recommended!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By esther_mckenna@yahoo.co.uk on 18 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Full of interesting characters, obviously written from her own experience served in a hospital in Australia before the Stock market crash of 1920s. Read it and fall in love with all the sisters, two sets of twins but with different individuality and personality.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By renlup on 14 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was a good read, once I had sorted out the four main characters, following their lives and how different two sets of twins can be.
As well as a good story it gave some interesting insights into Australian politics at that time.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Dec. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This novel is set in the fictional Australian town of Corunda in the 1920s and 1930s, and is the story of four sisters - two sets of twins - Edda and Grace, Kitty and Tufts (Heather). The girls' father is the Reverend Thomas Latimer. Edda and Grace's mother died in childbirth, Kitty and Tufts's mother, Maude, is the Reverend Latimer's second wife and former housekeeper.

The four sisters leave home, after an eventful afternoon tea, to undertake new-style nurse training at the Corunda Base Hospital at the beginning of April 1926. Each of the sisters has different strengths and ambitions: Edda would have liked to train to be a doctor; Grace detests messes; Kitty wishs that the world would see more than her physical beauty and Tufts would like to better organise the world. Some of the sisters would like to marry, others are far less keen. Away from the meddling Maude, and in a world full of post-war optimism, the sisters each work at finding a life that is meaningful. Edda seems certain of what she wants and, sometimes, thinks she knows what is best for her sisters. Grace doesn't care for the mess of nursing, and it's hardly surprising that she leaves nursing when swept off her feet by Bear Olsen, a handsome young commercial traveller. Kitty loves nursing children, and Tufts finds a meaningful platonic partnership with pathologist Doctor Liam Finucan.

`You might get away with carnations and chocolates, but Tennyson and tripe?'

Time passes, life changes. Post-war optimism is replaced by the hardship of the Depression. While none of the sisters are immune from this change, it is Grace and her family that is hardest hit. Kitty and Edda marry as well - very different men - and Tufts moves into hospital administration.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr Ewan Harkness on 25 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Marvellous story some character details a bit off the mark e.g the
Ulster Protestant Dr. would have been very unlikely to be called
Liam Finucan
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First of all, a confession; I don't normally read romantic fiction in any form. This book was chosen by a member of one of my book groups, giving as her reason the recent death of the author. Most of us had watched, and loved, Thorn Birds, so were keen to read this. I don't know about the others, but I was bitterly disappointed. The tale of two sets of near-identical twins of utter beauty and perfection, this story was really bad - would every man the sisters met really propose to her the moment he set eyes on her, however beautiful? And remain besotted by her, no matter what her (many) faults? I think not! - but the style of writing was even worse. The setting was Australia in the 1939’s, so maybe McCollough thought she should write in the breathy prose of the women's magazines of the time, despite this being written in 2013, but for me it made the book virtually unreadable. I won't be re-visiting Thorn Birds, in case it is as bad as this and my memories of it are destroyed! However, as I say, I don't read out and out Romance; perhaps for a fan of the genre this book will work better.
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