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BITTERSWEET
By Nevada Barr

Avon Books, September, 1999, ( trade paperback, 362 pages) $13.50

Reviewed by Shirley H. Wetzel

This was Ms. Barr's first novel, written before her successful Anna Pigeon mystery series. It is not a mystery. It can best be described as an historical lesbian romance.

Schoolteacher Imogene Grelznick is forced to resign her position in 19th century Philadelphia because of a scandalous episode with a pupil. With the help of a Quaker friend, she is able to secure another teaching position in western Pennsylvania, where she becomes a mentor to Sarah, a teenage farm girl.

Imogene's past catches up with her after she goes back east for a visit.

The book is beautifully written, the story indeed bittersweet.


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