An absolutely stunning debut, Bitter is a heartbreaking portrait of a mother’s love for her son, and all the ways that love can go wrong. What I found so interesting is how Francesca Jakobi successfully made me sympathize with Gilda, a protagonist who is so snobby, judgemental and difficult that on the surface she seems unlikeable. And yet I completely adored her.
Gilda walked out on her son, Reuben when he was a child, and she has spent her life regretting almost every decision she ever made. When Reuben marries Alice, the complete antithesis of Gilda, Gilda is consumed with jealousy and determined to find out more about Alice.
I found this story profoundly moving and deeply perceptive as we discover all the ways that Gilda is seeking to connect with her son. It is a story to sit and savor, not one to rush through. The prose is lyrically beautiful and the characters so sympathetically drawn I felt I truly knew them. Highly recommend this one.