Category Archives: Cleveland


Monique Truong. Bitter in the Mouth. New York: Random House, 2010.

All of her adult life, Linda Hammerick has been asked “what it was like to grow up being Asian in the South.” Linda, adopted at the age of six by a white couple in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, has always given the following response: “You mean what was it like to grow up looking Asian in the South.”

The dissolution of her engagement, a job demotion, and a bout with cancer were all events that Linda could deal with on her own, safely in her New York City brownstone. However, it is the sudden death of her beloved great-uncle, Harper, that brings Linda back to Boiling Springs as a thirty-year old, twelve years after leaving for college at Yale. On this visit, without the gentle, insightful perspective of Harper, Linda has to come to terms with her childhood–her strained relationship with her mother, DeAnne, her understanding of her synesthesia (a neurological condition that makes Linda associate tastes with words, like Lindamint and Jesusfriedchicken), and the circumstances of her adoption. Revisiting her memories of the different people and stages in her life, Linda finds that although there are no easy answers to the questions of her youth, exploring them helps her grow.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Cleveland, Piedmont, Truong, Monique

Pamela Duncan. Moon Women. New York: Delacorte Press, 2001.

The “Moon women” are three generations of women of the Moon family in western North Carolina. Ruth Ann Moon’s life changes suddenly when her mother and her daughter move in with her. Her mother, the family matriarch Marvelle Moon, is beginning to show the frailties of her age, while her daughter Ashley is three months pregnant, unmarried, and just out of rehab. The novel unfolds over the course of Ashley’s pregnancy as each of the women adjusts to life together, and to their changing roles in the family.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC Library Catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2001, Cleveland, Duncan, Pamela, Mountains