BITTER hits every single one of my must-reads. An incredibly well-drawn, flawed female lead character; a 1960s setting and an unsettling yet realistic family dynamic . . . BITTER is deeply moving and so very wise. I absolutely adored it
Bitter, yes, but also sweet -- and moving, and searching, and quietly devastating: a novel to detonate the heart. Steep yourself in this exquisite story. You won't regret it, and you won't forget it. Fans of Gail Honeyman and Joanna Cannon will love Bitter
Gilda's personal trials will keep readers in thrall to the bittersweet ending
Bitter by Francesca Jakobi is stormingly good, deliciously addictive, as gripping as Zoë Heller's Notes on a Scandal. It's got to be the beach read of 2018!
This is an original and heartbreaking novel - beautifully written with such a powerful voice. I couldn't put it down
Compelling and, in places, heartbreaking. A beautiful portrait of a mother's love
Jakobi's debut is ambitious in scope, investigating her central character in forensic detail, with short, pacy chapters that alternate between past and present . . . At once tragic and engrossing, this gimlet-eyed character study elicits sympathy and damnation, both for Gilda herself and for the circumstances that have defined her'
A moving, powerful story of love, obsession, guilt, lies and the lengths we'll go to for a second chance
I hated Gilda at first, her judgemental, mean spirited view of the world. She seemed to be the kind of person I would run from at parties. Then, as time went on, this woman felt no longer bitter, but like someone I had come to love. Such clever storytelling . . . By the end I was running towards the finish line, desperate to see her come through
It's not easy to make a reader fall in love with a character who is as flawed as Gilda. She is difficult, snooty, and unhinged - and I absolutely adored her. She deserves to take her place beside character greats such as Olive Kitteridge and Eleanor Oliphant . . . Although this is an incredibly moving book - I sobbed my way through the final 30 pages - there are some wonderfully funny moments too. Bitter has left me with one of the most severe book hangovers I've ever experienced. It's a masterpiece
[A] riveting study of a woman who takes motherly concern to rather sinister extremes . . . it slowly, tantalisingly becomes clear that Gilda has never been in charge of her life . . . and shocking secrets from her past will have the power to transform her present
A beautiful, poignant and - at times - unsettling insight into motherhood: its triumphs and disappointments but, above all, its power to transform relationships. I loved it
Beautifully written and paced. I was hooked - heart in mouth from the beginning. Exquisite storytelling
'I loved this book so much. Really moving and completely absorbing - I loved Gilda's voice'
Provocative and skilful . . . The results are as hilarious as they are unsettling as Jakobi exploits the stereotype of the needy Jewish mother and we are drawn against our better judgment to side with out-of-control Gilda
I bloody loved this book. It was emotionally so intense, so addictive, I tore through it, unable to stop. Buy it. Read it
Brilliantly paced, moving, thoughtful and sharp. Loved it
I loved BITTER . . . an incredibly moving novel about a mother's guilt and shame at her inability to bond with her son. It is a beautifully woven tale that tilts with issues of class and race and religion. The reader's feelings towards the protagonist always balance somewhere between pity and indignation, never drifting towards any simplistic sense of certainty
BITTER is an incredible book about familial love gone wrong: deeply felt, subtly wrought and deliciously complicated
Gloriously sinister and yet, when you least expect it, quietly heartbreaking. Brilliant
BITTER is just wonderful. It's a very painful story but told with a kind of lightness and grace. It's so well-written, with such deceptive directness and simplicity, so well-organised and well-paced. Francesca Jakobi completely inhabits Gilda, in all her pain and obsession, all her self-deception and self-sabotage. An absolutely astonishing first novel
Jakobi's imagery transports you from bombed London streets to the anything goes vibes at the end of the swinging '60s . . . a terrifying and poignant portrait of a lonely woman ****
A beautiful and original story. I absolutely loved it