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Book Reviews of All That Is Bitter and Sweet: A Memoir

All That Is Bitter and Sweet: A Memoir
All That Is Bitter and Sweet A Memoir
Author: Ashley Judd, Maryanne Vollers
ISBN-13: 9780345523617
ISBN-10: 034552361X
Publication Date: 4/5/2011
Pages: 400
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.

3.3 stars, based on 30 ratings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

8 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

Gr8Smokies avatar reviewed All That Is Bitter and Sweet: A Memoir on + 98 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This memoir covers Ashley's life from childhood to the present. Her growing up years were lonely, abusive, and painful. Basically, she was the leftover child--her sister being the one who has a tumultuous relationship with her mom. Both Ashley's parents made selfish and thoughtless decisions that impacted her life.

The best part of the this book (the most interesting) was Ashley's work with organizations that serve women in developing countries. I found it fascinating and moving.

The parts that bored me to tears? Ashley goes into treatment for depression (in-patient) and deals with her issues. I actually found that interesting. But, after she wrote about treatment, her thought processes and insights descended into psycho-babble. It was a little too much.

I enjoyed the book, since this is not the typical, vapid, celebrity memoir. She has overcome many family problems to get where she is now.
tripledip3 avatar reviewed All That Is Bitter and Sweet: A Memoir on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I was disappointed in this book, and did not finish it. It gives a sad picture of Ashley's childhood as the non-favorite child of a flighty mother, as her mom and sister pursued their musical careers. The stories about her charity work with abused women and children and refugees were inspiring, but also sad. A rather somber book, not a good read for a rainy day, or a difficult time in your own life. Guess I would have preferred a one-hour documentary on this instead of reading it for hours and hours. Too depressing.
reviewed All That Is Bitter and Sweet: A Memoir on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed reading this book. She had a very challenging and troubled childhood and has turned it around to help others. Interesting info regarding her mom and sister.
catk avatar reviewed All That Is Bitter and Sweet: A Memoir on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was so enlightening. Ashley Judd does such amazing work on behalf of women all over the world and it is all compiled here. Her personal family dramas are also included, and it is a very different view from that of her mother and sister in their books. (She also writes very eloquently, as opposed to the other two.) Recommend this book, as it is a good read, and gives insights into some of the atrocities in this world and the work being done to stop them.
reviewed All That Is Bitter and Sweet: A Memoir on + 145 more book reviews
I absolutely loved this memoir! I've always loved Ashley and I was pulled into compassion for her work. Cream of the crop among memoirs, as it gives you a lot to think about.
reviewed All That Is Bitter and Sweet: A Memoir on + 353 more book reviews
I liked the book and fascinated with her story and her mothers. Very different. It is remarkable the woman she has turned into. It was slow reading for me,the parts about her service work, even though it was eye opening and amazing how she can do this. It is not something just anyone can do.
cdayzee avatar reviewed All That Is Bitter and Sweet: A Memoir on + 113 more book reviews
She mainly talks about her humanitarian work overseas in dealing with impoverished & brutalized youth.
reviewed All That Is Bitter and Sweet: A Memoir on + 350 more book reviews
This was definitely a hard book to get through. Ashley Judd jumps around at times from her current life of advocacy in speaking up for AIDS/HIV victims, those who suffer from hunger and poverty, those who are victims of human trafficking, and then backtracks through her own struggles and upbringing. I will honestly say these should be two separate books or it should just be shortened.

I have no disrespect for Ashley Judd, and believe it or not her story actually made me relate to her more than I thought I would (as someone who was alone a lot feeling "left behind" or "left out" of the lives of those around me as I suffered from childhood and pre-teen/early teen depression). This definitely was something I didn't realize she had endured. I actually forgot that The Judds (singers) were actually related to her (whoops).

This also revealed to me why I can understand why I myself love animals so much as well as love to fight for justice for the same things she does (I too am a part of an organization): When you have so much emptiness from your childhood you don't want to see others have that emptiness so you do whatever you can to help them out. That is truly what I learned from this book.

Therefore, even though the book was a bit boring and a run-on about her life and struggles at times, it showed the beauty of giving God the strings and doing your best to live for him and those around you. I usually read books between 1-7 days depending on the time frame I have alone, but this one took me far too many days to read! I had to take a break to read another book within a day. I hope others are able to get through it faster than I did.
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