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Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way

von Shauna Niequist

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2453393,426 (4.03)1
"The idea of bittersweet is changing the way I live, unraveling and re-weaving the way I understand life. Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a moment of lightness on even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich even when it contains a splinter of sadness. "It's the practice of believing that we really do need both the bitter and the sweet, and that a life of nothing but sweetness rots both your teeth and your soul. Bitter is what makes us strong, what forces us to push through, what helps us earn the lines on our faces and the calluses on our hands. Sweet is nice enough, but bittersweet is beautiful, nuanced, full of depth and complexity. Bittersweet is courageous, gutsy, audacious, earthy. "This is what I've come to believe about change: it's good, in the way that childbirth is good, and heartbreak is good, and failure is good. By that I mean that it's incredibly painful, exponentially more so if you fight it, and also that it has the potential to open you up, to open life up, to deliver you right into the palm of God's hand, which is where you wanted to be all long, except that you were too busy pushing and pulling your life into exactly what you thought it should be. "I've learned the hard way that change is one of God's greatest gifts, and most useful tools. Change can push us, pull us, rebuke and remake us. It can show us who we've become, in the worst ways, and also in the best ways. I've learned that it's not something to run away from, as though we could, and that in many cases, change is a function of God's graciousness, not life's cruelty." Niequist, a keen observer of life with a lyrical voice, writes with the characteristic warmth and honesty of a dear friend: always engaging, sometimes challenging, but always with a kind heart. You will find Bittersweet savory reading, indeed. "This is the work I'm doing now, and the work I invite you into: when life is sweet, say thank you, and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you, and grow."… (mehr)
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Gentle reflections on a difficult year in the author's life. The writing is casually autobiographical, inviting the reader into the family home, and the mind of the author. She recalls both happy and traumatic incidents by the food that was eaten, and shares much of what went on in her mind as well as the stories.

I loved this book. Shauna Niequist doesn't use platitudes, or preach, but she finds God - sometimes - in her loss and tears, and she shares what she learns for the reader to take or put aside. There's no 'happy ending' - this is real life, yet there's growth and maturity, and a greater depth of relationship with those the author loves.

Highly recommended.

Longer review here: https://suesbookreviews.blogspot.com/2020/05/bittersweet-by-shauna-niequist.html ( )
  SueinCyprus | May 26, 2020 |
More of a collection of blog entries than a book. Author seemed very self-absorbed, talking more about her fancy dinners and fabulous friends and family rather than how to cope with life. ( )
  CarrieMoles | Aug 15, 2018 |
Real life writing on cooking, hospitality, Christianity, and being a human being. ( )
  sarahlouise | Jul 6, 2014 |
While reading Shauna Niequist's first book, Cold Tangerines, I enjoyed myself but felt something was missing. The world seemed a bit TOO rosy. It's nice to say that a certain way of looking at life is healthy and to be optimistic, but I found myself asking, "What about when this tragedy happened in my life? This doesn't all fit together the way you're suggesting it does." Bittersweet picks up where Cold Tangerines left off, and for the first time, I felt my sorrow COULD fit into this optimistic life.

Bittersweet is subtle, but perfect in it's portrayal of life. It's still optimistic, but in a way that allows room for us to both cry AND laugh. I'm not sure I'm making any sense, so I'll end by saying this has become a deeply personal book for me, and I recommend it to everyone. ( )
  Stormydawnc | Jun 23, 2014 |
Diese Rezension wurde für LibraryThing Early Reviewers geschrieben.
A sweet, heartfelt book. As a woman way past the stage of life Ms. Niequist was in when writing her book, most of it felt nostalgic for me, but I can see this being relevant and "a-ha" inspiring for women of the same stage or earlier. ( )
  eveapple | May 22, 2013 |
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"The idea of bittersweet is changing the way I live, unraveling and re-weaving the way I understand life. Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a moment of lightness on even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich even when it contains a splinter of sadness. "It's the practice of believing that we really do need both the bitter and the sweet, and that a life of nothing but sweetness rots both your teeth and your soul. Bitter is what makes us strong, what forces us to push through, what helps us earn the lines on our faces and the calluses on our hands. Sweet is nice enough, but bittersweet is beautiful, nuanced, full of depth and complexity. Bittersweet is courageous, gutsy, audacious, earthy. "This is what I've come to believe about change: it's good, in the way that childbirth is good, and heartbreak is good, and failure is good. By that I mean that it's incredibly painful, exponentially more so if you fight it, and also that it has the potential to open you up, to open life up, to deliver you right into the palm of God's hand, which is where you wanted to be all long, except that you were too busy pushing and pulling your life into exactly what you thought it should be. "I've learned the hard way that change is one of God's greatest gifts, and most useful tools. Change can push us, pull us, rebuke and remake us. It can show us who we've become, in the worst ways, and also in the best ways. I've learned that it's not something to run away from, as though we could, and that in many cases, change is a function of God's graciousness, not life's cruelty." Niequist, a keen observer of life with a lyrical voice, writes with the characteristic warmth and honesty of a dear friend: always engaging, sometimes challenging, but always with a kind heart. You will find Bittersweet savory reading, indeed. "This is the work I'm doing now, and the work I invite you into: when life is sweet, say thank you, and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you, and grow."

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Shauna Niequists Buch Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way wurde im Frührezensenten-Programm LibraryThing Early Reviewers angeboten.

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