Bitter Grounds: A Novel

Front Cover
Macmillan, Aug 15, 1998 - Fiction - 464 pages
37 Reviews
"Bitter Grounds" depicts the luxurious lives of the wealthy in Salvadoran society through the Contreras family, owners of a coffee plantation. Elena de Contreras travels to Europe with her daughter to select wardrobes, spends idle time at luncheons and teas with society friends, and supports her daughter in opening an expensive gift shop in town. Yet when betrayal rocks Elena's protected and pampered world, she reveals an iron will no one had glimpsed in her before. Their lives are a stark contrast to the lives of the coffee pickers, who must live a hard-scrabble existence in close proximity to the privileged elite.

Jacinta Prieto comes from such a background, and as housekeeper to the Contreras family, is privy to their innermost secrets. Jacinta has secrets of her own, including a love affair with a married man whose identity she risks all to conceal. By interweaving the stories of these women, Benitez draws dramatic differences and surprising parallels in their worlds, evoking their passions and revealing their hatred with amazing empathy.

  

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Review: Bitter Grounds

User Review  - Alison - Goodreads

The story of people from two families in El Salvador, one wealthy one poor, during times of upheaval, spans different generations. She( the author) to me is an excellent writer with great characters that one can really get into. Read full review

Review: Bitter Grounds

User Review  - Carol - Goodreads

Started out as the historical fiction I thought it would be then got very slow and dull and kind of cheap romance like. Plowed through and finished it but wouldn't give is more than 3 stars. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
AUTHORS NOTE
CHAPTER ONE
3
CHAPTER TWO
8
CHAPTER THREE
17
CHAPTER FOUR
25
CHAPTER FIVE
30
CHAPTER SIX
33
CHAPTER THIRTYFIVE
234
CHAPTER THIRTYSIX
243
CHAPTER THIRTYSEVEN
253
CHAPTER THIRTYEIGHT
256
CHAPTER THIRTYNINE
262
CHAPTER FORTY
269
CHAPTER FORTYONE
276
CHAPTER FORTYTWO
284

CHAPTER SEVEN
40
CHAPTER EIGHT
49
CHAPTER NINE
53
CHAPTER TEN
56
CHAPTER ELEVEN
69
CHAPTER TWELVE
80
CHAPTER THIRTEEN
89
CHAPTER FOURTEEN
97
CHAPTER FIFTEEN
103
CHAPTER SIXTEEN
112
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN
118
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN
125
CHAPTER NINETEEN
128
CHAPTER TWENTY
131
CHAPTER TWENTYONE
135
CHAPTER TWENTYTWO
141
CHAPTER TWENTYTHREE
153
CHAPTER TWENTYFOUR
164
CHAPTER TWENTYFIVE
170
CHAPTER TWENTYSIX
175
CHAPTER TWENTYSEVEN
182
CHAPTER TWENTYEIGHT
190
CHAPTER TWENTYNINE
192
CHAPTER THIRTY
199
CHAPTER THIRTYONE
206
CHAPTER THIRTYTWO
214
CHAPTER THIRTYTHREE
222
CHAPTER THIRTYFOUR
228
CHAPTER FORTYTHREE
289
CHAPTER FORTYFOUR
294
CHAPTER FORTYFIVE
299
CHAPTER FORTYSIX
304
CHAPTER FORTYSEVEN
310
CHAPTER FORTYEIGHT
316
CHAPTER FORTYNINE
330
CHAPTER FIFTY
337
CHAPTER FIFTYONE
347
CHAPTER FIFTYTWO
358
CHAPTER FIFTYTHREE
373
CHAPTER FIFTYFOUR
381
CHAPTER FIFTYFIVE
389
CHAPTER FIFTYSIX
392
CHAPTER FIFTYSEVEN
399
CHAPTER FIFTYEIGHT
403
CHAPTER FIFTYNINE
409
CHAPTER SIXTY
410
CHAPTER SIXTYONE
413
CHAPTER SIXTYTWO
416
CHAPTER SIXTYTHREE
421
CHAPTER SIXTYFOUR
426
CHAPTER SIXTYFIVE
430
CHAPTER SIXTYSIX
435
CHAPTER SIXTYSEVEN
442
EPILOGUE
445
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Sandra Benitez's first novel was A Place Where the Sea Remembers. She grew up in El Salvador, attended high school and college in Missouri, and now divides her time between Edina, Minnesota, where she teaches creative writing, and Mexico.

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