Official Review: Sugar and Spite by Penny Glover

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AvidBibliophile
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Official Review: Sugar and Spite by Penny Glover

Post by AvidBibliophile »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Sugar and Spite" by Penny Glover.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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Sugar and Spite by Penny Glover is a fictional novel about love, betrayal, deception, and revenge. Ashley Reynolds, mother of two adolescent daughters, found herself married at age 19 due to an unplanned pregnancy. While her playboy husband, Hunter, began their marriage as a doting father, his insatiable desire for a son eventually led him to stray. When Ashley overhears a gossipy conversation while standing in line at the grocery store, she soon realizes Hunter has not only been stepping out on her but has also fathered a son with his latest mistress. For the sake of her girls, Ashley initially keeps this shocking revelation to herself, but as her husband becomes more brazen, crass, reckless, and abusive, they eventually separate. Will Hunter ironically become ‘the hunted’ and someday get the same sort of disloyal treatment in return?

Even with repeated episodes of cheating, Ashley feels ashamed to mention her turbulent reality to others, but she eventually confides in her mother and sister. When teenage angst and misplaced anger have her daughters, Payton and Quinn, throwing accusations and turning against her, things get physical. The girls blame their mother for the marriage dissolving. One of them even proceeds to run away, but her naïve soul soon comes face-to-face with the harsh realities of what her scheming father is truly capable of. Through the help of loyal allies with open eyes and listening ears, Ashley finally gets her shot at marital payback and vows to take “the money, the house, his dignity… all of that, plus alimony.”

I enjoyed the portions of the story that promoted female empowerment and a palpable sense of sisterly support. The scenes of dialogue flowed with a conversational tone that allowed the distinct personalities of each character to shine through. The author also constructed a realistic portrayal of group dynamics that allowed certain temperaments to authentically clash. It is also worth notably mentioning that as an African American author, Glover utilizes some culturally-distinct rhetoric, phrasing, and terminology throughout the various character interactions that further gives them an air of realistic authenticity.

This 115-page tale actually explored several overlapping storylines of domestic upheaval and deception. Unfortunately, there were also an excessive number of grammatical and typographical errors present throughout, so this title would greatly benefit from a thorough round of professional editing. Due to the present quantity of minor mistakes, the current flow feels somewhat choppy. I would also make the suggestion that chapter one be retitled as a prologue, since the rest of the book shifts to a different narrative point of view and time frame at the start of chapter two.

Readers will come across themes of infidelity, physical abuse, bisexuality, homosexuality, abandonment, promiscuity, cross-dressing, and verbal abuse. With a multitude of violent threats, derogatory insults, some sexually-explicit scenes, and scattered profanity, this book is appropriate for mature audiences only. With a plot that plays out like a reality TV show or a soap opera, it would likely appeal to readers who enjoy a guilty pleasure full of salacious tidbits with significant character drama and false paternity claims. Whether it’s a sister, husband, friend, or family member, trust them until they give you a reason not to; then consider never trusting them again. Women who have had their self-esteem shattered by unfaithful men or unfortunate life experiences will be able to resonate with these characters.

While portions of the storyline did find their karmic conclusions in the final pages, the overall ending seemed a little abrupt. The story left me feeling like there were some loose ends that could be further explored in a series sequel. Due to the aforementioned errors and concerns, I award the current version of this book a rating of 2 out of 4 stars. Mistresses, misters, and runaway brides… “all that sweet sugar has turned into spite!” This is the author’s 5th novel.

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Sugar and Spite
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Laurakish
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Post by Laurakish »

All that sweet turns to spite. One moral of the story that we can all borrow. The daughters should have know better and side with their mother. About women empowerment, nice.

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Post by Usma Khann »

Sad that these kinds of things happen in real life too. I guess atonement is the underlying theme of the novel. Nevertheless, appreciate the insightful review.🌸
Readers know it. Authors know it. Publishers know it. A promising review sells books! :roll:

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Post by Mrunalpatki »

Sounds like a gloomy book to me. But as always I enjoyed your detailed review so much. Thanks for the honest opinions.
Think before you review. Read before you think. :techie-studyinggray:

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Post by LinaJan »

Hhmm... I am in two minds now, considering the drawbacks. But I got really hooked onto the plot, so I may just give this a go! It sounds a little brutal but then that is life itself. I like the idea of 'realistic dynamics' and am looking forward to having an opportunity to observe this myself :)
Thank you for such a -as always - brilliantly written and rich review! :D Keep going! :D

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Post by RetiredOBNurse »

Oh what a life so many of us experience in one aspect or another. The hurt and anger that go along with the raw emotions you described in your review are feelings most all of us have unfortunately dealt with at some point in time. The book sounds quite intense and hope the author will correct her mistakes through another round of editing. Once again, an outstanding review you have provided for our enjoyment.

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Post by Elvis Best »

I love the title and cover of this book. And I think it has all the elements to be a very entertaining book. Sad to hear about its problems. Thank you for your honest review.
"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within." -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

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Post by Fernando222 »

I felt all kinds of emotion while I was reading your review. Ashley's story involves betrayal and a broken bond. Your analysis is quite detailed.

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Post by Topsey »

Thank you for such a detailed review. It’s a shame there were a few problems with it. But it’s interesting how many significant themes this book tackles and I’m sure it would be great if professionally edited.

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Post by AvidBibliophile »

Laurakish wrote:
01 Jul 2020, 03:40
All that sweet turns to spite. One moral of the story that we can all borrow. The daughters should have know better and side with their mother. About women empowerment, nice.
Most definitely! Women can understand many of these themes and lift each other up in the process. Separation and divorce is always hard on kids (of any age) so that element was realistically portrayed throughout. Thanks for checking this one out!

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AvidBibliophile
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Post by AvidBibliophile »

Usma Khann wrote:
01 Jul 2020, 03:54
Sad that these kinds of things happen in real life too. I guess atonement is the underlying theme of the novel. Nevertheless, appreciate the insightful review.🌸
Well I greatly appreciate you coming by to read and comment! There were a lot of unfortunate and heartbreaking moments featured throughout this tale, but that’s what made it all the more applicably genuine and realistic.

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AvidBibliophile
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Post by AvidBibliophile »

Mrunalpatki wrote:
01 Jul 2020, 09:27
Sounds like a gloomy book to me. But as always I enjoyed your detailed review so much. Thanks for the honest opinions.
Glad you enjoyed it! These sorts of themes are definitely heavy and sad at times, but so many souls around the world experience (and have experienced) much of the same. Kudos to the author for not shying away from any of the harsh realities of life.

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AvidBibliophile
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LinaJan wrote:
01 Jul 2020, 09:33
Hhmm... I am in two minds now, considering the drawbacks. But I got really hooked onto the plot, so I may just give this a go! It sounds a little brutal but then that is life itself. I like the idea of 'realistic dynamics' and am looking forward to having an opportunity to observe this myself :)
Thank you for such a -as always - brilliantly written and rich review! :D Keep going! :D
Ahh yes, those life brutalities that try and conquer us all at some point. The interactive dialogue scenes were definitely wild and amped up at times, so it was like being in a reality show, where each and every moment and exposed secret was capable of causing shock and awe! Really interesting perspective, I must admit :)

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AvidBibliophile
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Post by AvidBibliophile »

RetiredOBNurse wrote:
01 Jul 2020, 10:10
Oh what a life so many of us experience in one aspect or another. The hurt and anger that go along with the raw emotions you described in your review are feelings most all of us have unfortunately dealt with at some point in time. The book sounds quite intense and hope the author will correct her mistakes through another round of editing. Once again, an outstanding review you have provided for our enjoyment.
Thank you! And yes, the emotions were raw and unfiltered, super-realistic, and distinctly memorable. A colorful cast of characters indeed! Another round of editing could really help add some polish.

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AvidBibliophile
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Post by AvidBibliophile »

Elvis Best wrote:
01 Jul 2020, 11:58
I love the title and cover of this book. And I think it has all the elements to be a very entertaining book. Sad to hear about its problems. Thank you for your honest review.
The title and cover art immediately grabbed my attention too, and I reviewed a paperback version, so I truly got to appreciate the tangible qualities firsthand. Very entertaining! Just needs those errors corrected to be the best that it can be. Thank you for the kind comment!

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