When a deeper hued playmate declares, "My mamma says you ain't nothin' but a whole lotta yellow gon' to waste," Ellie gets a taste of racism on her side of the fence. But the often-tortured, uneducated young girl refuses to let the taunt dampen her spirit. Instead her passion and drive for self-realization propel her from a childhood rape in swampy LeBeau, Louisiana to a spurious first marriage in the Indian/Creole/Black dust bowl of Oklahoma and a successful career as a fashion designer, business owner, and real estate entrepreneur in Los Angeles. Decades later life comes full circle when her daughter dates a young white man whose father had been one of those who raped Ellie and Ellie is brutalized by her own people at the ignition of the Watts Riots. This debut novel is one of coming of age, race, womanhood, and the determination of a woman to succeed in early-20th-century America despite the country's racial prescriptions and gender presumptions. Through it all, Ellie's relationships with her loved ones force her to deal with the trauma of her childhood and the difficulties of letting go and to recognize the values of forgiveness, understanding, love, and healing.
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Used availability for Sheila Banks's Bittersweet
April 2012 : USA Hardback