Texas is the Backdrop for much of Bitter Persimmons: One Woman's Relentless Search to Belong

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Just because something looks sweet and ripe, doesn’t mean it actually is. And just because you long to have romance and love in your life, doesn’t mean you will actually find it. In fact, when you don’t know where to look for love, you might keep finding something that looks sweet, only to discover a certain and unexpected bitterness. Time and time again.

Bitter Persimmons, An Unlikely Story, is A. S. Friedell’s real life drama about a search for love starting in a tiny Texas town and leading her to the altar five times by the age of 32. Could that mean love is always just a bitter fruit masquerading as something sweet? Or could it have been she just didn’t know how to avoid picking “bitter persimmons,” a fruit that can sometimes look sweet and ripe, even when it‘s not?

Artistically woven stories within a life story—touching, amusing, witty, distressing, heartbreaking and finally triumphant—describes the author's journey to emotional maturity. Her skillfully articulated collection of experiences and memories as a woman-girl desperately searching for affection and approval paints a vivid portrait of a small Texas town. Growing up in solitude in a tiny Texas town, little Alice's loneliness and longing is comforted only by her fantasies and fairy tales shaped by romantic songs of the 1940s. Struggling for admission to her parents' closed world, she finds her voice through music, and comes to believe in herself and her singing talent. She even gets invited to try out for a popular musical talent search, the "American Idol" of the 1950s.

Her search for true love and belonging intensifies at 17 when she falls in love with the boy next door. When that doesn't work out, she becomes skilled at denying her true feelings, and her life unfolds as a series of rebound moves over the next 25 years—until she learns that romance will never save her from unhappiness. Until she learns only she can do that.

There’ll be no going back when your walk with Friedell transports you from boyfriend to boyfriend; from husband to husband, and finally to a shelter for battered women where she finally breaks free and takes control of her life in order to save herself and her two young children. “I finally overcame the belief that someone else should set the course of my life, demanding the right to my own point of view, ownership of my own feelings,” says Friedell. “That's how I was able to mobilize within me the courage to leave a violent abuser, even though he was husband number five.”

Through this book, Friedell teaches that self-discovery is the key to learning how and where to find “sweet and ripe” love leading to a happier, healthier life.

Bitter Persimmons, An Unlikely Story (ISBN 0-9753760-5-5, Dime Box Press, $14.95) is distributed through Ingram, and can be ordered at http://www.dimeboxpress.com as well as on Amazon.com

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A.S. Friedell