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  • Writer's pictureMarjorie Robertson

Bitters in the Honey book review in the Shepherd Express

The William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition is one of America's leading literary contests and has been presenting awards in fiction, nonfiction and poetry since 1993. Sponsored by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society of New Orleans, this literary accolade is given to previously unpublished work and past award winners have included Julia Glass (Three Junes) and J. Ryan Stradal (Kitchens of the Great Midwest).

In 2014, Milwaukee-raised author Marjorie Robertson was a semifinalist for the honor for her debut novel Bitters in the Honey. Robertson, who currently teaches at University of California, Irvine and is at work on her second novel based on her short story “The Gleaners,” is a graduate of Riverside University High School and a past employee of the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops.

In her superbly crafted debut, Robertson weaves together a multi-voiced tale set in a rural Midwestern town during the 1970s. Bitters in the Honey blends a poignant coming-of-age narrative with reflective musings on the dramatic beauty of nature and the ambiguity of good and evil. This compelling story centers on Lana Sutor, who has been adrift since her father’s death in Vietnam, and who has recently moved to her grandparents’ Midwestern farm. As she and her brothers search for adventure to cope with their shared grief, the family undergoes surprising changes after a farmhand earns their unlikely trust.

Robertson will return to Milwaukee to speak at Boswell Book Co. at 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 29.

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