Book by MONIQUE TRUONG
While parents often tell their children how unique they are, Linda Hammerick, the narrator of Monique Truong’s Bitter in the Mouth, truly is unique in an unexpected way. She has a particular form of synesthesia which expresses itself in the ability to taste words. As she explains, “When my teacher asked, ‘Linda, where did the English first settle in North Carolina?’ the question would come to me as ‘Lindamint, where did the Englishmaraschinocherry firstPepto-Bismol settlemustard in Northcheddarcheese Carolinacannedpeas?’” And yet, this fact of her life plays only a minor role in this novel about family and the discovery of one’s history. Truong, instead, focuses on family and how it defines you, the relationships between people, be they good, bad or some shade in between. It’s a story about the changes that people go through over a lifetime.