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Emma W.: Delightful Read — 2/24/21: "My husband bought “Ugly Girl, Sweet Nectar” for me. It’s what I can best describe as a life-changing read. I had experienced many of the same situations as Alessa like childhood trauma, job loss, caring for aging parents, issues with forming personal relationships, self image issues. Ugly Girl Sweet Nectar provided some new and unique insights for healing and forgiving. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who has been affected by physical and/or emotional trauma of any kind. As the book reminds us, we are products of our environment, but our environment doesn't have to define where we end up in the future. *Peace*"
Panyol (Maria Rivas McMillan) : It may be just me but... — 2/21/21: "There were elements I really enjoyed in Ugly Girl, Sweet Nectar, particularly the laugh out loud bits. Then, there were moments when I skimmed to get to the next part. And, there were times when I really had no patience with the lead character who had a a childhood from hell but, then, three children later when does adulting kick in? At one point, I wondered if the experiences of different people had been coddled together. The mother, father, stepmother relationships were very weird to me and her response mechanisms even more so. A succession of bad choices combined with a focus on the frivolous when she’d been unemployed for months left me exasperated. However, it may just be me. I received a complimentary copy for a fair review. "
Ganesh V.: Inspiration, emotional memoir of a strong woman — 2/13/21: "A personal memoir with strong personal experiences, this book is difficult to sum up in one word. It has a mix of the universal philosophy, the pain of the wronged, the love of a child towards one’s parents, the care of a sister, warmth of a mother and genuine of a friend. One could easily relate to the protagonist, with their share of troubles and daily challenges, with numerous curve balls from life. Yet, universe finds a way to send a message to enable the protagonist to embrace the darker aspects of her life and ultimately get some amount of closures. While certain loose ends do get ultimately wrapped up, I personally hope that the protagonist found a better person for her own life. Written with flash-backs and interspersed with poems, this emotional roller coaster ride is definitely a must read !!!!" Note: Amazon (India) review can be seen on amazon.in
SNG: So grateful to have read this book - loved it! — 2/4/21: "I don’t recall reading a book that affected me quite like Ugly Girl, Sweet Nectar. It inspired me to take a look at hurtful experiences in my own life that caused self-image issues. I commend the author for candidly sharing a difficult story".
KSL: A wonderful, thought-provoking read — 1/22/21: "I loved this book. There were plenty of "this could be me!" moments sprinkled throughout, as well as plenty of thought-provoking insights worthy of pondering. Although Alessa's life had many sad and even horrific events in it, her strength and resilience were amazing and inspiring. A wonderful read, especially for women entering the second half of their lives who are ready to let go of the "should nots' and embrace the "shoulds".
MAK: Bitter and Beautiful — 1/16/21: "The title of the book intrigued me, and the synopsis compelled me. Especially after watching the YouTube book trailer mentioned in the description. I expected the book to be an interesting read but then found it to be SO much more. It's a reminder that we are all a product of our environments and experiences. We can be programmed to believe we are ugly and bad. Horrible acts inflicted on us as children can create shame and guilt that we subconsciously carry into our adult lives and negatively affects self-image, relationships, and parenting. The descriptions of the childhood abuses described in Alessa’s memories were horrific but written in a way that didn’t make me feel too uncomfortable to read them, though I was very much affected. My heart bled for her. Her childhood memories were triggered when caring for her dying parents, the abusers. She really had to fight her inner demons in order to forgive them. Despite it all there is enough lighthearted moments and a touch of humor in the main story of Alessa’s adult life to offset the intense darkness. I found it heartwarming that something so inspiring, enthralling, and eye opening could come out of such a traumatic life. Ugly Girl, Sweet Nectar is very well written and an amazing story that will stick in my mind for a long time."
After spending a lifetime of living a secluded life, Alessa journals her experiences as she embarks on a quest to live a more colorful life of “Shoulds” instead of “Should Nots”. She courageously emerges from her hermit cave and re-enters the dating scene when a rude awakening unexpectedly detours her journey down a path of self-reflection to examine her character flaws, self-image issues, and what caused them.
Compelled to find answers, Alessa digs deep to unearth her past, and discovers a scathing childhood of abuse and trauma. At the same time, she is faced with the seemingly impossible duty of taking care of the abusers – her parents. Both suffer from rare and merciless diseases. With the help of her best friend, some random acquaintances, and a few auspicious fortune cookies, Alessa learns to heal herself, and finds the fortitude needed to forgive her parents so she can see them through their illnesses to the bitter end.
Entwining pain, strength, and humor, Ugly Girl, Sweet Nectar is an inspirational and intimate story about the power of survival, forgiveness, and resilience. It candidly explores the devastating effects of childhood trauma on the human spirit; how it shapes one’s emotional life as an adult, and subconsciously affects every aspect of it – relationships, parenting, body image, and more. It speaks unflinching truth to the turbulent process of healing, and how the process can repair even the most unimaginable wounds.
DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction based on a true story. Although its form is that of a memoir, it is not one. Time has been rearranged to suit the convenience of the book. To maintain anonymity, the names of individuals (living and dead) have been changed, and in some instances identifying details such as physical appearance and age have been changed. Some events have been compressed, and some dialogue has been recreated. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
Fiction based on a true story, Family & Relationships, Literature & Fiction (Women, Family Life).
Mature Subject Matter.
Some violence, light swearing, some sexual situations.
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"I was an ugly freak. It was no wonder why I was violated, and my parents rejected me. I felt wretched and ashamed, plagued with guilt that somehow everything was my fault. It was my fault that my parents divorced. It was my fault that I was violated, and somehow it was even my fault for being born so ugly. Sobs tried to punch through, ripping through my guts, muscles, and bones as I ran. But I held it all in, held it in tight. I kept a stiff upper lip – just as I had been taught. I wanted to vanish – to disappear. "