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All That Is Bitter and Sweet

Average Rating 3
( 348 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(101)

4 Star

(61)

3 Star

(58)

2 Star

(78)

1 Star

(50)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

17 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

Highly Recommend!

I was immediately drawn to buy Ashley's book when it first became available. Growing up listening to The Judd's music, and seeing Naomi and Wynona on talk shows lately (sans Ashley) to promote their new OWN show, I was intrigued to read Ashley's story. Ashley begins h...
I was immediately drawn to buy Ashley's book when it first became available. Growing up listening to The Judd's music, and seeing Naomi and Wynona on talk shows lately (sans Ashley) to promote their new OWN show, I was intrigued to read Ashley's story. Ashley begins her journey reflecting on her own childhood issues of abandonment, rejection, depression, isolation, loss of family connection, and sexual abuse. While she talks about these issues very openly, Ashley is not screaming "I am a victim" or "Naomi is a horrible mother". Rather, she reveals very openly how those issues affected her and what she did to move past it.
Ashley shares the high and low points of her work as Ambassador and shares her inner struggles with religion and God. She is very raw in this book and is as transparent as she can be, without losing focus of the work she continues to do for PSI. Her journey takes her to a place of peace, acceptance, and a stronger will to continue helping those less fortunate to have a voice.

Ashley's book cannot be read without wanting to do something and help others. At the end of the book, Ashley provides websites and information to many organizations and programs that always need funding and volunteers (at any level). This is a book that deserves to be read, if not for Ashley's own journey, but for the women and children whose voices deserve to be heard.

posted by sneps on April 10, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

40 out of 53 people found this review helpful.

Sadly would not recommend

I was really expecting a deep insightful book, but found that only a third of the book touched on her life and in a very one dimensional way. Yes, she opens up about the some of the darker experiences in her life, but doesn't delve deep into those emotions at all. She p...
I was really expecting a deep insightful book, but found that only a third of the book touched on her life and in a very one dimensional way. Yes, she opens up about the some of the darker experiences in her life, but doesn't delve deep into those emotions at all. She passes over her molestation in a matter of fact way. I get she may have placed it in the right place in her life now, but why write about it then. Not to share who molested her is sending a horrible message to the secrecy of incest. She continues to protect the offender. The rest of the book she should have been written apart from what she labeled this book, as her "memoirs." In writing of her life experience, she's selective of what she shares, does not delve into her relationship with her mother or sister in a deep level. And her experiences in third world countries, was muddied on her repetitive, "how it made her feel, how mentally exhausting it was, how she wanted to help them all" awareness. There is a bigger picture here, which I don't think she covers. How her life is drawn to this area and maybe not in a healthy way. She doesn't delve in to the self-awareness aspect of this. In a particular part of the book she offended me deeply. Where she judges a lady she comes upon in a hotel on her way to a safari. Because the women is dressed in expensive clothes, Ashley makes a judgement she must be shallow because the lady asked if she was going on a safari too. How pompous is that responding to her like you did? How do you know THAT women you judged doesn't have a similar cause? What makes you think her journey in life hasn't been difficult? What because how she was dressed! Shallow. Maybe folks think the same way about you. Going to the slums, but retreating to your four star hotel afterwards. You talk about returning home and feeling guilty, wrong message again and shows perhaps motives are not in a good healthy place. Delve deeper Ashley. To readers, I'd save the money. This book p*^sed me off. She definitely has not completed her journey nor reached a level of self-actualization.

posted by 2712772 on April 17, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2011

    Sadly would not recommend

    I was really expecting a deep insightful book, but found that only a third of the book touched on her life and in a very one dimensional way. Yes, she opens up about the some of the darker experiences in her life, but doesn't delve deep into those emotions at all. She passes over her molestation in a matter of fact way. I get she may have placed it in the right place in her life now, but why write about it then. Not to share who molested her is sending a horrible message to the secrecy of incest. She continues to protect the offender. The rest of the book she should have been written apart from what she labeled this book, as her "memoirs." In writing of her life experience, she's selective of what she shares, does not delve into her relationship with her mother or sister in a deep level. And her experiences in third world countries, was muddied on her repetitive, "how it made her feel, how mentally exhausting it was, how she wanted to help them all" awareness. There is a bigger picture here, which I don't think she covers. How her life is drawn to this area and maybe not in a healthy way. She doesn't delve in to the self-awareness aspect of this. In a particular part of the book she offended me deeply. Where she judges a lady she comes upon in a hotel on her way to a safari. Because the women is dressed in expensive clothes, Ashley makes a judgement she must be shallow because the lady asked if she was going on a safari too. How pompous is that responding to her like you did? How do you know THAT women you judged doesn't have a similar cause? What makes you think her journey in life hasn't been difficult? What because how she was dressed! Shallow. Maybe folks think the same way about you. Going to the slums, but retreating to your four star hotel afterwards. You talk about returning home and feeling guilty, wrong message again and shows perhaps motives are not in a good healthy place. Delve deeper Ashley. To readers, I'd save the money. This book p*^sed me off. She definitely has not completed her journey nor reached a level of self-actualization.

    40 out of 53 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 10, 2011

    Highly Recommend!

    I was immediately drawn to buy Ashley's book when it first became available. Growing up listening to The Judd's music, and seeing Naomi and Wynona on talk shows lately (sans Ashley) to promote their new OWN show, I was intrigued to read Ashley's story. Ashley begins her journey reflecting on her own childhood issues of abandonment, rejection, depression, isolation, loss of family connection, and sexual abuse. While she talks about these issues very openly, Ashley is not screaming "I am a victim" or "Naomi is a horrible mother". Rather, she reveals very openly how those issues affected her and what she did to move past it.
    Ashley shares the high and low points of her work as Ambassador and shares her inner struggles with religion and God. She is very raw in this book and is as transparent as she can be, without losing focus of the work she continues to do for PSI. Her journey takes her to a place of peace, acceptance, and a stronger will to continue helping those less fortunate to have a voice.

    Ashley's book cannot be read without wanting to do something and help others. At the end of the book, Ashley provides websites and information to many organizations and programs that always need funding and volunteers (at any level). This is a book that deserves to be read, if not for Ashley's own journey, but for the women and children whose voices deserve to be heard.

    17 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 9, 2011

    Inspiring read

    I knew I did not like Naomi or Wynnona Judd but I didn't know why; until this little book. Understanding the dynamics of this 'lost child' and then reading the accomplishments of this amazing woman is truely inspirational. Glad to spend the time reading this heart wrenching story of self and selflessness.

    13 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2011

    This Is Not Your Ordinary "Celebrity" Memoir

    This book is a reflection of the peace that Ashley Judd has found in working through the pain of her childhood. You will not be able to put this book down. For anyone facing the hurt, guilt and anger of a similar battle, I recommend that you buy "When God Stopped Keeping Score." It is an amazing book with a power message for everyone.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2011

    Big Disappointment!

    I was under the impression that this was a memoir. I thought I would get a look into who Ashley is and the relationship she has with her mother and sister. Instead she turned the book into a lecture regarding her visits to third world countries, where she promotes HIV/AIDS awareness. I did not buy the book to be lectured regarding this topic. If she wanted to educate us, she should have wrote a separate book to cover this. I feel to call this a memoir is a false advertisement. Definitely would not recommend!

    8 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 2, 2011

    Save your money.

    I found this book to be totally self-indulgent on the author's part. There were less than 100 pages about her life growing up and her relationships with her family, and another 300 of very-repetitive descriptions of her trips to third world countries. It is not possible for most of us relate to her experiences on these trips. I was very bored before page 100, and finally found myself flipping past the pages just to search for something of interest. I am very sad for wasting my money on this book.

    7 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2011

    A definite must read.

    I found this book to be very well written, insightful and enlightening. The premise of the book is how Ms. Judd endured and overcame a neglected and harmful childhood, in order to grow as a person and serve a larger community. Perhaps she does not get into the gritty details of her personal tragedies but that isn't the point of the book. The point is to illustrate that her personal tragedies are nothing in comparison to what she has witnessed around the world. For me, her faith in God, in herself and in those that have been chosen to support her are an example of how anyone can take a personal hardship and turn it into an act of love and service. She brought to light many issues within the world, and our own country, that though acknowledged, are essentially ignored. If you are looking for gossipy details of her life with The Judd's, you will be disappointed. If you are, however, looking for a woman whose strength of character allowed her to face her own demons and the demons of this world, read this book.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Very good

    Not exactly what I had expected, but in a good way. While I had an idea of what the book was about in regard to her family, I did not have a sense of her work in other countries or what really happened. It really brought home the truth that we each have our personal journey, and that we each experience it different ways.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    great human being!

    Ashley's dedicatin to human rights inspires me to be a better person. If all of us had an once of her kindness, this would be a better world.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2011

    Drags on and on and on...

    I purchased this book hoping to learn more about someone i admired and found myself disliking her more and more as i read! I'm not exactly sure why though. I know i felt like her depiction of her life was 'whoa is me' as though she had suffered in a way that nobody else can understand. I applaud her work with exploited women and young girls but found it hard to think that i could have seen all that and come home with any money left in my bank account, let alone left some of thoses scenes without changing it right then and there knowing i had the financial resources. I realize that is only a band aid but , it would have been 'one less'. I found myself skipping whole paragraphs, then pages just to get through it. Maybe just poorly written??

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2011

    Well done!

    I thought the book was articulate and well written. Even though a memoir, it kept my attention to the end. The book helped to increase my awareness of the conditions in which many women are living throughout the world. It reminded me of Mother Theresa's call to "the poorest of the poor."

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing!!!!!

    After starting her book and reading it i began to realize the impact such a book can have. Not every book has to be about someones horrible childhood. But, what someone like ashley can make out of one. Through this and some other things i have realized that life is what you make out of it. This was a true inspiration to me. And a life changing experience. From the beginning it enlightened me to take the pain and trauma in my life and do something huge with it. Not just let them win but find my reason for my purpose!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2011

    not a memoir

    this book is Mostly about trips and attempts to eradicate hiv/aids. A worthy cause but not an attempt at a biography. Wynona's is much better.

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2011

    Give it a Chance!

    I'm not sure that it's fair to criticize this book for not being an autobiography that describes her life with her family from birth to present. It is correctly listed as a memoir, which by definition tend to focus on public (as opposed to personal) matters and do not follow the typical birth to present timeline of an autobiography. It is apparent in her writing that she is intelligent, compassionate, and insightful. She is also human, and therefore susceptible to some self-righteousness, grandiosity, and judgment of others during her journey. This, however, should not take away from the purpose of her journey or the purpose of the book (which is to show how her personal experiences drove her interest in philanthropy while also helping her to recover). We can all criticize celebrities for being somewhat hypocritical for publicizing causes while continuing to live richly; however, to some extent, we all do this, since we all devote time and money to ourselves that could be devoted to others. I think it's sad that so many were disappointed that this was not a juicy tell-all. I enjoy those as much as the next person, but why would we criticize someone who is more intelligent, eloquent, and socially responsible than the average celebrity memoirist? Give her a break. She is doing more to help the world than most of the rest of us.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Sadly not for me

    I looked forward to reading this book and can say I found it repetitive and shallow. Ashley Judd is one of my favorite actresses and I hoped to find some insight into her life with depression, dysfunctional upbringing and living with motor racing husband - Dario Franchitti. This did not seem to be the case. She glosses over the sexual abuse she suffered and protects the perpetrator, all while trying to "change the world" on issues such as this and prostitution. Sadly her humanitarian work appears to be cuddling poverty stricken people while realizing the problem is too big to solve, so she repeatedly hands it back to God. As an atheist reading this book, this hardly seems like any solution at all. On a positive note she seems to have scored herself quite the supportive, humorous husband in Dario.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2011

    Excellent!

    I would highly recommend this book. Ms Juddd writes with intelligence, wit and above all courage. Her poignant prose about her global humanitarian work as well her personal struggles will help a lot of people.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2011

    Very pleasantly surprised!!

    I bought this book on my Nook - honestly - because I wanted the dirt on the Judds. What I got was much more than I bargained for, but in a good way! I learned so much about Ashley, her very lonely childhood, and the good she does in the world. The causes she fights for - specifically sex trafficing of young girls - is a cause dear to my heart. The atrocities she describes are heart-wrenching. The writing and the details stayed with me for a long time. And to top it off, I felt the book was extremely well written. I highly recommend the book.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2011

    A quick read

    I too bought the book thinking I would not hear much about the mother and daughter singing duo, but of the life of the neglected and lost child, Ashley. What I did read of mother, Naomi, made me realize why I've never felt her to be an honest, warm person. She was and probably is still selfish and very self-centered and her new attempt to try to look more like Ashley is a complete failure. Her face is a mask and may have been that way all of her years.
    Ashley on the other hand is educated, wise, caring and warm. Her book is an easy read, especially if you like women.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2011

    Mixed Feelings for Me

    As my title indicates, I had very mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand I commend Ashley Judd for her willingness to use her famous name to draw attention to the millions of abused, neglected, and forgotten women in this world who are victims of sexual abuse, slavery, and violence. Most especially, I am impressed by her involvement in trying to improve their conditions, one group of women at a time. That alone makes this book an excellent read. On the other hand, like her famous mother and sister, she is all too willing to share her family drama, and it is clear there is a tremendous amount of bitterness still existing in that family--a testament to the belief that while analysis and treatment programs do help people come to terms with their painful past, resolving those long lingering issues is a whole lot harder. I was particularly taken aback by a comment she makes in the book when she is in Africa and meets a woman from Texas who innocently asks her if she is there "on safari." Judd proceeds to tell her off, saying she was at a brothel and helping people with HIV/AIDS, then proceeds to say she hopes she ruined the rest of the woman's vacation. And while earlier in the book she noted that during treatment, her family and friends described her as angry and volatile, this comment allowed me to realize that despite the peaceful picture she paints of herself, she's still got a lot of work to do. BTW, The rating system on this book appears to be mixed up. When I logged on, the system said there were 207 customer reviews, but there were only 4. And the overall rating was 2 stars but the four reviews shown were all either 4 stars or 5. Something's missing....

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    She is just bitter

    Bitter woman no one can do any right except her I Think Her Mother Is Beauitful what a rotten daughter

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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