A Cup of Redemption: A Novel

A Cup of Redemption: A Novel

by Carole Bumpus


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Like the braiding of three strands of brioche, the lives of three women—Sophie Zabél Sullivan, Marcelle Pourrette Zabél, and Kate Barrington—become inextricably intertwined as each struggles to resolve issues from past wars that have profoundly impacted their lives.

Sophie believed her childhood nightmares were safely behind her once she married and moved to the U.S. from France —until she is called to her mother, Marcelle’s, deathbed to honor one final request: “Search for my father! Search for Pourrette!”
Born on the last day of World War I, Marcelle, whose life epitomizes the human cost of war, never knew her father, yet carried the Pourrette name, along with the shame of illegitimacy, as did her two oldest sons born during World War II.
Enlisting the expertise of a friend and family therapist, Sophie encourages Kate to join her in France to help find her grandfather scour the stain of illegitimacy from her family’s name.
Unbeknownst to Sophie, Kate’s 34-year-old illegitimate daughter, given up for adoption during the Vietnam War, has recently reappeared. Kate, struggling with her own shame and guilt, pushes aside her feelings to join Sophie in France.

Rising out of the collateral damage wrought by war, A Cup of Redemption is a touching story about love, loss, and the search for identity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781938314902
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 10/27/2014
Pages: 322
Sales rank: 1,295,768
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Carole Bumpus, a retired family therapist, writes a food/travel blog taken from excerpts of her interviews with French and Italian families, known as Savoring the Olde Ways. She has been published in both the U.S. and France for her articles on WWII veterans and has also been published in three short-story anthologies: Fault Zone: Words from the Edge, Fault Zone: Stepping up to the Edge and Fault Zone: Over the Edge. A Cup of Redemption, her first historical novel, is loosely based on an elderly French woman’s final request to find a father she never knew and the two women who, in their search, find they, too, are struggling with their own travails of wartime legitimacy.

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A Cup of Redemption: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Scorn9 More than 1 year ago
If I had to describe this book in one word, I'd use the word "journey". This incredibly breath-taking tale by Carole Bumpus wow-ed me more than I can say in a few words. When I started reading this book, I just figured it was another Women's Fiction novel that would be a great 'on the side' read to keep my mind off of my homework. Once I got into the book, I was instantly hooked and amazed at how Carole can weave words into the most beautiful and heart breaking tale I've ever read! It's an Oscar-worthy book that is shockingly under-appreciated! Seriously, this is in my Top 10 reads now from how freaking fantastic is was! A Cup of Redemption follows multiple generations in one family. Sophie's Mother (Marcelle) has just passed and she is asked to investigate her family tree. She goes on this wild adventure about her heritage with her friend Kate, and enlists the help of some of her siblings. Along the way, we learn about the haunting past of her, her mother and her grandmother. These tales are seamlessly written and tie in with one another throughout the story. This book will break your heart, warm your heart, and then make you believe in familial love all over again. There's a splash of history in this book, since it goes over the World Wars and other historical events that occur behind the scenes (or during the scenes!) of the story. There's a wee bit of romance, a whole lot of drama, and a splash of mystery as well! If you like fiction where the story slowly unfolds and everything comes into view, then you will love this book! The ending isn't right out there, you have to learn through Sophie and the other characters what really happened in the past - and I loved that aspect. I'm glad the ending wasn't obvious like some mystery novels. I loved the characters and how they interacted with each other. Even when Carole is changing back and forth between the decades, she makes these characters lovable and feel real. At times, I could relate way harder to these characters than I ever expected to. That realism is what really sets this book apart from other stories like this. I almost felt like this could be a non-fiction retelling of a woman's life. Seriously, it's that good. The downfalls of this book are as followed: 1. There's a lot of characters to follow, and if you put down this book a few times like me - you might forget who's who! 2. There are some plot points that don't end up resolved, but they aren't major ones. I would have liked a few more of my questions answered, but the story does come to a close so I guess that's a bit of a positive... 3. This book can be quite...upsetting. There's rape, sexual assault and other dark occurrences in the book that aren't for the light of heart. By the end of this book, I couldn't put it down! I absolutely loved it! Even with the slow start, it slowly burned a hole into my heart and I absolutely need more by Carole Bumpus! If you haven't picked this book up, seriously, get on it! I'm utterly surprised by how well this book connected with me and I want to make sure more readers are able to connect to books with this much talent in it! Five out of five stars!
KempsConsulting More than 1 year ago
A Cup of Redemption combines the two delightful preoccupations — food and travel — in a beautiful woven story of women, family, and the celebration of survival. American Kate meets French ex-pat Sophie and her mother Marcelle in her quest to perfect French cooking. This chance meeting leads them all on a life changing adventure. After meeting Kate, 80-something Marcelle begins to open up about her life and her past in ways she never has before. The new-found friends plan a cross-country trip to retrace Marcelle’s movements through WWII France. The trip is never to happen, as Marcelle dies suddenly. But she leaves directions for Sophie and Kate to make the journey with Marcelle in spirit. In a search for Marcelle’s roots, they uncover darkness, secrets, and long lost knowledge that changes both their understandings of themselves and family, eating lavishly along the way. It is apparent that Carole Bumpus is a first-time fiction author; the narrative is rough around the edges. However, Bumpus’ project is so compelling, and the journey so rich, that it is thoroughly worth reading. So, while I would give the bones a 2 ½, the meat is definitely a 4 ½, so I’ve compromised. (Look for my review of Carole’s companion cookbook Recipes for Redemption and find my interview with Carole on San Francisco Book Review )