Bitter RootsBy Jose B. Rivera
“It’s just too painful to talk about!” That’s what an aunt had to say when asked about her family tree. This statement would become the springboard that would spur Reginald’s research of his own family ancestry. In the three years that followed, he wondered just what could have been so painful that a family member would not want to share her story and take the painful secrets to her grave.After Reginald discovered an inconsistency his own birth certificate and not finding a definitive answer to his question, his creative mind began to weave its own answers and thus began the effort to write his exciting 538 page turner of a novel, Bitter Roots.
Doing this, however, would prove a daunting task. The first challenge, to survive the life threatening diagnosis of prostate cancer. However, with many prayers and his wife’s healing gift of laughter, a positive state of mind helped Reginald to overcome this life changing illness.
While he healed and grew stronger, both spiritually and physically, he learned how precious this gift of time we call life had become. His mother, a writer herself, had inspired him to write back when he was an adventurous young boy growing up in the Fort Green Housing Project of Brooklyn back in 1950. She, however, died before she got the chance to publish her manuscript.
Not wanting to suffer a similar fate, Reginald realized that time was now something that he could not waste. As soon as he was able to get out of bed and get on with his life, he dedicated himself to make publishing his torrid tale, Bitter Roots, a top priority.
Four years in the making, Bitter Roots was first reviewed by the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency out of California where the first major editing change resulted in shortening the novel by some three hundred pages.When the second and third reading revealed that his novel would require several more rounds of editing, a change in the nature of his story and at least eighteen months before it would reach the public, Reginald was unwilling to take that time nor to change his manuscript to fit their requirements and thus his manuscript was gently rejected.
Now pressed for time, he discovered the online publishing company, iUniverse.Com one that was owned and affiliated with Barnes and Noble Books. Working with the speed of the Internet, Reginald was able to speed up the publishing process. Although it still had to undergo several rounds of editing, Reginald worked eighteen hours a day for ten months to bring his manuscript to print.
Today, his exciting new novel, Bitter Roots tells the emotionally gripping story that surrounds one family’s desperate struggle to overcome the wrath of a voodoo curse that has threatened the love life of its beautiful mulatto women since the days just after slavery. Shame, pride and family secrets perpetuated this family’s tragic existence with the curse brutally taking the lives of the men who dared to fall in love their with any of their women.
Left behind, after death had dealt its hand, these troubled women with saddened hearts had learned to quietly endure this curse from their past. However, in 1949, a child gave birth in the hot, humid thick of an August afternoon in rural Louisiana. Her name was Sadie Lafayette. She was Elizabeth’s Estell Lafayette’s daughter and only fourteen years old. Beginning in the back bedroom of a rural Louisiana home, the novel, Bitter Roots reveals the intimate details of her family’s secret and the shocking story of Elizabeth’s attempt to save her child and the men who would love her from all of its pain.
Spanning three generations, explicit and shockingly bold, Reginald Wyatt skillfully touches on the social and cultural realities that have intimately affected all of our lives.
Checks for signed and sealed, numbered copies can be made to:
Reginald Wyatt and sent to
1030 Robinson Avenue # 106
San Diego, Ca 92103-4475.