All That Is Bitter and Sweet
All That Is Bitter and Sweet, is, at its heart, the story of Ashley Judd’s awakening. In sharing the secrets of a childhood fraught with neglect, abuse and debilitating depression, she confronts the stigma of mental illness and celebrates the serenity that comes with the hard work of recovery. The reward is a new role on a new stage—global advocate for HIV/AIDS sufferers. The humanitarian pursuit of social justice and gender equality is gritty work, but the people she meets in the slums, brothels, sex-slave markets, clinics and orphanages reinforce her faithful contention that every life has value. Judd’s search for justice and peace—for herself, and for the millions without a voice – is testament to the adage that when we help one person, we help the whole world.
—Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea
Ashley Judd has written a deeply moving story—amazingly, searingly, frank. It is her life story, warts and all. As I read her account of her childhood, I ask ‘How could one so traumatized, so abused in childhood, become the woman we know, so caring, so altruistic, so compassionate, so concerned for others, and so joyful?’
—Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Ashley Judd is has lived an extraordinary life. She has learned from it and turned it into a blessing and a call to action for others. Her journey is both moving and inspiring, unique and universal. Reading about it makes your own life make more sense.
This lovely woman, this movie star, this determined dreamer will be familiar to you, assuming you have struggled to resolve your childhood, carve out a career and make greater use of yourself. Ashley Judd’s story reminds us to work harder and on more important tasks, and promises that if we do, contentedness awaits.
—Kelly Corrigan, author of The Middle Place and Lift
Judd’s hauntingly beautiful memoir reflects upon her life as actress, wife, daughter, sister, woman of faith, and ultimately, as friend of the world’s forgotten. The book is engaging as a narrative (I could not put it down), but this is not your typical ‘celebrity memoir.’ All That is Bitter and Sweet is written with uncommon depth and uncommon love. It has the power to transport you not only into the mind and spirit of a true activist, but into the elusive meaning of our shared humanity, and even into unexpected places in your own soul. Prepare to have your eyes opened and your heart jolted.
—Sue Monk Kidd
Ashley Judd has given us magnetic and searingly honest portrayals of diverse women on screen. Now with the same honesty and magnetism, she brings us her true self on the page. From her childhood to her revolutionary empathy with women and girls living very different lives, her path will inspire readers on journeys of their own.
All That Is Bitter and Sweet is all that is enlightening and inspiring. Ashley Judd has composed a memoir that teaches while it entrances and finds hope and faith in the most unlikely places. The book is full of real-life stories that reflect both the compassion of its author and the need for healing in the world.
—Madeleine K. Albright
Over the last decade I have watched my gifted, brilliant friend grow as an artist, but more importantly, as a wise, deeply empathetic woman. I have read the diaries that are the heart of this memoir since she began traveling the world, fearing for her safety and sanity, baffled why she chooses these grueling missions. All That Is Bitter and Sweet will be a revelation to readers, exposing Ashley Judd for what I have known for years she is: An amazing woman doing extraordinary work.
There are certain books that stay with you far after the last page – Ashley Judd’s All That Is Bitter and Sweet is that very type of book. With her sincere honesty, her commitment to servant leadership and her intense passion for everything that she is involved with, Ashley Judd presents a multi-layered portrait of how one person – committed, caring and conscientious – can truly make a difference. She may be our program’s No. 1 fan, but after reading this, you can count me as one of her top fans.
—John Calipari, University of Kentucky Head Coach