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Family Bible

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  83 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
"Swimming and sex seemed a lot alike to me when I was growing up. You took off most of your clothes to do them and you only did them with people who
were the same color as you. As your daddy got richer, you got to do them in fancier places." Starting with her father, who never met a whitetail buck he couldn't shoot, a whiskey bottle he couldn't empty, or a woman he couldn'
Hardcover, 168 pages
Published April 15th 2008 by University of Iowa Press (first published 2008)
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(showing 1-30)
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May 13, 2008 Mary rated it really liked it
beautiful collection of personal essays
Jun 16, 2008 Cat rated it really liked it
A beautifully written and haunting book...Poignant but the narrative voice is spare, so you don't feel forced to emotion. A powerful and pleasurable read. I hope Delbridge writes more books! (I think this is her first.)
Apr 22, 2008 Anne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lynn LeBaron
FAMILY BIBLE, written by my dear friend Melissa Delbridge, was savored only at night before drifting off to sleep, because her words were the gateway to the most delicious dreams that brought me back to my own coming-of-age days in Alabama. The only improvement I can imagine is an audio book version. No actor, please, only the writer's sultry voice. A female Salinger, Faulkner, and Welty but more than the sum of those! Highly highly recommended.
Apr 26, 2008 Linda rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: memoir
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 19, 2008 fleegan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all my people
Shelves: non-fiction
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. The author's honesty is admirable and let's face it, gutsy as hell. I laughed (a lot), I cried, and I didn't want it to end.
Aug 17, 2008 Valerie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Valerie by: Poets & Writers Magazine
I tend to read more fiction than nonfiction, so I'm not entirely sure if I would call this work a memoir or an essay collection. What makes the book so special is Delbridge's careful, delightful prose. This is the work of a real craftswoman who loves words. The chapters (or essays) do stand alone and could easily be used in a nonfiction workshop or expository writing course. The strongest essay in my view is "Billy Boy," and when I went to the farmer's market yesterday and held an heirloom tomat ...more
Jul 14, 2008 Beth rated it really liked it
This is a coming-of-age-in-the-South memoir without the cloying sentimentality that sometimes comes with the genre.
Aug 12, 2008 Jane rated it it was amazing
Ms. Delbridge has a bright, witty conversational style so vibrant I felt she was in the room talking to me....her recollections of growing up in Tuscaloosa struck a chord with my own roots in North Carolina...she very eloquently tells of the day-to-day things that make up a life...she is sometimes laugh-out-loud funny and also has been through her share of tragedy...she writes unforgettable portraits of her father, her family and her friends, especially Kirby and Jinky, and girls who have turned ...more
Aug 02, 2008 Eleanor rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
Melissa Delbridge's memoir of growing up in the 1960's in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, started with great promise. Delbridge's wry wit grabbed me from the beginning, and although I was enthralled for most of the story, the conclusion -- which reads like an opinion piece (albeit, well-written) -- is jarring in its departure from the lyrical flow of the rest of the memoir. Worth the read, to be sure, but I wanted to love the whole thing!
Apr 15, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I'd heard about this story collection in "Poets & Writers" and marked it down. A couple months ago the author wrote me a message on Goodreads saying she hoped I'd enjoy the book once I got to reading it.

I've just finished "Family Bible" and have to say it's on my short list of story collections that I've enjoyed. Her writing is formal yet familiar bringing you into the Southern world she's familiar with and the time she was brought up in. It takes a certain know-how to be able to have reade
Emily rated it really liked it
Jan 10, 2009
Mschurtman rated it it was amazing
Jan 07, 2009
Jul 26, 2009 Kendall rated it really liked it
Delbridge weaves a strong narrative through this memoir, reflecting on growing up in the South during the era of integration. She paints a vivid picture of the challenges she faced and creates a compelling case for tolerance.
May 17, 2009 Erin rated it it was ok
another memoir of a crazy, dysfunctional family. funny and well-written and I at least liked this woman, but I really do not enjoy these types of books. oh, well
Aug 20, 2009 Susan rated it liked it
This book is a frank memoir of a woman who grew up in small town Alabama in the 60's. Tough living and language. I thought the first part of the book was interesting in its factual and accurate depiction of the author's early life. As her story progresses, and she becomes an adult, I found it to be more disturbing and leaned more toward shock factor.
Oct 06, 2009 Kim rated it it was amazing
Our Common Reading Initiative book at Mississippi University for Women this fall, and Delbridge will visit campus as part of our Welty Writers' Symposium in October.
Susan Rothenberg
Dec 15, 2009 Susan Rothenberg rated it really liked it
The good about it was her description of her childhood in Tuscalloosa, telling of her parents severe limitations as parents with a certain degree of acceptance. It would have been better if she's stopped with that story, rather than wandering off into part of her adulthood working with abused and problemed teens.
Kelli Best
Just heard this author speak at Hope last night. What an excellent storyteller! Really enjoyed the reading. Bought the book and am early into it, but not at all disappointed. It's a collection of essays about growing up in the south in the 60's.
Jun 25, 2010 Debbie rated it really liked it
really liked it, parts of this memoir are dark, but parts of it were so moving, I would reread over again...
Mar 20, 2013 Uschi rated it really liked it
This is a woman's story about growing up in Tuscaloosa, AL. It's her story and stories about the people she knew. Easy to read, though not always easy reading, sometimes I wish she had spelled out things better for us non-insiders.
Lesley Looper
Oct 12, 2011 Lesley Looper rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
I enjoyed reading this book of essays, in part because they took place in Alabama. Many of the places Delbridge mentions are familiar, although I grew up in a different town. The writing is an interesting combination of frankness and wit that I enjoyed as well.
Ellen Johnson
Jul 02, 2012 Ellen Johnson rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
insightful look back at her life. realistic descriptions of snippets of things remembered that most of us can relate to in one way or another. A Southern life that is neither gussied up with magnolias nor gritty with trash. Not embittered despite benign neglect of childhood and molestation as an adolescent.
Gwen Bentley
I really enjoyed this book for several reasons! I appreciated the story of a young girl who grew up in a dysfunctional family in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I loved hearing references to places I knew from the years I lived in Tuscaloosa. I recommend the book, though, whether or not someone is familiar with Tusclaoosa. The story is interesting and uplifting in a way that isn't obvious or preachy, but in the way all stories of survivors are. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
I've never been the kind of reader who could finish a book no matter what. If I'm not hooked in the first little bit, then I don't read anymore. I hate to rate a book I haven't read, however, because I know that some books finish much better than they began, and without giving it a chance to come full circle, I don't really have the right to judge the entire thing, especially by only the beginning.

I'm not trying to say that this was a bad book. It just didn't speak to my experience, and so I ha
Barbara Stutz
Barbara Stutz rated it it was amazing
May 12, 2014
Kim Church
Aug 31, 2014 Kim Church rated it it was amazing
A memoir of growing up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Exquisitely written, big-hearted, brave, wrenching, funny. Melissa Delbridge, where have you been all my life?
Sep 01, 2015 Cynthia rated it really liked it
I suggest you read "Family Bible" by Melissa J Delbridge. She writes about growing up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. While I'm from North Carolina and much older than Ms. Delbridge, I could see some of her memories. The book is a quick read; began Sunday afternoon and finished Monday afternoon. Will I read it again, I don't know so I'm keeping the book for a while.
Happy Reading.
Saundra Anderson
Saundra Anderson rated it it was amazing
Aug 22, 2015
elaine dineen
elaine dineen rated it it was amazing
Dec 01, 2015
Jul 27, 2016 Julie rated it it was ok
This was okay. More like short stories than a memoire that really held together. I know these were written as articles separately, but I was really hoping she would write a final piece that wrapped it all up. I wanted more from her on what it all brought her to in her life. I've read other memoire's that seemed stronger in the end, "The Glass Castle" and "If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name". I hate to critique someone's life experience, just felt like if you are going to write about it, you s ...more
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