I sat glued to the audiobook narrated by the author himself. He is easy to understand, even if he does read it a bit quickly. HE knows who is who butI sat glued to the audiobook narrated by the author himself. He is easy to understand, even if he does read it a bit quickly. HE knows who is who but I have to be given time to learn that. The speed, but only in the beginning, was difficult. He reads with feeling, and THAT is good. Here is an unselfish man with empathy.
I emigrated from the US in the 70s, so this book filled me in on what has happened to the justice system since then....... Shocking! Justice? Is there any justice left? Justice only for wealthy, educated and employed Whites. I didn't realize the situation was this bad.
Having so loved the novel Whose Names Are Unknown I simply had to continue with the author's childhood autobiography. Her own experiences are the basiHaving so loved the novel Whose Names Are Unknown I simply had to continue with the author's childhood autobiography. Her own experiences are the basis for what she wrote in both the novel and this novelistic memoir. Reading both is not repetitive, except for one chapter. The time periods covered are different. Very different stories are told
I loved this one even more, simply because it does NOT follow the so often told tale of the dust-bowl era and migrant workers in California. Others have written of this, as she did in Whose Names Are Unknown. It is in theme similar to Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. What is here in this book feels one of a kind. Similar to and maybe even better than Willa Cather's My Antonia, another fantastic read. If you enjoyed that, you will certainly love this. This novelistic memoir covers her years from seven to twelve. It is written as a novel with dialog. Her sister, Dorothy, is called Marcy in the book. Here we get the author’s childhood years growing up on the Great Plains, on the prairie in Eastern Colorado and later in Kansas when her family moves eastward so that she and her sister could go to school. We are told this through her perspective. We see prairie life thorough a child’s eyes....and she loves the prairie. She feels at home with nature and animals. There is a bit of fantasy, she sees the ghost of a horse. I am left feeling that what she saw and experienced could have happened. Who am I to say her experience is false simply because I have never seen ghosts, let alone animal ghosts. It is all so perfectly told.
The writing - I love the writing. I like it as much as Cather's. I like it as much as Steinbeck's. Each writer is different and no two others can really be compared but there are similarities. Sanora Babb’s writing is gorgeous, lyrical, beautiful. Depictions of places and landscapes, relationships and emotions..... blue skies, the feel of air on your skin or the dark night sky of the prairie. You should read this book just to experience the writing.
I felt the relationships between the family members were expertly depicted, not described but instead seen by how they each behaved. The relationship between Sanora’s father and paternal grandfather was so honest, so pitch perfect with both conflict and love. It felt so real. Her mother and her sister were different in personality; each became for me a different identity.
Animals and nature are central to this book. Intuitively, even as a young child, the author felt at home there on the Great Plains. Horses and dogs and coyotes. Sanora's grandfather taught her so much. Not only about animals but also how to read - from his one book on Kit Carson and the newspapers plastered on the wall of their dug-out. Yes, that is where they lived, a groped out hole in the ground with the window at the level of the ground ….and the bugs. The rat. The scorpion. No well. A blizzard - five people living in a hole for days. No light. Let me just say this, the story is well told.
The book ends with an Afterword that quickly skims her years as a journalist, writer, teacher and working with the migrant workers in California in the 30s. It is amazing what she has done with her life, and it is amazing that it has taken so long for her writing to be acknowledged as it should have been years and years ago.
The audiobook narrator, Alyssa Bresnahan, is the same as in her other book. It is equally well read. Slowly and with feeling.
I cannot give this book anything but five stars. ...more