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Maude

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4.07  ·  Rating details ·  31,116 Ratings  ·  2,566 Reviews
In 1906, I was barely over fourteen years old, and it was my wedding day. My older sister, Helen, came to my room, took me by the hand, and sat me down on the bed. She opened her mouth to say something, but then her face flushed, and she turned her head to look out the window. After a second, she squeezed my hand and looked back in my eyes. She said, “You’ve always been a ...more
Kindle Edition, 498 pages
Published October 17th 2014 (first published October 16th 2014)
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Donna On this book, I only organized and filled out what my grandmother told me over the years. I feel more like her stenographer than an author. I studied…moreOn this book, I only organized and filled out what my grandmother told me over the years. I feel more like her stenographer than an author. I studied writing in high school and later in college *(I never did get my degree, but I still take classes twice a week in a private critique group ) but didn't write my first book until I was 60. I worked on "Maude" off and on for over ten years. I didn't think anyone outside of the family would read it, but the world has really taken her to their hearts. In a way, my grandmother is still taking care of me.(less)

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Elyse
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Donna Foley Mabry, author, and granddaughter of 'Maude', shares her grandmother's
story with compassion, dignity, sensitivity, and love.

Donna was just a little girl herself when she remembers Maude telling her bedtime stories.....of her own life. Maude was raised in Tennessee, later moved to Kennet, MO, later Detroit during the Great Depression --
Maude never told Donna stories in any chronological order - but would share whatever came into her thoughts - on any given night. Donna was fascinate
...more
Jennifer Blakeslee
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
What a tragic tale. This reads like a transcript of an oral story, which on some level it is. It's rife with details of American history, but the relentless sadness sometimes made me want to hurl the book across the room in anger, jump through time, and throttle several of the people depicted (sometimes Maude herself). It left a harrowed feeling, and while I truly appreciated the experience of reading it, I need to read something light and ridiculous now to get it out of my system. (The fact tha ...more
Kim
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Reading Maude reminded me of those Little House on the Prairie books I used to read as a kid. Only this is the reality version.

This is a book everyone should read. How many of us could have championed a life during Maude's period of life in America? Can you imagine if any of us had to wait 4 hours for an ambulance or er visit - today we'd be screaming injustices and suing everyone possible! Or - worse - what if the bank one day just decided to shut down with all of our $ in it??? There wou
...more
Stephanie Ezrilov
Dec 31, 2014 rated it liked it
A sad story

I gave this book three stars because I wanted to set it down several times. It was plain white rice for most of the way through but I kept reading nonetheless. It's just a sad story, much like many people's lives suppose. If I can take away anything it would be to never settle for just existing. Live, love, take chances, accept change and challenge. Never ever settle.
Julie Pineda
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Worth more than you paid!

I'm not one to write reviews or even choose books with a more historical setting. One day I was just looking for a well-rated cheap book and the excerpt for Maude caught my attention. I bought the book and was in for a wonderful surprise. This book is one of the best books I've read in awhile. Maude's life not only brings to life the woman's role and culture but how technology, medicine, and culture changed through time. Maude's life is also so compelling that you develo
...more
Sunny
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved Maude

I devoured this book. Hard to put down. Maude is a powerhouse of strength and fortitude. Her pioneer spirit rings so true, and her reactions to events in history are priceless. Would we all be so blessed with a Maude in our ancestry. The author treated Maude with the utmost respect and love in writing this hard scrabble life, including events from the depression, women's right to vote, war, marriage, birth and death. Bravo, Ms. Mabry, one more devoted fan of your writing.
Talisa Newton
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it
I wanted to like the book and I did in some ways. I just wondered if some of Maude' s children's behavior was related to her self confessed rejection of them even in infancy. I hate to think that Bud or Paul ever knew how she really felt about them though I suspect they knew. I don't think she made any effort to hide her favoritism. I kept hoping for some redemptive qualities to develop but for me, they did not. It was a tragic life that never improved and actually accelerated downhill at an ama ...more
Brenda Shelton
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Maude is a MUST read!

I loved this story! It is for anyone who is familiar with or who has family or friends who grew up during this time. I couldn't put it down and read it in two days _ just reading at bedtime. Fantastic!
Shari Larsen
This book is based on the true story of the life of the author's grandmother, Maude Foley, who was born in 1892, and died during the 1960's. While most of the story is true, it is classified as fiction because the author states that there were instances that she had to fictionalize, such as gaps in memories, or recounting conversations that she was not a witness to.


The story opens on Maude's wedding day, when she was only 14 years old. Maude did not have an easy life, but she was a true survivor
...more
Katie
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oh, I think it's a book everyone should read. I do. It's a simply-written book and reads very fast. So much of Maude's life is unthinkable to us now... an early marriage at 14, a second marriage to avoid gossip, walking across a state to be near family, or sewing your own underwear. It was barely a hundred years ago, but you feel like you are learning about a different world. A world where you can't simply buy a new jacket for winter or refuse the wealthy older neighbor's proposal.

We live a life
...more
Richard
Feb 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
I can't stop thinking about this book - and I really don't know what to make of it. It's the story of the author's grandmother's life, as she apparently told it to her granddaughter over the course of years. Amazing, fascinating, grapes-of-wrath tale. The writing's not great - but whose writing is it, exactly? and it's nonetheless very and oddly effective. I felt as if I had found someone's journal and couldn't not read it, incredulous, unable to imagine what would come next.

Though it's altoget
...more
Patricia
Maude was our book club's book of the month for February. It took me a pretty long time to finish it because I found myself needing a break after some of the chapters.

To say that this book is sad is an understatement. The story is miserable in an Angela's Ashes sort of way. I find Maude's life very interesting, though, and the story was told in a way that kept me going despite the heavy, heartache-y feeling that each chapter brought on.

I likely won't read this one again, but I'd still say that
...more
wain
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow, that is all I can say as I just finished this book. Some of the reviews described this book as sad, well it is sad, but what a strong woman Maude was. When you thought her life really couldn't get any worse, well it did. Her strong belief in God really led her through some very difficult times. In her case that was most of her life. I highly recommend reading this but find the positive in her story. It really is inspiring.
Jennifer Kentner
Jan 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
An interesting story but poorly written.

This was a fascinating story that gives a lot of detail about a woman's life from the early 1900s to her death in the latter part of the century. It was an easy read but there could have a lot more proofreading. There were several instances where it was unclear what was happening.
Maureen Mullis
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Maude," by Donna Mabry, is one of the best books I've ever read. Based on stories her grandmother told her about her life, Maude is told in first person so you get a feeling for this woman. Her life was filled with challenges, unbearable heartbreak, and blessings of love and faith that supported this resilient woman from the late 1800s through the mid twentieth century. You can't help but admire this woman, and I for one am grateful to Ms. Mabry for writing her story down and sharing it with th ...more
Bea
Dec 24, 2014 rated it liked it
I enjoyed it, but I don't think everyone will. It's about a woman born in the 1800s in a small, poor town in Tennessee. It's about the hard life of women then,(she was born before electricity and running water) an unaffectionate husband, the tragedy of loosing babies and children, and included some U.S. history. I thought it was actually interesting all the way through it and it didn't drag out too much. It made me thankful once again for all the modern conveniences we have.
Amy Kannel
Dec 28, 2014 added it
Recommended to Amy by: Katherine Coble
Shelves: biography
Whew. It is kind of hard to believe that one person's life could be so very tragic.
Alaine
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
***Spoilers***

Amazon suggested this to me based on my interest in something else, and it seemed like something I'd be into, so I went with it. It's not a terrible book. The writing is simple, but I could easily hear my 92-year-old grandmother in her words. My grandma grew up in poverty during the Depression and didn't finish high school till she was a grown mother of grown children. If she was to sit down and write her story, it would be a good story but not a work of literature. My grandma is f
...more
Lynne Spreen
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
I just finished this book 10 minutes ago. What an epic story of American life! What an emotional roller coaster. I just wish it had ended on a happier note. Maude was inspiring in the way she kept going. She was such a decent, resilient person, but after a certain point, her efforts to withstand setbacks weren't enough. The book ends on a down note, and yet, I feel as if I have done something patriotic by reading it, by witnessing her life as told by her beloved granddaughter, Donna Mabry. And o ...more
Patricia & Stephen Woitkowski
Amateurish biography

Although I generally like this type of story, it was too repetitious. I was getting depressed reading about this poor woman's sad life of poverty, pure slog work, and general unhappiness. I realize that this reflected the times that she lived, but could the woman get a break?! I'm surprised that she didn't just up and leave her family--it couldn't have been worse. Don't read this unless you like being depressed. Even the end of her life stunk.
Natasha
Jan 29, 2015 rated it liked it
A life lived and love lost and found

A story of a life lived, loved, and mourned.

It was heartbreaking and devastating at times. At others it was full of the beautiful and mundane things that add a richness to life.

The book was well written, though rushed at the end.
Biana
May 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
I have so many horrible thoughts about this book and I'm going to write a bad review. I'm hesitating just because I think it's an incredible skill to write a book and get it published, I'm sure the author worked very hard and I hate to be the voice of doom telling her that it wasn't good enough. But, I wouldn't want someone to read it without knowing that they were headed down a dark dark path. I can only hope this the compilation of these stories means something to the family.

Maude is the story
...more
♥ Marlene♥
Mar 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Picked this up and it was easy to get into.

This is a very as I said before easy book to get into. The story of a woman growing up during the 2 world wars and the Great Depression times.
It is the story of how she lived and you'd think it might be boring but weirdly enough it was not at all.
What I liked was that the main character had a lot of flaws and was quite cold and stubborn in her ways but I like that. I am sick of all the women in books that are sweet and gorgeous and very dependent or in
...more
Betty
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
This was a Free Kindle book that I read based on the many good user reviews it received. It's a realistic portrayal of a woman living in hard times - and boy, was her life miserable and depressing. The writing style is amateurish and the characters are very two-dimensional. Lots of religious undertones but that didn't seem to have much bearing on the main character's negative thinking/behavior towards some of her children and others. The story was too depressing and didn't provide much insight o ...more
Marin Santorsola
Jan 10, 2015 rated it liked it
This is an incredibly depressing, yet also highly-readable book. It's a heartbreaking account of the everyday tragedies and joys of a woman so representative of the women of her time and place who lived just barely above America's poverty line. It's insightful and sad, but its honesty makes it enjoyable. That being said, I need to read a lighthearted book about puppies and sunshine next to shake off the melancholy of Maude.
Anne W. Sweeney
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
So much sadness

This is a good read but it's sad. I can't imagine so much sadness in one life. But it's real life and this is reality. If I was to write a book I could never put so much tragedy on one person. But it really happened. This is a very good book and worth the read. Just no happy endings. Real life doesnt always provide a happy ending. I'm glad Maude had her faith.
Leona
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very well done.
Mary
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow what a great read

From the first sentence you are taken away. All the characters are like good friends when you are done. Such a good book.
Lynn
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author wrote this memoir about her grandmother who used to put her to bed with wild real-life stories. The book reads like a novel or at least an autobiography. The tale commenses with her wedding day at age 14. It is a spartan tale of America in the a 1920s and beyond. Maude have a loving first marriage and a loveless second. She experiences unimaginable and frequent loses. In response, she just keeps putting one foot in front of the other.

She and her family are dirt poor and they all expe
...more
Amarilli Settantatre
Oct 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
da ww.sogni pensieriparole.com

Libro triste, anzi, tristissimo, senza un finale edulcorato, ma lo sapevo in partenza.
Alla fine non è che la vita (vera) di una donna qualunque (ma non per questo meno straordinaria) dall'infanzia alla vecchiaia, attraverso due matrimoni, cinque figli, la prima guerra mondiale, l'epidemia di spagnola, la povertà, la Grande Depressione, la seconda guerra mondiale.
Maude è una bambina di otto anni quando rimane orfana e viene "promossa" all'età adulta: se vuole essere
...more
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2015 Reading Chal...: Maude by Donna Mabry 1 28 May 04, 2015 01:53PM  
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136 followers
A Michigan native who studied writing in school, Donna first came to Vegas to make costumes and soon was weaving the stories she heard in the back of the girls’ dressing room into her first novel. Now she is the author of The Alexandra Merritt Mysteries, which include The Last Two Aces in Las Vegas, The Las Vegas Desert Flower, The Las Vegas Special, Rough Ride in Vegas, M.I.A. Las Vegas, and the ...more
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“The pain never really goes away. It gets better, and you finally get to a place where you aren’t thinking about it every minute of every day.” 13 likes
“She didn’t go in chronological order, but spoke of whatever came to her mind. One night she would talk of her childhood, another of the wars or the depression. Sometimes she talked about losing four of her five children. It wasn’t until many years later when I repeated some of these things to my daughter that I fully realized how epic a tale my grandmother’s life had actually been. My daughter said to me, “Why don’t you write it down for me?” 8 likes
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