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272 pages, Hardcover
First published October 6, 2008
"…if people want to steal from you, they get you to trust them first. And what they take from you is not only your money but also your trust."A good read, since I couldn't put it down. However, the second half of the book lost me. Since it is based on the life of the author's grandmother, it can be expected that drama cannot be added where it does not belong. Although it is claimed to be a novel, I personally think it is more of a biographical memoir in fictional form and was written in the first person for more effect. The writing was very well done and can mean a lot to the descendants.
"…people who don’t plan for the future get ambushed by it."
"Dad followed me, and as I saddled up, he started deluging me with all sorts of advice, telling me to hope for the best but plan for the worst, neither a borrower nor a lender be, keep your head up and your nose clean and your powder dry, and if you do have to shoot, shoot straight and be damn sure you shoot first. He wouldn’t shut up."
”I asked Dad if he believed that everything that happened was God’s will.
‘Is and isn’t,’ he said. ‘God deals us all different hands. How we play them is up to us.’”
”I never met a kid I couldn’t teach. Every kid was good at something, and the trick was to find out what it was, then use it to teach them everything else. It was good work, the kind of work that let you sleep soundly at night and, when you awoke, look forward to that day.”
”’I always liked to think I’d never met a kid I couldn’t teach,’ I said. ‘Turns out I was wrong. That kid is you.’”The one child Lily couldn’t fully control was, ironically, her own daughter, Rosemary. For those of you who read The Glass Castle before reading this book, you’ll understand why. But for those of you who haven’t, Rosemary is like Lily 2.0, but on steroids. And when she’s with her future husband Rex, she’s Lily 2.0, The Incredible Hulk version. Rosemary loved living on the ranch, but she’s not much good at living anywhere else. She’s talented at painting, but gives her teachers hell at school due to poor grades and behavior. She thinks with her impulses, not with her brain. These tendencies will eventually shape her own future, and the future of her daughter Jeannette.
”I wished I could take every course in the curriculum and read every book in the library. Sometimes after I finished a particularly good book, I had the urge to get the library card, to find out who else had read the book, and track them down to talk about it.”I absolutely loved the writing style as well, and I think it suited Lily rather well. It was straight to the point, no nonsense and folksy, just like Lily was. She told people like it was, with no embellishments or flourishes.
”He had plenty of good qualities, but the most important one was that I felt I could trust him.”Lily’s first marriage to a so called traveling salesman is a complete and utter disaster, so she’s extremely wary of romance after that. She soon meets her match in Big Jim Smith, a big man with an even bigger heart. They weren’t the overly sentimental type, but they did get along rather well as a couple, in their own weird way.