Diane S ☔'s Reviews > Dimestore: A Writer's Life

Dimestore by Lee  Smith
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really liked it

Growing up in Grundy, Virginia a coal town and spending much of her life in Chapel Hill, Lee Smith is Southern to the core. I am sure that those raised in the South will identify with much that I didn't, phrases, foods, manners and traditions. But, I loved this memoir, love this author and her books and you don't have to be Southern to mourn the changes in your home town, or in my case neighborhood, the stores that are gone, places that meant much in your youth no longer there. Family and the importance of traditions no matter what they are. Mental illness and the effects of such on family as well as the people themselves. A Mother's grief, universal I believe. Divorce and dysfunctional families.

Dimestores, her father owned the local Ben Franklin, we had Woolworths but much sounds the same. The places and ideas formed her writing and what writing means to her. New authors discovered, books added. A wonderful little amusing anecdote about Eudora Welty. So much in this little book. Was blown away by her honesty, her willingness to share so much with readers, told in an unsentimental voice in a series of essays. A nostalgic read whether Southern or not.

ARC from publisher.
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Reading Progress

October 26, 2015 – Shelved
October 26, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
February 17, 2016 – Started Reading
February 18, 2016 –
page 40
February 19, 2016 –
page 75
February 20, 2016 –
page 110
February 21, 2016 –
page 150
February 22, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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message 1: by Jen (new)

Jen Sounds like a good one. I remember Woolworth's too! Nice review Diane.

message 2: by Esil (new) - added it

Esil I have this one too Diane. Now I'm really looking forward to reading it.

message 3: by Zoeytron (new)

Zoeytron In Missouri, we had Ben Franklin 5 & 10 as well as Woolworth's when I was growing up. All gone now.

message 4: by Christine (last edited Feb 22, 2016 05:32PM) (new)

Christine Great review, Diane. A lot of towns looking alike these days. They all have the same chain stores and look the same. I really mourn the loss of the private independent businesses. And yes, I admit it, I also miss even the old time chain places like Piggly Wiggly and Sunoco gas.

message 5: by Carol (new) - added it

Carol In Michigan we had Ben Franklin's and Woolworths too...also all gone. Have many fond memories going there with my mom.

message 6: by Phrynne (new)

Phrynne Nice nostalgic looking cover too:)

Diane Barnes I can't wait to read this one!

message 8: by Carol (new)

Carol I remember the Ben Franklin store from my youth. Nice review of a story that must have conjured up memories of the past.

Diane S ☔ Thanks everyone, this was a very good book about a variety of subjects. Quite like this author, think she is someone I would like to meet. Miss the old variety stores, independent shop keepers, progress makes everything the same, no personality. Sad.

message 10: by Lori (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori I'm thinking of getting this for my mother in law for Mother's Day...does it have many curse words or "racy" sex scenes? She can handle mild but probably needs to be pg13. It sounds like a such a lovely and tender memoir...can't wait to read for myself! Great review!

Diane S ☔ No, I don't remember anything objectionable in this one.

message 12: by Sara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sara Beautiful review, Diane. I found her honesty amazing and you are so right, the loss of childhood haunts can happen in any part of the country and feel the same.

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