Rita's Reviews > Fair and Tender Ladies

Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith
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Oct 08, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: loved, millie
Read in October, 2009

Thank you Sassy, for mentioning how much you loved this book, it was wonderful.

The entire book is written in letters to various people. Ivy starts out as a young, bright, but mostly uneducated girl living in the Appalachian mountains. Her life story unfolds through letters and you're left with a whole character who is as real as any living person.

I also enjoyed watching her spelling and grammar improve throughout her life, but also noticing that she never stuck with what she knew. She'd catch the spelling of one word over the years, but she'd misspell other new words as she was always expanding her vocabulary, adding more to her repertoire, since writing was how she processed her thoughts (oh, and I can't relate to that at all). She'd challenge herself with words and style until they were bursting at the seams of her ability to spell and use them. But, she also hung onto some very consistent misspellings and phrases all throughout her life, which I found to be so very human and just a perfect detail of her character.

It really was a great book that I probably would never have found otherwise, because of the title (Fair and Tender Ladies, really? It sounds like a Cannibal Cookbook. With all the great writing IN the book, that's the best she could put on the cover?), and because it's kind of old and not terribly well known, I guess. Nobody else has ever mentioned it. But you should all put it on your list. It's a really good read.
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06/17/2017 marked as: read

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