tmpting, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by tmpting)
I loved this no-nonsense memoir, and I have multiple pages dog-earred so I can easily find the recipes the author was so kind to include. Reading this book felt like having tea with a friend of my grandmother.
This book honours a time, place and way of life that unfortunately is lost to most of us today. This book is a joy to read, allowing one to live vicariously the happy childhood that Ms. Kalish so joyously shares.
Family is the central focal point. It is, in fact the importance of family ties that drive the entire book. Each story stresses the bonds that hold family together through the thick and inevitable thin of farm life and the Great Depression.
It was the love and commitment of family that made each experience, each memory so ingrained and important to Mildred, as a child and sustained her throughout her life.
It is both a pleasure and a privilege to read this book. While not an easy life given the hardship of the times, it was a beautiful life. That Ms. Kalish immortalizes this time and life makes it all the more special. The way of life, the innocence and true simple pleasures may be gone. But thanks to Mildred Armstrong Kalish they will remain in hearts and minds. The spirit remains in this beautiful memoir.
Grandma L, January 3, 2011 (view all comments by Grandma L)
I enjoyed reading this delightful recounting of life as a child on an Iowan farm during the 1930's, as it probably reflected the life of my parents in Montana. The author's well described events made me see how life then shaped my inherited values received from my parents. All the respect for hard work and independent ways of being self sufficient is surely being lost over time, as we now tend to be so over-protective and pre-occupied with guideing childhood and giving what we think our kids need, rather then letting them be children who learn about hard work and the effect of consequences. This would be a great read for families to read to kids. A new respect for great and grandparents might be a result, as they realize what things were common knowledge for their ancesters. They really did know some remarkable things and had skllls surpassing the ability to text and tweet!
Bookwomyn, June 8, 2008 (view all comments by Bookwomyn)
My father grew up on a farm in Iowa - much like the one that Ms. Kalish recalls here from her childhood. I found the book very readable, and have made some of the recipes she includes in this slim volume. New York Times mentions it as one of the best books of 2007 and while I might not go quite that far I do heartily recommend it. For a depression era family one could never call these folks 'poor.' Now I know a bit more of what made my father such a unique and loving man - people who are surrounded by family, hard work, and a sense of belonging certainly do better when launched out into the wider world.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (4 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)
Those of us who feel like we're "just getting by" will be both humbled and inspired by Kalish's tales of life on an Iowa farm during the Great Depression. Her humorous and heart-warming depiction of a childhood spent working the land and, in doing so, unearthing life's simple pleasures during one of the bleakest periods in our nation's history, serves as a reminder that the best things in life are often free.
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