Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl by Carol Bodensteiner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The vignettes are authentic, heartwarming and inspiring. The author's voice is exactly that of a ten to twelve year old girl. She speaks as a child would and transports the reader back in time to her kitchen, barn, or field. Each adventure was a complete story, with a goal, tension, hoped for outcome and a lesson.
I loved every one of the stories, except for the one about the cow with milk fever and the last one. But such is life, and the bad times are not papered over. I came to know Carol, her two sisters, two grandmothers, mom and dad, and her schoolmates and Mrs. Fowler almost as if they were my own neighbors. Carol, or Squirt, took me through her lessons, mischief, trials and accomplishments. My chest fill with pride when Squirt accomplished her goals, whether it was lifting a milk pail, or selling her radishes, and I felt keen disappointments at her setbacks, especially the 4H club, the bet, and the carny.
This book was so rich and filled with adventures and historical information, I wouldn't be surprised if it were read in history classes. It went beyond farm life to the way people lived, interacted, hoped and feared during the pre-Sputnik times. Carol combined the voice of her childhood with her wiser adult voice looking back in a seamless manner. It's incredible how much detail she remembered from fifty years ago. What a wonderfully nostalgic view of life in time and place that no longer exists. Carol has done an excellent job of preserving it, much like her mother preserved vegetables, she preserved memories.
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Please read my Author Interview of Carol Bodensteiner here.
Growing Up Country is available at Amazon.