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All this is entertainingly, and sometimes beautifully, told. Frank, as his aunt once told him, can write. But it is also too much : his account is so partial the reader comes to suspect, if not its essential truth, then at least its purpose.

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He attributes her modus operandi to fear, but his diagnosis is sympathy-free: this terror is born, by his telling, only of snobbery and narcissism. There is, in particular, something obscene about his descriptions of his aunt and uncle in old age. What right has he to tell Hank how she should treat her husband of more than 60 years as he lies dying, let alone to criticise the way she grieves? As I read, I assumed that Harriet Frank was long dead.


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It may be that her health is poor, that she is no longer able to read or to hear gossip. All the same, there is, to me, unwarranted cruelty here. What, in the end, did she really do to her nephew? She was difficult and spiteful, but he never lived with her — and in any case, he escaped her clutches long ago.

If The Mighty Franks is intended as punishment, I think it vastly outweighs the crime. Topics Autobiography and memoir The Observer.

24-Hour Binge Reads (Thriller, Memoir, YA Fantasy) - October Reading Vlog

Film books reviews. Reuse this content. She is a good writer who wears her heart on her sleeve as she did in her previous book, the curious Slanted and Enchanted , a study of indie culture. Read her artfully told, anguishing, fascinating first-hand account of her longing for God, for faith, for church; who knows, you may share the book with punk rock grrrls you know. Or maybe you will be moved to pray for her in pity.

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What a story, and what a writer. Josh tells his life story with lively prose that explores the paradoxes of human splendor and wretchedness while dangling hints of redemption. Very interesting, surreal at times. He knows birds and there is delight a-plenty here for any birder or any beach lover.


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But his agenda is serious as he heads to four quarters of the world over four seasons, to document the impacts of climate change. What a pleasure it is to find such an enlightening, provocative companion for walking and talking. We can ask no more from those who warn about the dark days ahead than that they awaken us to the miracle of everyday life. I have rarely been so absorbed in story, and what a story it is: she was raised in a loving rural community of lumberjacks, timber workers in the very rural parts of the forests of Idaho.

As a gypsy-like existence took her parents and relatives deeper into the woods for work, they grow increasingly aware of the beauty of this land and their small homesteads are nearly self-reliant.

Memoirs from the Underside

Soon, they enter a serious sort of blue-collar, mysterious, Pentecostalism. Things are both good and, eventually, in ways I cannot easily recount, troubling. The work gives out and they move to town. Man, does she rebel. It gets pretty ugly and she recalls it with remarkable memory and remarkable insight. How do some people do this, recall things so eloquently? She has a vivid gift and she is very talented, and she is fearless. Words fail me to do justice to this remarkable story in a brief annotation, but you should know it was a fully engrossing read, artfully told, reflective and profoundly moving; it is surely one of the best memoirs I have ever read.

Highly recommended, for those who can take such an intense and beautifully-written tale of loss and regret and of the formation of the life of a writer. I sometimes remind our readers that not every book we suggest is recommended for every reader. This is one of those, and parts of this rank among the most disturbing stuff I have read, even though she is elegant and most often discreet. Ms Barnes is a spectacularly gifted writer, and a very honorable woman who boldly lays her bad decisions bare and evaluates deeply what has been really going on as her troubled life unfolds.

Her inability to grapple with the grief of the loss of her beloved mother? Well, this is like that, sort of, but times ten. The first third of Hungry for the World revisits the same ground covered in the wonderful In the Wilderness , but it did not at all feel redundant. It was fully enjoyable and, again, deeply moving, as she gently pondered extra layers of meaning, named other details, retold more and more of those years of joy and faith and loss and trouble. As I was reading this a few weeks ago I was telling everyone about the beauty and haunting lyricism of her splendid prose and her remarkable self-reflection, and how good it was, carrying us toward this next part of her story.


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It was a bit dark, naturally, and then about the middle, the next chapter of her life hit, and I was stunned. You know those movies that are raw and dark and messy and yet it is good to spend a few hours taking it all in. With discernment and courage, this story may be a very good read for some of us. Others should avoid it. I like Ms Barnes a lot, and look forward to reading her new novel. This memoir is d ire and gorgeous, hard and healing. In a list of my favorite reading experiences this summer I have to name this. Beth and I were quite privileged to get an early manuscript Margie is a friend and I literally raced through it, eager to read chapter by chapter, story by story, the pieces of her life remembered and retold.

It is a very good book. Allow me to at least introduce you to her, for now: Margie and her husband, Denis Haack, run one of the most wonderful ministries of which we know with one of the fabulously interesting websites, too. Margie is a sassier writer than Denis and her candid look into the hectic craziness of their lives is told colorfully in another newsletter, which she does, nicely called Notes from Toad Hall. You can browse stuff Margie writes, also at the Ransom webpage, here. Anybody who has heard a bit of her story has told her that she has to write a book. Haack was raised in very very Northern, and very very rural Minnesota, growing up in the harsh and lovely terrain of animals, subsistence farming, outhouses, hard weather, poverty, and country neighbors, the kind that, I gather, good fences should make better.

We are taking pre-orders for The Exact Place, as we are eager to sell this rural memoir and we are quite glad it is being published by folks we respect, a classy, indie press Kalos.

This Is My Body: A Memoir of Religious and Romantic Obsession

You know that Quaker hymn, Tis a Gift to Be Simple that assures us in turning, turning, we come round right? This quiet, simple set of interesting farm-girl stories testifies that it is true. In many ways, this is one of the most urgent lessons to be learned in life, and it is a story of Providence and Grace. Margie speaks honestly about our foibles, fears, and brokenness.

And yet she realizes that it comes round right. She just struck me as whiny and it seemed an easy way to make dollars from her loyal audience. Sam, though.

Questions?

I was impressed by his maturity and his writing style. Agree to disagree with you on this one, Byron.

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