- File Size: 2110 KB
- Print Length: 269 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1537089927
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Weaverback Press (July 21, 2016)
- Publication Date: July 21, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01IVUXROQ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,767,562 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad Kindle Edition
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Even the epilogue is a memorable one in its own way. Kathleen, now in her eighties says this about not remarrying after death of her husband decades ago, “There’s nothing wrong with men. I just don’t want to marry another one. They keep breathing in and out!”
Those who whine all the time about money issues for no good reason should read the book to see how America survived the depression and came out stronger because of great Americans like the heroine in this book.
Linda Swain-Bethea comes from a long line of wonderful storytellers and weaves Kathleen Holdaway-Swains memories into a delightful look at what life was like being raised during the Depression. Living in Cuthand, Texas a small out of the way town, considered the low country. Despite hard times, Kathleen’s parents made sure their children always had a roof over their heads, clean clothes and food on the table, including Poke Salad and received an education. Her detailed description of her family and life in Cuthand will have you laughing and yet there leaves a sadness that folks had to live through such hard times when every penny counted. You will meet the family and neighbors, friends and enemies through the eyes of a youngster from a poor but loving home. How the years of WWII affected her family and her future.
Kathleen gets herself into some precarious situations as a child due to her strict moral values instilled in her by her parents. It will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. Her dreams for her future take twists and turns as she forges into the unknown and winds up in Louisiana and finally realizes her dream, only not quite the way she thought it would be.
Kathleen is alive and well and has not lost her sense of humor. She is surrounded by her loving family including her great-grandchildren.
There are also several photos included which put a face to some of the real people in this memoir.
Bethea's style of writing as she recounts her mother's memories has made her one of my favorite authors, and I couldn't put this book down once I started it.
Kathleen (Kitten) takes us through her childhood growing up during the Great Depression by sharing her memories, and we find ourselves cheering for the little girl and her family while we get to know them. Vivid descriptions about unwanted house-guest's habits are hilarious, while stories of sacrifices made by the family for each other brings tears to the reader's eyes. We find ourselves cherishing the favorite stories Kitten hears from her Mama and Daddy while she snuggles next to them much as she did at the time of their telling. As Kathleen recounts the difficulties she faced as a young adult, we too want to return home to her parents' warm home, full pantry, and open arms.
I look forward to reading more from this author!
You will want to know these folks, and follow them through adventures that helped them survive such a difficult time. Paper dolls cut from Sears & Roebuck catalogs, sack-feed dresses, tin can pin curls, homemade everything. Sacrifice with a sense of humor and love of family. It tells a story we all need to hear.
A great read that flows effortlessly. You will smile from the first page.
But don't expect a recipe for that poke salad !
Top international reviews
It takes you on a journey to a different time when life was hard, and people got by as best as they could. The story is told with humour and honesty and introduces you to a cast of characters that will entertain you throughout!
What Linda Bethea has done is brought these recollections of her mother's, and presented them to us in the manner that in my opinion, is Linda's, and Linda's alone.
Killing bears single handed one moment in one's childhood imagination, only to be soundly flogged by an angry chicken a moment later in a hasty return to reality is the type of story that Linda tells in that manner that only Linda can. And yet a moment later, as you're still rubbing your sides that hurt from laughing, the author will give you cause to pause and think about what a huge deal it was to her mother as a little girl when she sat hoping, that when Daddy got back from one of his infrequent trips to town, he might actually have with him, “a pound of bologna, or can of mackerel to satisfy our hunger for meat.”
Linda Bethea will keep you laughing, and she will keep you thinking. Linda will also warm your heart.
The author transitions smoothly from one story to the next, one emotion to another. The amazement of a little girl (Linda's mother) as she discovers for the first time -on her first day of school- that she will have more than one special woman in her life to guide her along this wonderful journey she is on, which for her was just beginning. I felt wonderful for the child then, and cringed for that child when she told her first lie. Later, it was like we felt guilty together, and even later, wonderful knowing we both had different fathers, but that they shared the same forgiving attitude.
Linda also manages to deftly handle the far more serious aspects of Mrs. Swain's life, when as an adult, this woman who had so much charm and character as a little girl came face to face with her own personal Devil, and discovered that his name was Drunken Gambler, and though he terrorizes her for a time...well you should read it for yourself.
Ms. Bethea's book is truly an emotional roller-coaster sailing smoothly along, solidly anchored between the twin rails of historical and cultural facts that made up the early 1900's American South. A great read that I only put down finally, with great reluctance, and hope for a quick sequel.