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Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl Paperback – January 1, 2008
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Carol s book evolves into a page turner, not because of high drama but rather because we come to care for this little girl who is living a good, simple life that has evaporated. --Mary Kay Shanley, author, 'She Taught Me to Eat Artichokes' and 'The Memory Box'
Carol's book celebrates a unique and important time in the history of rural America. Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl is up on my bookshelf where I keep all the books I enjoy re-reading, and that is the highest compliment I can give it. --Mark Pearson, host of the Public Television show Market to Market and co-host of the Big Show on WHO Radio
If you have ever milked cows, made hay, wondered about Santa Claus, or had your dad shush you at the noon dinner table while the markets were on, you will identify with these situations. --Lee Kline, farm broadcaster, WHO Radio
About the Author
Carol Bodensteiner is a writer who finds inspiration in the places, people, culture, and history of the Midwest. Born in Iowa and raised on her family's dairy farm, Carol grew up with a love of the land and an appreciation for family that form the foundation of her writing. A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and Drake University, Carol built a successful career in public relations consulting before turning to creative writing. She is a regular participant in the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Carol blogs about writing, her prairie, gardening, and whatever in life interests her at the moment. Her writing has been published in several anthologies. She published her memoir GROWING UP COUNTRY in 2008. Her debut novel GO AWAY HOME was published in 2014.
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Top Customer Reviews
While I never grew up on a ranch or farm, I've become well aware of the customs author Carol Bodensteiner has written about. For example: Hubby and I stopped to visit his aunt during our first trip back to visit family when we were on our honeymoon. His aunt, who knew to expect us but not when, welcomed us with open arms and "Please stay for lunch." We stayed for lunch. She managed to pull out of her freezer sliced ham and seven salads plus dessert for lunch. Mind you she did this while continuing to run her little beauty shop next door. Of course we were not fed well enough for lunch so the next invitation was "Please stay for dinner." We stayed for dinner. I can't remember all of the details for dinner but it was a casserole of some sort, veggies, salad, and of course dessert. On the side were the typical pickles and relishes. Everyone in his family welcomed us in a similar fashion as we traveled northward as they all grew up on a ranch or farm and that is how you welcomed visitors.
While I may never been a country girl, I was brought up with similar values, and so I can relate to this book. For a city girl, I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about country life. I wish I had grown up on a family farm as it may have been a lot of hard work but there was also a lot of reward.
I highly recommend this book for both city and country readers.
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 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.