From Publishers Weekly
Although this book covers great events world wars, depressions, elections and blizzards Spence is at its center. The author, who died in 1998 at age 84, wrote this account of growing up in a small Nebraska farming community with a piano teacher mother (whom she disparaged) and a newspaper publisher father (whom she worshiped); she left it to her son, Kyle Spence Richardson, to edit. The life Spence captures embodies the American woman's world pre-Feminine Mystique, a woman's magazine world where females struggled "to create the perfect marriage." In the hands of a less talented writer, this book would appeal primarily to archivists and historians, for it concerns the basics of farming life: marrying, giving birth, rearing children, raising cattle and enduring quiet marital miseries. But Spence's story is a cornucopia of vivid scenes, including images of frontier dentistry, the Klan, church suppers, barn building and rattlesnake killing that will appeal to a much wider audience. The retelling of how Spence's aunt got into her nightclothes in front of a young Spence without revealing any nakedness combines lightness with weighty implications about women's lives, as does her recollection of the long hours women spent in the kitchen. Spence renders these moments unsentimentally, yet with emotional depth, richly informative detail and noteworthy balance. To the deluge of memoirs by "ordinary" people, Spence contributes one that is much more than a nice remembrance for her grandchildren. Photos.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Not only does Spence relate her own story, but also the stories of people around her, making Moving Out a collection of humorous and touching narratives."—Utah Historical Society
(Utah Historical Society
"Compelling reading. . . . Spence is an astute, thoughtful writer."—Great Plains Quarterly
(Great Plains Quarterly