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Onions in the Stew Paperback – August, 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
Financial crunches, months of futile searching for a residence, the adjustment of Betty and her children to a life with a new husband and stepfather (whose attitudes are quite different from those of a carefree Bard), living on an island where there are too many visitors and far too little accessibility for daily work and school, a beautiful neighbour's having her eyes on one's husband - these could have been the stuff of whining or dreary "self-help" attitudes. Betty is far from sentimental, totally honest, yet approaches all from a highly positive attitude that nearly makes one envious. This book is also a fine reminder to today's concerned parents that having adolescent children was no joy ride, even 60 years ago.
My only criticism of Betty's writing is that, in her descriptions, she did not know when to stop. For example, her description of Vashon Island is engaging for the first two paragraphs, but rather excessive when it runs to several pages.
This is easily one of the funniest, and most honest, books I have ever read - and read I do, again and again, always finding it a refreshing treat.
But Onions in the Stew is the favorite book of the Betty Fans worldwide. Why? She described family life on Vashon Island with husband Don and daughters Anne and Joan in an unique way. You can read it over and over again and you'll enjoy the everyday life of this wonderful family. There are several snakes in Betty's paradise, snowstorms, adolescence, a beautiful neighbor, who is very interested in Betty's husband and many, many guests and so much more but it's such a delight to read these stories and you can laugh out loud. No wonder that there is a Betty MacDonald Society and a Fan Club with so many fans world wide. Her books are classics - never dated at all.
There is none of the mean-spiritedness in "Onions", probably because, in spite of the various toils and tribulations of life on the island, Betty was basically happy there, as opposed to "Egg" where she was mostly miserable.
I loved the part about the small woman who loved to curl up on soft, comfy places like sofas, armchairs, and other women's husbands' laps. I wondered, though, why Betty didn't just ask her to step out into the garden and then drop-kick her across the straight to Seattle? I'm sure she could have gotten some of the other women in their circle of friends to help.
Many of the events she tells of show us that teenage girls have always been a handful, whatever they say. However, in spite of all the complaining and whining, the girls were willing to pich in; how many girls their age nowadays would have something like stuffed pork chops waiting when their parents came home from work?
While "Egg" left me wondering why anyone in their right mind would want to run a chicken farm in the middle of a howling wilderness, "Onions" made me wonder if living on an island might not be fun.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had a copy of this book a long time ago, and lost track of it. Fun to get a copy to keep my 'Egg & I' company!Published 1 month ago by Pat Young
This review is from: Onions in the Stew (Paperback)
I don't know why ONIONS IN THE STEW is so hard to find; it's really quite funny. Read more
Great story. Betty McDonald is one of my favorite authors. The story is especially meaningful to me as I can see the island from my housePublished 9 months ago by Helga Stintzcum
Good, good, good. All of it, the time it took to get it, the package, the quality of the book.Published 14 months ago by Tina H
This is an enjoyable book, as are the other Betty MacDonald
books. She can write about anything - such as living on a chicken farm,
staying in a TB sanatorium, being a... Read more
This has always been one of my favorite books. I first read it as well as "The Egg and I" when I was a child and thoroughly enjoyed it even then. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Sabina Howard
Good book, author somewhat similar to Erma Bombeck. Story based in early 40's.Published 16 months ago by lgail