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Pumping Sunshine: A Memoir of My Rural Childhood Paperback – October 4, 2017
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"Susie Baxter weaves a charming tale using threads of memories and front porch stories from her home near the Suwannee River in rural North Florida. Heartwarming, nostalgic, and honest. Pumping Sunshine is a joy to read."
-- Cassie Dandridge Selleck, The Pecan Man
"A treasure. Touching, honest, brilliantly detailed. Pumping Sunshine leaves its mark indelibly on the heart.
-- Jonellen Heckler, White Lies--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Susie H. Baxter serves as creative nonfiction editor for Bacopa Literary Review and teaches memoir writing at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida.
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I picked it up on a Thursday afternoon. Three days later, I set it down. I would have finished it faster if I didn‘t need to eat or sleep. I was sorry to reach The End.* In 75 short chapters, Ms. Baxter left nothing out, from bed wetting to cooking to identifying plants to her family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. Want to know about sewing, lace making? Butchering hogs? Grinding sugar cane? Turpentine camps? Home remedies? Making biscuits? Hookworm? Church? And much, much more. Text boxes (“Hookworm,” p. 326, etc.) filled with factual and historical information popped up in many chapters, relaying information that deepened the reading experience. Numerous old family photographs put names from the text with real faces as well. Pumping Sunshine provided a delightful escape into an era and a place now gone, thanks to Ms. Baxter’s quasi novelistic writing style and amazing attention to detail. And just to keep that sense of connection, the book ends with 16 of Mama’s recipes. A must-read for anybody who ever was a child!
The conversational tone kept me reading, wanting to know more about the young child's family and her life on a southern farm during this time period. Ms. Baxter shares photos and family recipes as well as some embarrassing moments appreciated by this reader. This is a thoughtful and relatable memoir, one I kept picking back up almost as soon as I lay it down.