“I don’t know how old I was the night the trailer burned down—or if the rumor was true that Daddy was the one who set it on fire…” Excerpt
I love books that take place in the south, and enjoyed the Appalachian setting in this memoir. The story shows how not having a strong male figure in the family can damage a young girl’s self-esteem and heighten the need for approval and acceptance. Even if you didn’t have a difficult childhood, it is easy to empathize and relate to Edie’s story.
I really had no idea what this story was going to be about prior to reading, and wasn’t aware it was a memoir, but in a way that made it all the more intriguing. My heart went out to young Edie and the things she overcame, such as an alcoholic parent, adult responsibilities as a child, etc. but I also admire her inner strength and desire to be something bigger than her upbringing.
The chapters are titled with the name of country songs (Ring of Fire, On the Road Again, Free Bird, etc.) So fitting, for country music and the South go together like biscuits and gravy. And the references to the classic television show Bonanza, their old Plymouth car, government cheese, record players, Mamaw’s dirt driveway, wooden fork and spoon wall decorations in the kitchen, etc. give this memoir such a wonderfully nostalgic feel. I remember these items. As a child growing up in the 70s, and living in rural Tennessee, I pictured the scenes so clearly.
Audio Narration: Lisa Larsen does a great job with narration. Her voice is pleasant and clear, with a slight southern accent—fitting for the story.
Audio Production Quality: The production quality is crisp and clear with no distracting static, noises, or music, etc.
Overall Opinion: Although All the Pretty Things isn’t the genre I normally read, I enjoyed learning of Edie’s life. There are heartbreaking parts that were difficult for me to read (and imagine) but none of the content is written unnecessarily—it all holds a purpose. With a theme of overcoming hardships and reaching for the stars, this story is both eye opening and inspiring. No matter the obstacle, there is always hope
Pages (printed length): 320
Narrator: Lisa Larsen
Audio Length: 9.9 hours
First Line (Introduction): On January 4, 2016, my forty-sixth birthday, I am standing on the precipice of Cherokee Bluff, staring down into the cold waters of the Tennessee River.
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher.