Book Review - Part of Me: Stories of a Louisiana Family by Kimberly Willis Holt

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I picked up Part of Me: Stories of a Louisiana Family by Kimberly Willis Holt while in Florida in unabridged audio for listening on the long drive back home and also to fill a requirement for the What's In A Name Reading Challenge.

From Booklist copied from Amazon:

Set in Louisiana bayou country, this unusual collection of stories spans four generations of one family and uses reading as the thread that strings them together. The first three tales, which begin in 1939, concern Rose, who must go to work at 14 and passes herself off as 17 to drive the library bookmobile. Two stories tell of Rose's 12-year-old son, Merle Henry, reading Old Yeller around 1957. In 1973, his daughter, Annabeth, an eighth-grader, clings to fairy tales in the face of first love. Then Annabeth's 13-year-old son, Kyle, in 2004 can only find a library job--though he doesn't like to read. The final story, also taking place in 2004, centers again on Rose, now 79. Though readers may sometimes wish for more about a particular character, this collection offers a different experience: marking the passage of time through a succession of related characters. Readers intrigued by Rose, whose early entries are the only stories told here in first person, will have the satisfaction of seeing her in later tales and watching her quiet triumph at the end. The author of My Louisiana Sky (1998), Holt sketches a broad range of characters with verve and sensitivity.

I just loved this book not just because I live in Louisiana so the place names sound familiar but mostly because the writing is wonderful. I loved each and every character how their lives all weaved together was beautifully crafted, never strained which is something I always fear in books that try to follow families through multiple generations.

1. Food

2. Plant

3. Title

4. Place Name

5. Body of Water

6. Music Term

I am getting close to finishing this challenge which will be pretty exciting, I haven't finished a challenge yet, like ever since I really just started challenges this year. I am currently in the middle of Doctor Who and the Loch Ness Monster which should take care of the body of water now I just need to work on the plant.

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