She's endearing when she relates anecdotes from her strict upbringing and you can easily sense the fiery woman buried beneath. I especially enjoy her descriptions of her parents, almost as if they are creatures to be studied. From her "grandmother's despotic bowels," which held their palates hostage, to her uncle Evans, who loved to drink beer and good whiskey. "I think he would have been a fine man to drink with, and by the time I knew how, and the country could, it was too late. He had been killed by a drunken driver." She paints the characters so easily, one can quickly identify someone you know in there place.
Above all, my favorite section so far, and the one that actually rocked me a bit, was written about her return from boarding school. She returned home to her persnickety parents in the country, with no friends, no direction; she was shy and as "sexless as a 90-year-old nun."
"And there I was suddenly, big, moody, full of undirected energies of a thousand kinds. Father and Mother, panicky, decided to put me in one of the large universities in Los Angeles, where I would 'be near home' until...until some miracle happened, I suppose.
But to be near home was the one thing I could not tolerate just then. I fought against it as instinctively as a person on the operating table fights against ether. The time had come for me to leave, and leave I must, strong always in the surety that I could return to my dear family."
There is something so delicious in reading that woman living generations ago were doing and feeling the same things that we are now. I'm sure everyone can relate to her writing. So living in
I highly recommend this book and the many other volumes of her writing, including Serve it Forth, Consider the Oyster, and The Alphabet for Gourmets.