on March 6, 2014 :
Larry Gray says that growing up in eastern North Carolina in a small rural community was "the best possible childhood you could wish for." And it would certainly seem so from this loving, gentle and always entertaining memoir. He talks about the joys (and otherwise) of the local library, church, grandmomma's kitchen, basketball camp, the country store and much else. He writes with wit and style, with numerous amusing stories. Highly recommended.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
on March 5, 2014 :
A Boy From Down East is an ambitious reflection on the 1950s and 1960s by Larry B. Gray, with its short chapters and coming-of-age structure. Those who lived during the same era and grew up on farms or in small towns will read through the pages with a warm smile of recognition on their lips. Others, who like me are generations younger or more familiar with city living will find great first-hand history lessons about the times when electronic devices weren’t used as babysitters; when involving children in the family business was considered a way to build character and not child labor; when a secret date behind a haystack only led to a stolen kiss. Though I believe that the world is constantly changing around us and we need to keep up with those changes, I also believe that reflecting on history is very important if we want to live better and learn from the mistakes of the past.
While I was reading the author’s – now a grandfather – very personal recollections about his childhood, I realized how every word a child hears, every action he or she lives through, has a great impact. As a mother of two children, I got myself thinking about how my way of parenting will affect my son and daughter later in life. I’m sure others who pick up this book and read it will do the same.
This is a very positive book; mostly descriptions of lovely memories fill its pages. In a world where the media and our society question the importance of family every day, it was refreshing to see that we parents, who sacrifice, who work hard to create a new generation of productive people, are doing the right thing. Family life does matter and it is very important. A wise and hardworking grandfather, a kind and home-making grandmother, a friendly neighborhood can make a world of difference in a child’s life. For better or for worse, we all have learned something from our close relatives and people with whom we grew up and around. If you don’t have any good examples in front of you, read Mr. Gray’s biography. If you are surrounded with positive influences, you should nevertheless read this book to fill your heart with warmth.
I have received a copy from the author for an honest review.
(reviewed 14 days after purchase)