Where I get out a few thoughts on a bundle of books Ive read!
The Pioneer Women: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels: A Love Story
by Ree Drummond
February 14, 2011 by William Morrow
Paperback, 352 Pages
“That’s when I saw him—the cowboy—across the smoky room.”I’ll never forget that night. It was like a romance novel, an old Broadway musical, and a John Wayne western rolled into one. Out for a quick drink with friends, I wasn’t looking to meet anyone, let alone a tall, rugged cowboy who lived on a cattle ranch miles away from my cultured, corporate hometown. But before I knew it, I’d been struck with a lightning bolt . . . and I was completely powerless to stop it.Read along as I recount the rip-roaring details of my unlikely romance with a chaps-wearing cowboy, from the early days of our courtship (complete with cows, horses, prairie fire, and passion) all the way through the first year of our marriage, which would be filled with more challenge and strife—and manure—than I ever could have expected. This isn't just my love story; it’s a universal tale of passion, romance, and all-encompassing love that sweeps us off our feet. It’s the story of a cowboy. And Wranglers. And chaps. And the girl who fell in love with them.
If you enjoy Drummonds famous blog and her snarky, fun sense of humor then you'll love this book. Its no doubt funny and has tons of laugh out loud moments, though outside of Ree's signature humor the book gets personal as Ree shares some deeper issues like her parents divorce, her insecurities and the sometimes less than pretty things during pregnancy and birth. As a woman -minis the whole rancher wife thing- I was able to relate with Ree when she talked about reinventing herself and finding her place in a new life or finding significance in such a drastic change to the way she lived (like me going from gung-ho career banker girl wanna-be social worker....to stay at home mom trying to finish her degree).....and of course the having children chapters. I can defiantly say Drummond offers up more than fluff and recipes as she tackles the love story of her and Marlboro Man. I really enjoyed it.
Thanks to William Morrow and TLC Tours for Review Copy
Holy Ghost Girl by Donna Johnson
October 13, 2011 by Blackstone Audio
9 Hours 4 Min
Narrated by Carrington MacDuffie
A compassionate, humorous story of faith, betrayal, and coming of age on the sawdust trail. Only three when her mother became tent revivalist David Terrell's organist, Donna was soon part of the hugely popular evangelist's inner circle. At seventeen, she left the ministry for good. Holy Ghost Girl brings to life miracles, exorcisms, and face-offs with the Ku Klux Klan--and that's just what went on under the tent. As Terrell's fame grew in the 1960s and '70s, the caravan of broken-down cars that made up his ministry evolved into fleets of Mercedes. The glories of the Word mixed with betrayals of the flesh, and Donna's mom bore Terrell's children in one of his secret households. Thousands of followers headed to cult-like communities to await the end of the world. Jesus didn't show, but the IRS did, and the prophet-healer went to prison. This memoir bypasses easy judgment to articulate a rich world in which the mystery of faith and human frailty share surprising and humorous coexistence.
Holy Ghost Girl is one of my favorite memoirs to date....and not because of the scandals or the sad often heartbreaking child neglect that went down, but because Donna's story was so honest and in the mix of soap opera drama I heard a little girls voice similar to my own and found so many things I could relate to.
Donna walks readers through her childhood years living with her mother and a traveling caravan of tent revivalists, where miraculous healing, chanting women and exorcisms were the norm. As a child (until the tween years) I was raised in a very similar religion, no traveling tent revivals but in a very strict Pentecostal Church that required women to look and act like the Amish, you know what Im speaking of, the no makeup-no jewelry-no pants-no speaking in public- woman who's inherent evil tempts a man to sin. David Terrell's message was almost the same of what I remember growing up- the fire and brimstone, the damnation and constant reminder of being set apart from the heathens and of course the unexplained miracles that seemed to happen in front of me. Donna explains some of the same things I saw as a child- like how people would roll around on floors, yell, chant, moan and get crazy with the shaking and dancing, but instead of being frightened or thinking these things were weird it was just apart of her daily life...just like mine were. There were of course plenty of differences in her experience, I never faced the traveling, the unsettled state of being, the lack of schooling and watching the adults around me get corrupted by sex or money, which did eventually bring the entire empire Terrell had built tumbling down.
While I have some sweet and tender memories of the people I grew up with and like Donna remember that part of my life as normal, as an adult I only see the legalistic, man-made rules that overshadowed the Grace of Christ. I really appreciated the candor and honesty of Holy Ghost Girl and only wish Donna would have shared her current feelings on religion and where she is spiritually today.
The narration was perfect for this story. Carrington's voice was raspy and a bit gravely, it fit the persona of Donna and brought to life the scenarios being told in a unique presentation that made you feel right there with the moaning, screaming and weirdness of a tent revival.
5/5- Nonfiction Memoir
Thanks to Publisher and Audiobook Jukebox for review copy