Recollections of an Arkansas Girlhood

I have to admit that I have always been a book lover, books were my best friend from the time I learned to read. I have gone through many phases and many genres, as I grow older I find myself drawn towards biographies. Oh not those boring sanitized looks at the rich and famous, rather pictures of everyday people.

On numerous occasions I have heard people say “everyone has a book in them”, I do not disagree, there is a book hiding within everyone. But! It takes a lot of ‘intestinal fortitude’ (Guts) to bring a book to fruition. A biography is probably the most draining style of all. You are pulling the skeletons from dusty closets.

Over the years I have talked with many authors about biographies, some have admitted that the repercussions from family and friends has been harsh. Others have claimed that by writing the words down they have found freedom.

Nancy Burnett has taken the subject of biographies to a new height in Journeys Home, it is not the typical chronology of a life. Rather it is a series of incredible essays about a life. This may well be the most eloquent prose I have ever had the pleasure to read. There is a hypnotic and poetic tone to every sentence.

The essays revolve around her life growing up in Arkansas, her parents were not rich people, they worked as teachers, but clearly they imparted a great deal of wisdom into their daughter.

Journeys Home is aptly titled, some time (a guess) during the 1980’s the authors parents went their separate ways. The idyllic American dream had ran its course. Nancy does not go into detail, but clearly this was a significant event. One that made her withdraw from family contact. This hit close to home, my wife and I have both been married before, and we both have children that resent the divorces. My son never contacts me, and one of my wife’s sons does not contact her. My wife is a grandmother of three, yet rarely sees even pictures, an certainly has never even talked to two of them.

Nancy Burnett has made a reach out to her aging parents. And the final section of the book talks about the process. It is sometimes easier to live with the pain of the past than embrace the joy of the future.

Journeys Home is an exceptionally well written book. The words flow like melted chocolate over strawberries.

Take a break from your regular reading material and try something completely different. As a reviewer I had long since came to the conclusion that the art of writing eloquently was dead. Nancy Burnett proves me wrong!

You can order your copy of Journeys Home by the Amazon link above.

Simon Barrett

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