What can I say? Edie’s story is miraculous and inconceivable. It blew me away. I can’t describe my feelings. I’m torn between shoving the book in your face until you agree to read it or stuffing it in a dark corner because it’s so heartbreaking and I want to spare you from the pain of reading it.
I was partially raised in the Smokey Mountains. It was my second home. My family has chalets (cottages nestled in the mountainside) in Gatlinburg, and I spent copious amounts of time living there. Two of them, one being our second home, burned down to the ground in the recent Gatlinburg Fire. After the flood in Baton Rouge which nearly devastated my home in combination with the Gatlinburg disaster, I can sympathize on a small level with the anguish of Mrs. Wadsworth’s loss, as well as her Appalachian upbringing. It brought me home.
Ultimately, this book inspired me. It inspired me to look at my life and reflect. To see how blessed I am to grow up in a comfortable home, a happy family, and to have been raised with Christ at the center of everything. It’s a heavy burden filled with uncomfortable baggage, to read this book. But once you do, you’ll be blown away by the wind with how light your struggles seem.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT:
I admire Edie’s fearlessness in writing this book (it took her three years of wrestling to bring it to life) there were just a few things I wish were handled differently.
I can’t in good conscience “recommend” this book, per say. It’s not for everyone. This is struggle piled atop struggle. You will drown in sorrow for this woman who your heart and soul go out to. But at the same time, I, after all of it, want to sit down and have a cup of coffee with Edie, more than anything. I want to hear it from her own mouth, person to person. I want to know the things she left out. I want to know her. After a memoir so heartbreaking and riddled with sins that seem unforgivable, if you can still come out loving the writer, that is when you know they have done a good job. A stellar job. That is when you know it is a memoir that will stay with you for ages to come.
Memoir, Non-Fiction, Christianity
CONTENT (1=worst & 10=best):
(She’s never abused and there’re no graphic scenes, but with the fires and turmoil, I’m going to rank this one at 8.)
(Nothing explicit. She has vague recollections of being sexually assaulted. . . But she says hardly anything about it and I’m still slightly confused. She mentions having an affair twice. It’s why her marriage breaks up. It doesn’t go into detail – the literal wording was “Having been caught in an affair, I had made my bed and now I had to lie in it.” -pg232. And that’s the end of it.)
none – however there are a few sceses like the following:
"After hearing me read some of the policies, Daddy said, 'I don't know what half of them rules mean, Nise, but if I's you I wouldn't tell 'em I was a rudder. They'll throw your backside out of thereon that account alone."
Only he didn't say 'backside.'"
Christian, but she is surrounded by people who are not Christians her whole life, and she also goes through a period where she falls away.
If you do decide to read this book, I would suggest you read it in bite-sized chunks. I’ve come to learn that if you are going to read a “depressing” book, spread it out. Read a chapter here, a chapter there. It’s more bearable, and you don’t become hopeless and saddened. It helps you stay in the real world and keep your mind focused.
Let me know if you decide to read it! I'd love to hear from you in the comments!