Onions in the Stewby Betty Bard MacDonald
You know how sometimes friendship blossoms in the first few moments of meeting? "Something clicked," we say. Well, that's what discovering Betty MacDonald was like for me: I happened to read a couple of pages of one of her books and click knew right away that here was a vivacious writer whose friendly, funny, and fiery company I was really going to enjoy. Although MacDonald's first and most popular book, The Egg and I, has remained in print since its original publication, her three other volumes have been unavailable for decades. The Plague and I recounts MacDonald's experiences in a Seattle sanitarium, where the author spent almost a year (1938-39) battling tuberculosis. The White Plague was no laughing matter, but MacDonald nonetheless makes a sprightly tale of her brush with something deadly. Anybody Can Do Anything is a high-spirited, hilarious celebration of how "the warmth and loyalty and laughter of a big family" brightened their weathering of The Great Depression. In Onions in the Stew, MacDonald is in unbuttonedly frolicsome form as she describes how, with husband and daughters, she set to work making a life on a rough-and-tumble island in Puget Sound, a ferry-ride from Seattle.
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