Songs of Life and Grace: A Memoir

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Overview

On a muggy, late August afternoon in 1936, somewhere along the banks of Greasy Creek, Life found Grace — walking the dusty mile between work and home in a brand new pair of leather kitten-heeled pumps, blond curls bouncing in the sun. Two weeks later, Lifie Jay Preston and Grace Mollette married, a union that lasted until their deaths fifty-eight years later. There was something about them, their daughter Linda would discover, a kind of radiance and love of living that would mark them in the memories of every person they encountered — a song that resonates years after their passing.

Songs of Life and Grace is their story, told by the daughter whose own life grew out of their loving ministries and Appalachian sensibilities. Linda Scott DeRosier, the celebrated author of Creeker: A Woman's Journey, draws on family letters and lore, interviews, and her own recollections to reach a better understanding of her parents and the families that formed them both. Along the way, she introduces an unforgettable cast of characters: the formidable Grandma Emmy; Uncle Burns, an infamous ladies' man; helpless and simple Aunt Jo; and gentle Pop Pop, who could peel an apple in one long, unbroken spiral.

A stirring, honest look at Appalachia and a tribute to the unbreakable bonds of family, Songs of Life and Grace establishes DeRosier as one of the most vital and exciting new voices of the American South.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I have good news for the legions of fans who loved Creeker. Songs of Life and Grace is better. DeRosier writes with a fearless poignancy that results in not only a loving tribute to her own family, but to all families — mine and yours." — Silas House

"We can always take her truths to heart because she sings so sweet. A book to read and re-read, to cherish, to teach." — Lee Smith

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813191973
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 7/15/2008
  • Series: None Ser.
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 1,402,283
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

A native of eastern Kentucky, Linda Scott DeRosier is professor of psychology at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana.

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Table of Contents


Preface: Creeker-And Then Some     ix
Acknwoledgments     xix
Introduction: The Opening Act     xxiii
Individual Heritage Chart of Eliphus Jay Preston     xxviii
Individual Heritage Chart of Grace Mollette     xxx
The Overture     1
The Early Verses     12
Life's Background Ballads     21
Grace's Background Ballads     38
Mining Camp Melodies     62
The Family Chorus     95
Two-Mile Tunes     108
Songs of Life     144
Songs of Grace     169
Songs of Sister, Sister     191
Tears, Tombs, and Reunion Tunes     203
Afterword: In a Different Voice     223
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