Songs of Life and Grace

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Read a chapter from the book The recipient of the 2004 Appalachian Writers Association Award for nonfiction! #1 on the Booksense 76 top ten books for Fall 2003 from University Presses! 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 ...

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Overview

Read a chapter from the book The recipient of the 2004 Appalachian Writers Association Award for nonfiction! #1 on the Booksense 76 top ten books for Fall 2003 from University Presses! 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. A native of eastern Kentucky, Linda Scott DeRosier is professor of psychology at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana. Click here for her website.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In her previous book, Creeker: A Woman's Journey, DeRosier examined her upbringing in the rural Appalachian community of Two-Mile Creek, KY. She concluded that volume by comparing her hometown to a stand of aspen trees "interconnected by a complex root system." Here, she examines said root system and provides a broader view of the folks in her small community, focusing on her family, particularly her parents, Life and Grace Preston. DeRosier relates events of their lives spent mostly in Two-Mile Creek, with a short time away in a West Virginia coal camp during the war. The book's rambling style and detailed accounts of family history and childhood memories may limit its appeal. However, in telling the story of her people, DeRosier pays tribute to the all-American values of hard work, honesty, friendship, family, and faith that shaped her life and helped her achieve professional success (she holds a Ph.D. in psychology). Recommended for large memoir collections and especially Appalachian regional collections.-Eloise R. Hitchcock, Middle Tennessee State Univ. Lib., Murfreesboro Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813122762
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface: Creeker-And Then Some
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Opening Act
Individual Heritage Chart of Eliphus Jay Preston
Individual Heritage Chart of Grace Mollette
1 The Overture 1
2 The Early Verses 12
3 Life's Background Ballads 21
4 Grace's Background Ballads 38
5 Mining Camp Melodies 62
6 The Family Chorus 95
7 Two-Mile Tunes 108
8 Songs of Life 144
9 Songs of Grace 169
10 Songs of Sister, Sister 191
11 Tears, Tombs, and Reunion Tunes 203
Afterword: In a Different Voice 223
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2003

    Great book!

    Even better than Creeker.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2003

    Songs of Life and Grace

    What Brokaw has done for South Dakota and the generations that came before him, Linda Scott DeRosier has done for Appalachia and her people. This is a beautiful memoir: honest, intelligent, loving, and most of all human. I definitely recommend this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2003

    Songs of Life and Grace

    Quite simply, Songs of Life and Grace is proof that each person makes all the difference in his or her own life. But they don't do it alone. As a native Kentuckian I am proud of my heritage. It's rare though to find a book that addresses the good things about Appalachian families. But this book isn't just for Appalachian families. It's for anybody who loves to read a good memoir. She's telling stories about her family that take place over the past two centuries. But it's more than that. She's talking about the coal mines, the changes in women's lives in the past few decades, the value of remembering with pride where you come from. DeRosier could have lingered on what was missing, on weaknesses, but she didn¿t. She zoomed in on the strengths; saw in them her family's gifts to her. She succeeds, in part, because she knows where to focus. She knows finding the good always beats lingering on the bad. She understands each of us builds a life on the shoulders of those who came before. This book is nothing short of a glorious tribute to the power of family and place in our lives. If you enjoyed DeRosier's first book, Creeker, you¿ll love this. If you haven¿t read Creeker¿ save yourself the extra shipping costs¿buy both of them!

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