Cynthia Rylant returns to her home state of West Virginia with this powerful and evocative collection of poems. In a heartbreaking narrative that flows like a novel, we follow Ludie from childhood to falling in love and getting married, through the birth of her own children, and on into old age. This is the story of one woman’s experiences in a hardscrabble coal-mining town, a story that brims with universal themes about life, love, and family—and all of the joy, laughter, heartache, and loss that accompany them.
Would she tell you that six children
were too many,
that some disappointed,
that others surprised,
but that, all in all,
were too many
would have been just fine.
Would she tell you that she married
that boy at fifteen
not only because he was tall and kind
but also because
she needed a way out.
—from LUDIE’S LIFE
|Publisher:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|Sold by:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|File size:||287 KB|
|Age Range:||14 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Cynthia Rylant is a Newbery medalist and the author of many acclaimed books for young people. She's well known for her popular characters for early readers, including Mr. Putter & Tabby and Henry & Mudge. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. www.cynthiarylant.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Books about a person¿s whole life can often be intimidating and cumbersome. Not so in the case of LUDIE¿S LIFE, by Cynthia Rylant. Rylant, through poetic form, visits key events, people, and places in Ludie¿s life and weaves together a tale of love, honor, and self-respect. I enjoyed this story more than I thought I would and became even more involved with the story as it unfolded, finding myself unable to even put the book down once I was about a third of the way into it.
Ludie, born in rural Alabama, moves to West Virginia with her coal-mining husband, Rupe. Together, they make a home and raise their children. Ludie, despite her poverty and lack of education and in spite of the numerous emotional and economic tribulations she endures, matures into a wise woman who is respected by others. Her love for her husband grows over the years and the two really become soul mates. Though all of her children don¿t turn out the way she expected or marry the people she would have chosen for them, and even her grandchildren bring her challenges she could not have imagined, Ludie realizes that she has contributed positively to the world and she has made a difference.
The saddest part of Ludie¿s life comes when she is old and alone. Rupe has died, her children have grown and are old themselves, and even her grandchildren are grown and gone. Rylant writes of Ludie¿s loneliness in a tangible way¿will she die alone and forgotten? Will the end of her life be a bittersweet farewell to the world that has thrown so many disappointments? I recommend this book to any reader who cheers for happy endings!