The author wishes to include a short disclaimer-warning-caution-whatever you might call it-here at the beginning. I was raised in the area where this book is set. I know what the people sound like who live there. I spent many years listening to it, and I sound that way myself. Regional dialects include all kinds of things. It isn't just about how a word is pronounced, but also what word will be used, and the whole grammatical structure of a sentence will come into play.
Many others have said it far better than I will here-but I love anything written in dialect. I want to hear the people, I want to know what they sound like, and I must assume everyone is like me because that's the way I write. If you are ever talking to me face-to-face and see me gazing at you with a sappy look, then you can bet it's because I just love how you sound. If I ever put you into a book, I will do my best to re-create that sound.
So, I will warn you now: if bad grammar grates on your nerves, if the appearance of written words slurred together bothers you a whole lot, if you believe that a person who habitually speaks with improper grammar will not have the sufficient intelligence to quote Keats or Shakespeare, then this is not the book for you. All of my characters use "bad" grammar some of the time, some of them use it most of the time, and many of the people from the area in question (Western New York) will join with those who dislike bad grammar. After all, lots of them don't speak that way. But most of my characters do, and it is not unusual at all in that area of the country.
Mark Twain is the expert on this subject, and literary critic Lionel Twilling, speaking of Twain, summed it up best: "He is the master of the style that escapes the fixity of the printed page, that sounds in our ears with the immediacy of the heard voice, the very voice of unpretentious truth."
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Reviewed by Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite The Cats and the Cradle is the third book in The Ann and Henry Novels by Jane McBride and I think this was probably the best one by far. It was a bit different, there wasn't a mystery to solve, no murders going on, but it was the chaos that Jane McBride created in the Mendez household that made this one a real page-turner. Ann and Kyle are the proud parents of a new baby girl Melanie, so when Ann's 89-year-old aunt Leona falls and breaks her arm, the only answer is for her to move into the Mendez home. Even though it's two months till Thanksgiving, Aunt Gert and her relief driver Penelope Hogwaller are coming home for the holidays. As if all this isn't enough, someone shows up on the Mendez doorstep with shocking news that will alter Ann's world forever. Along with all that, a confirmed bachelor might be getting married, a holy terror might be tamed, and a wild trip to Vegas provides plenty of laughs in Jane McBride's latest novel. I have been a fan of The Ann and Henry Novels since book one because of the fantastic characters and this book was no different. The Cats and the Cradle allows us to catch up with old characters while introducing us to many new ones as well. A much more emotional read than the last two books in the series, Ms. McBride really knows how to have me laughing one minute and wiping tears from my eyes the next. Each character plays an important role, making for a plot that doesn't quit because there is always something going on, and the author's descriptions make you feel as if you're right in the midst of whatever calamity it might be. While this is the third book in the series, the author provides enough background information that it could be read as a stand-alone. As someone who has read each book, I highly recommend reading the entire series. Anyone looking for a good clean story that provides plenty of laughs, a few somber moments, and a well rounded if sometimes wacky cast of characters that make you feel as if you are a part of their family, then you're in for a treat with The Cats and the Cradle. The ending really leaves me anxious to read the next book in The Ann and Henry Novels.