Kimberley Elizabeth Sherman Grove
Author: Kimberley Elizabeth Sherman Grove
Title: Family Ties: Memories, Poems and Good Food
Trade Paperback: 210 pages
Suggested Retail (Paperback): $24.95
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Family Ties is part of a series from Hidden Brook that includes Celebrating Christmas, Grandfather, Father and Me, and Grandmother, Mother and Me. Like the other volumes in this series, Family Ties offers the reader poetry and stories by well-known writers like John B. Lee, Gillian Harding-Russell, and K.V. Skene, alongside relatively unknown writers. Multinational in scope, the contributors come from Canada, the United States, Cuba, Malta, and India.
It is not to be supposed, however, that the true gems belong only to the widely-published. On the contrary, many of the finest pieces collected here are by writers I had never heard of, and what a joy to discover them. A poem that commands the reader’s attention is “Mother and Son” by Lynn Tait. The poem is dedicated to her son Stephen, 1983-2012, and will touch the hearts of all who read it. Coming from an old West Virginia family, I was attracted to “Decoration Day Memories” by Sue Oliver Dowse. It brought back all those journeys to run-down cemeteries I made with my parents on Decoration Days way back in the 1950s.
Family Ties also offers wonderful quotes from Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain, Mother Teresa, George Bernard Shaw, Winston Churchill, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and others on family matters. These are always welcome, always delightful, when stumbled upon unexpectedly.
Finally, there is the “Good Food” part of the book’s title. One learns how to make such items as blueberry buckle, blackberry stew (yes, you read it correctly, stew), chocolate biscuit cake, lemon squares, brinjal jazz, among other dishes, many new to this reader.
In total, sixty writers contributed their thoughts and memories. To set the tone for her anthology, Kim Grove selected this from George Santayana: “The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.” And so it is.
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