Rick Bragg, telling this story about his family, particularly his grandfather, is honest, gritty, heartwarming, humorous... but mainly 'real.'
Bragg's ability to build characters that we can all relate to and have all had as family members ourselves is remarkable.
Charlie; he is both a hero and a scoundrel. But Ava too has her moments on center stage---particularly when she visits her baby daughter's grave after many decades have past since her child's death. Bragg's sensitivity to her feelings and the reaction of those who were with her is remarkable.
This book is read by the author, which is definately a plus when it comes to this book! I could happily listen to his easy southern drawl for hours on end. Mr. Bragg uses great variety in his words and his phrases are never cliche, or overused. I have listened to this book 3 times in the past year. On a long car trip with extended family I made them listen, when it was over, they all thanked me. I can't wait to get a hold of his book about his mother. The first time I heard this story I was impressed, the second time was better, the third actually had me crying (hard to do). I pick up something new every time. This is definately not a chick lit story. A supurb tale about family, the depression era, and love. Gives me shivers every time. Thank you, Mr. Bragg, for sharing your family with us.
This and his earlier work "All Over But the Shoutin'" are some of the most compelling family stories you weill ever read. Mr. Bragg made me fel what he and his family felt, which the acme of skill in writing. I wanted to send his Momma flowers after his earlir book and I toasted Ava's Man after reading this. The stories are poignant and often heart wrenching but I couldn't wait to keep reading because he made me care about what happened next.
I heard the book in 20-25 minute chunks over a period of 2-3 weeks. I liked the book and probably
might hear it again when I have some time. The author paints a vivid picture of the circumstances
in which he grew up one I should admit is a difficult one. Reminded me many times of my childhood.
This book is dripping with sentimentality about the poor, proud people of the south. What poppycock.
None of the book's characters are interesting. They are 2D cut outs from an episode of the Waltons.
I couldn't get through the darn thing, and I have a two hour commute each day. I preferred listening to NPR to this book--which should give you an idea of how uninteresting this book is.
And, yes, I am from the south, and yes, I knew people like this guy, and no, I don't think it is an accurate picture of either the south or the pathetic hero of the book.