“Vada’s Vittles” is a wonderful book! Very well written, well done with a nice calmness to it, i.e., you can’t read it fast; you have to read it slow, at an even pace to absorb it all. At least that’s the way I read it. A little here, a little there; laughed, cried; and many times said, “that’s Vada!” Amazing. What a nice tribute to her.
It should be a best-seller as families could learn a lot from it about familial relationships and coping. And to boot, Vada is an excellent cook! The book couldn’t be written without that part, the recipes! Vada and cooking are one and the same, i.e., you can’t have one without the other!
My review may sound a little biased, but I can write it like this because I lived it. I lived with the author’s family during the month of January 1979 (36 years ago when I was a 31-year old student in a special Inter-Term (between semesters) school program). And, proudly, I am included, amongst many others, in the last chapter entitled “Vada’s Villagers.”
About a year ago the author, Millicent, called me (the first we spoke since 1979) to ask if I would contribute my thoughts about her mother for a book she was writing about her. Sure, not a problem, will do. When I started to write my thoughts just flowed (like many of the other “Vada’s Villagers”) as Vada and I kept in touch sporadically over all these years.
In my opinion, it’s a beautiful, true story about a family and how they coped with the “normal” and "not so normal" things that go on in a family between the parents, the siblings, relatives, friends, neighbors; good times, rough times, learning times (Vada’s “tidbits” I’ll call them) and rising above all that and coming out a “together,” “tight” African-American family that still, as I learned from reading the book, celebrate together with an annual family gathering that all members attend from whatever part of the country they find themselves living in at the time.
So, when you read the book, you are reading the true story of “Vada’s Vittles.”