Brian HaydenFinally! I finally finish writing my review of Carol Bodensteiner’s book. Leaning  back in the tall chair at my desk, I revel – just a bit at the work I’ve just completed. Now, I go back to my key board and find Carol’s book on Amazon. I never look at the reviews others have written until I finish the review I am writing. As I begin scrolling down, a sick feeling struck my stomach. One review after the other – and nearly all have the same underlying theme. Is that good, or is it bad? Should I scrap the review and write it differently?

No. I decided that this book is written so well, it evokes feelings of times past, when children played outside without fear and home was the center of the family’s universe.  If these emotions are felt by nearly every person that reviewed this book, then that fact too should be part of the review.

Reading this book transports the reader to  simpler times – when the day to day events were not as violent: when pressures to keep up didn’t muffle the sound of the wind blowing through a tree, and the smells of nature in all forms permeated the air. Walking without a care in a serene, peaceful world. Life was good, and so was the home cooking.

Carol’s book, “Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl” brought me immediately to that time, and that scene. And I lived my life in the city! My memories of 1950’s TV shows are the foundation of rural living for me yet, I felt connected to that life and that time when I read this book.

Carol is a skilled storyteller. With each page turned and each chapter read, I willingly followed the path her words created. Yes, this is a memoir, but this memoir is a well written story that entertains us from the surface of our conscience minds to the rudimentary foundations of our memory. “Growing Up Country” was a pleasure to read and I feel compelled to recommend strongly that you read it too.