As she did in Butter on Both Sides (1980), Ellison recalls the textures of family life on an Alabama farm ""more than 60 years ago."" Each chapter, a separate incident, is itself laced with memories: Early on, the roof catches fire and the family puts it out with Mother's quilts, while she saves her paintings and remembers another house that burned down, paintings and all. Ellison, the Lucy of the story, lets readers share her pleasure in fried squirrel for supper, a family reunion at Grandmother's, and the vacations when Sister comes home from Normal school and Brother from University. Later, there is grief upon the death of Sister, just 17, who had planned to teach with Daddy come September. Mother is not herself for months. . . but then Brother writes of his marriage; his pretty, orphaned bride Nancy comes to stay while he is at officers' training camp; and in due time Sister Nancy presents the large family with another new baby. Ellison describes it all affectingly, with simple clarity.