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Maine has gone the nation has gone and here we are again -- with a recurrent ould deep digging into the past. (Maybe somebody knows a Gould from Maine who hasn't written a book?) There can be only a suspicion of a doubt as to their regional appeal -- they all (John on Morrow's list, Franklin on Harper -- and himself, above, turning out another) have a local quality, -- a dead-pan, oblivious-to-the-public attitude, but for the hard, dry humor, comparative-wise, none can equal John. However, Ralph E. (above) turns out a better job than Franklin (Harper-P.49) -- for his memories, which, at the age of 80, date back to his years between four and early teens, do not miss a thing -- of all he has known about life on a Maine farm when hardships were considered a normal part of life. The burdensome chores, woolen underwear, firm, insistent -- and righteous-parents; Aunt Eunice whose unique weather forecasting and household abilities equal any previous pattern; grandmother and her bone-shattering medications, and shrewd fore-handedness; a heritage of anecdotes from the author's elders; town characters and their dealings. There are also stories about his little brother, sliding and Uncle Levi whose skill provided fine moments of entertainment, fishing, hunting, trapping, berrying, birds, bees, local parties, school, trading, cattle, haying, the 4th of July, visiting, wood for warmth, a poverty which knew plenty and when it did not was sustained by a pride which would admit no pity. The change-desperately needed -- came with Father's Civil War pension pay. Outdoors, domesticity, the mainstays (that pun crept up) of the lost arts of a durable way of life -- if the market can stand it -- this fills in any omission other previous books may have had.

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1950
Publisher: Norton