Idea/Concept: Wellman’s memoir is an affectionate child’s-eye view of her childhood home and household. Its brief, episodic chapters sing with the authenticity of youthful memories in both their scope and scale.
Prose: Wellman’s descriptions of her childhood home are crisp and evocative. They convey clear images in an economy of words, as when she writes of the household Nurse, “I am the last in a long line of Brothers and Sisters that Nurse has looked after, and she is tired in a way that singing in church no longer heals.”
Originality: The originality of this work lies in it universality. Wellman’s remembrances of things past don’t add up to a memoir of her childhood specifically, but rather show how a home and family can serve as touchstones for memories for all of us.
Execution: There’s an appealing poetic quality to Wellman’s impression-laden, self-contained chapters. The reader comes away from each with a clear image of what the author is seeing, describing, and feeling.
Date Submitted: January 09, 2020