Worcester, Massachusetts and Louisa County in central Virginia are miles apart, but these two recollections are much closer than the two areas. Both are memoirs of an earlier, gentler time before interstates, computers, and cable television brought the world closer together. Goyer spent her entire life (she's now over 95) in Worcester, and hers is a happy story of holidays, peddlers, gypsies, and the early days of radio. The innocence of the narrative is in direct contrast to Dabney's childhood in a rural farming community. Dabney moved from Chicago at an early age with her mother and two sisters to the Virginia countryside, and her tale is marked by a closeness of family but also by tragedy--becoming aware of racial differences, and growing up without her father, who stayed behind in Chicago. Memoirs such as these two are generally entertaining for their local color and interest. Goyer's writing style is simple and direct. Seventeen of her 39 brief essays originally appeard in the Worcester Senior Advocate. She reminds us of the early years of this century with a certain charm and familiarity. Dabney, in contrast, presents a more realistic picture of country life but hers is much the same story as Goyer's--the joy and pain of youth and a close look at aspects of Americana. Both, and Dabney especially, are recommended for popular reading collections.
- Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Lib., Ala.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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