On Our Way to Beautiful: A Family Memoir

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( 34 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780375504938: On Our Way to Beautiful: A Family Memoir

In this warm and heartfelt memoir reminiscent of Having Our Say by Sarah and A. Elizabeth Delaney and All Over but the Shoutin’ by Rick Bragg, Yolanda Young unfolds stories of innocence and experience, wisdom and redemption, tragedy and deliverance: the strong lessons on which her life and her faith are based.

Yolanda Young grew up in the rambunctious but God-fearing town of Shreveport, Louisiana, where people prayed as hard as they gambled and loved as hard as they fought. It is a little city that wobbles between extremes, where juke joints squat next to churches, and betting slips compete with offering envelopes. The unpaved streets of Yolanda’s neighborhood were lined with shotgun shacks, but lack of money didn’t stop her family and community from teaching bedrock values.

In stories laced with Southern humor and spiritual enlightenment, Yolanda introduces us to a host of unforgettable characters, such as her great-grandmother Big Momma, whose favorite words, “Now let’s wend,” signal the beginning of an adventure, and her grandmother Honey-moon, famous for bone-crushing hugs. And then there is her next-door neighbor Mrs. Leviston, who tells young Yolanda that she gave up being surprised at things for her eightieth birthday: “I figured I was getting too old to be shocked. I might give myself a heart attack.” But even tales of great distress turn into an opportunity for grace: Though Yolanda sees her father shoot her mother, mother and daughter survive and grow stronger, rejoicing together.

Bracing, funny, and always uplifting, On Our Way to Beautiful shows us that hope can burst forth from despair and trials can be turned into triumph.

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From the Back Cover:

“I have come to understand the many levels of beauty, the core which for me is home, where my family nurtured the beauty in me the way Big Momma cherished her flowers. . . . She knew that our family had already planted the seeds—of mistakes, triumphs, and, most important, love. So she could see the hope in a little girl’s smile and know that with her wise ministration it would endure through the seasons ahead.”
—from On Our Way to Beautiful

Advance praise for On Our Way to Beautiful

“Every flat-chested, straight-legged, awkward young girl knows the pains and hardships encountered in On Our Way to Beautiful. Thank you, Yolanda Young, for putting into words what most girls feel in their hearts.”
—Iyanla Vanzant

“Yolanda Young has written an eloquent, soul-searching account of her coming-of-age. Follow her as she moves inside what is ‘beautiful’ for a closer look, and read this book for its poetry and promise, its humor and haunts, its spirit and song, its spiritual journey from Genesis to Yolanda.”
—Dolores Kendrick, poet laureate, District of Columbia

“On Our Way to Beautiful offers a view of life that is broad and deep, a splendid mixture of sorrow and joy. Yolanda Young is a gifted writer who shares, with a great power and pathos, the experiences that have made her the gift from God that she is.”
—Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr., senior minister, Metropolitan Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.

From the Inside Flap:

Yolanda Young grew up in the rambunctious but God-fearing town of Shreveport, Louisiana, where people prayed as hard as they gambled and loved as hard as they fought. Her neighborhood?s unpaved streets were lined with shotgun shacks, but lack of money didn?t stop her family from teaching her bedrock values.

In this warm and heartfelt memoir, Yolanda Young unfolds stories of innocence and experience, wisdom and redemption, tragedy and deliverance: the strong lessons on which her life and her faith are based.

Bracing, funny, and always uplifting, On Our Way to Beautiful will resonate with readers looking for stories of inspiration and faith told with wit and verve. It marks the debut of a fresh new voice of startling wisdom.

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Yolanda Young
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