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316 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1988
3 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, King James Version
Geneva is 70 if she’s a day, and still up to no good. There is something in me which admires this, and wants to ride hell for leather down the high road of life like Geneva does. But I am somehow lacking in gumption and pluck, or else it is that I have got to think about things too much finally . I can't help it. You know I have always got to write my letters, and think about what's happened, and what I've done....Then there was Franklin Ransom, who stirred her blood with his amorous adventures, his tireless hunt for satisfaction, and his ruthless pursuasion of debauchery. Ivy could color him in, but could never get his outline right.
... All of a sudden I remembered one time way way back when Revel was taking us someplace in the wagon, now this was not too long after Daddy died and before Revel had to leave here. We were going to town in the wagon and a mad dog came up and started barking and the mules tried to run off in opposite directions. We had to hang on for dear life! I remember Beulah’s screams, to this day. I remember how the mules’ breath hung white in the frosty air. Then finally Revel shot the dog, and that was that.
But sometimes I feel I am caught in that wild bucking wagon yet, with no one here to shoot the dog.
The apple trees behind the house were like a rolling sea of sweet pink clouds. The rosybush by the front steps is still in bloom, and the lilac by the back door never had so many flowers. It is beautiful up here. Try to think of me like this, in all these flowers, and don’t be mad at me or disappointed because I failed to marry Franklin Ransom as you hoped, or make a schoolteacher either as Mrs. Brown and Miss Torrington wished. I guess I am too flighty to make a good schoolteacher anyhow—I still get all carried away! So I will just write my letters instead, for it means so much to me to keep in touch.And later, in her forties, along came Honey Breeding...
Life seems contrary to me, as contrary as I am. I feel like you never say what you ought to, nor do as you should, and then it is too late. It is all over. I have spent half of my life wanting and the other half grieving, and most often I have been wanting and grieving the same thing. There has been precious little inbetween.It is a sweet tale, filled with picturesque descriptions of Ivy's environment, interactions, and her rendition of history. The southern rhythmic language came through from beginning to end. A charming ode to hardship and happiness(which finally manifested itself when Ivy became a proud mountain woman in old age).
I heard them guns popping all threw the hills and then I knowed it was Christmas wich I had clean forgot. All the rest of them was sleeping in the house. ETHEL I hollered, and direckly she come, wearing Daddys dead mommas old coat, she looked so funny I liked to of died. Get the gun I hollered, and whilst she was doing it I layed rigt down in the snow and made angels, I must of made a thousand angels but I never got wet, that snow was as dry as powder.