Tuesday, March 10, 2015

the novel bakers present...

bettyville: a memoir~

"A witty, tender memoir of a son’s journey home to care for his irascible mother—a tale of secrets, silences, and enduring love. When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, ...

Missouri, he finds himself—an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook—in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will.

Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over. He can’t bring himself to force her from the home both treasure—the place where his father’s voice lingers, the scene of shared jokes, skirmishes, and, behind the dusty antiques, a rarely acknowledged conflict: Betty, who speaks her mind but cannot quite reveal her heart, has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay.

As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty’s life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town—crumbling but still colorful—to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair."

everyone has a story to tell, and now its time for george to share his intimate moments with one of the most challenging times in ones lifetime. with complete openness and candor he shares poignantly the moments that make up an hour, a day, a lifetime...

"i polish the silver, fix her meals, buy her new bracelets, leave peppermint patties under her pillow, drive her to the battalion of doctors. i buy her mountains of fresh fruit, still-like ice cream-a luxury for a woman raised in the country during the depression. even after decades of relative prosperity, a bowl of strawberries remains a thing of beauty to her, a wonderful surprise. she spies them with the delight of an excited girl"

"her face in the pane is like streaks of a watercolor. even though she is old, i think she is more beautiful than ever, softer. you would never guess her age until she speaks. i do my best to make sure that when she looks in the mirror, there is someone who is familiar though sometimes nothing else is. when dealing with older women, a trip to the hairdresser and two bloody marys goes further than any prescription drug."

i never like to share much about a book, to me, the enjoyment in reading is the unknown, cracking open a fresh book is just like life, you never know what will be coming at you. rest assured george bares his soul, there are heart breaking moments, the good, the bad and the ugly. since we are the "novel bakers" what stood out the most for me was how betty asks for food made from her mothers recipes: pimento cheese, lemon pies, burned sugar cakes, oysters, peppered fiercely and baked with saltine crackers.

this book is a true slice of american life,

every bite a mix of sweet...

and tart 

with highs

and lows...

but always refreshing...

be sure and stop by and visit bettysville with 

thank you mlee for getting us advanced copies of this book