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The Seventh Child: A Lucky Life by Freddie…

The Seventh Child: A Lucky Life

by Freddie Mae Baxter

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375406204, Hardcover)

Some readers might think A Lucky Life is an odd subtitle for a book by a woman whose father abandoned the family when she was a little girl, leaving her mother to raise eight children in a house with no running water in a South Carolina town where "if Saturday night come and you got a quarter, it was almost like you was Rockefeller." But the author's earthy, sassy voice makes it clear that she is lucky. She has a temperament capable of zestfully taking pleasure in many things: the simple food her family shared down home; the bright lights and fast-paced life of New York City ("one of the greatest places in the world"), where she moved in 1942 at age 19; the music she made playing saxophone in bands during the 1940s and '50s. Baxter also cooked, cleaned, and baby-sat for white people, taking pride in never collecting unemployment ("I don't like to stand in anybody's line"). There's no real narrative thread to her memoir, which reads like what it is, a transcription of tape-recorded reminiscences. The book's unity lies in the forceful personality of its author, who "always tried to make fun for myself... I like happiness and I'm happy most of the time." --Wendy Smith

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:00 -0400)

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Freddie Mae Baxter describes her life growing up in rural South Carolina, moving to New York at age seventeen, playing saxophone in an all-girl band, and the miscellaneous jobs she had including picking cotton, cooking, and cleaning house for white families.… (more)

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