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On Our Way to Beautiful : A Family Memoir (edition 2002)

by Yolanda Young

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181561,019 (3.5)1
Member:kaulsu
Title:On Our Way to Beautiful : A Family Memoir
Authors:Yolanda Young
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Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:memoir, Louisiana, African American culture, family, 2013

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On Our Way to Beautiful: A Family Memoir by Yolanda Young

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Young never explains the meaning of her title. Too bad, too. In a talk she gave to the Washington Area Woman's Foundation, she said that Big Momma (I believe this is to whom she attributed the phrase) always used the term when someone was doing their best.

A memoir of a time and place outside my ken, but all the more interesting because of its newness. Young seems to have plumbed her own memories to arrive at a deeper understanding of herself. Most of us should no doubt do the same. ( )
  kaulsu | Jan 5, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375504931, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:15 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The nationally syndicated columnist describes growing up in Shreveport, Louisiana, her coming of age in a lively African American family, and the hard-won values and religious faith that she discovered along the way.

(summary from another edition)

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