Uniquely Told By Two Dead Women — FROM THESE ROOTS by Audrie Clifford — Fiction & Memoir

9781495948008_p0_v1_s114x166Title: From These Roots
Author: Audrie Clifford
Genre: Fiction/Memoir
Published By: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 4, 2014)
Pages: 252
ISBN-10: 1495948005
ISBN-13: 978-1495948008

Book Jacket Blurb: Most of us don’t live in exactly the same style as our parents. It is the nature of the child to break away and to see a life more in keeping with their own inclinations. From These Roots tells the stories of Florence, a woman of the early 20th century and her daughter, Emma. Both women faced the challenges of poverty and heartbreak and yet, neither woman let circumstances define her.

As women of the modern age, we are inclined to give ourselves credit for our strength and courage in overcoming obstacles, never wondering where those qualities came from.

Perhaps the best thing to inherit from your ancestors is neither money nor beauty. It is the ability to cope with adversity.

 Book Description
A warm, but unsparing look at the events that occur in many of our lifetimes. Florence tells the tales of her own life and that of one of her daughters. They were both good women, but while Florence accepted betrayal and heartbreak in a docile manner as was proper at the turn of the twentieth century, Emma was more inclined to fight back or to get even. Their strength and endurance, along with that of other mothers has been left as a legacy to the women of today. “Great story about the joys and sorrows all families face during a lifetime.”

My Thoughts
Audrie’s books are so unique. Every. Single. One. Of. Them. She tells us that some are purely fiction, some are memoirs and others are a combination. She’s got stories in her, this feisty-tell-it-how-it-is-80-year-old, who puts just enough fictional material in a factual setting that you have to read it.

Her story about her mother and grandmother was researched through family and her own memory. It is her mother’s story, but it’s hers and well as her brother and sisters. The absolutely clever way she begins the book keeps you reading, after all, doesn’t everyone want to find out what the dead have to say?

I’ve been dead a good long while now. I didn’t mean to scare you by saying that, but I didn’t want you to think that I was alive and that you could communicate with me.

I died in 1939, which was a considerable time ago, but you know how folks say that as long as there is anyone who remembers you, you’re really not gone? Well, it’s true. There are only two granddaughters left who have the vaguest memory of me, and those two girls are getting old, so I won’t be around much longer, I guess. I’ll just be fading into that blur of ancestors that we all have, and I don’t know if there are individual spirits among them. Guess I’ll be finding out pretty soon.

I liked the book for the story itself, the relationships been daughter and mothers.  I was touched by the purely unselfish acts that women did for each other.  It also described life as it used to be. I am not as old as Audrie, but I know life was simpler in the 1950’s. But in the early 1900’s when Florence, lived, there was very little of what we’ve come to expect today. Yep, outhouses were the norm in lots of the United States since much of it was rural. People did their own canning of summer harvests to tie them over through the hard months of winter. Poverty during the depression years was the new norm. Cars were a rarity. Doctors may know what you have, but have nothing to make it go away. And if they know what something is, there were no pills to pop, just herbs and natural ways to get over something. Addy, one of Emma’s children, had the Cuban itch. What is the Cuban itch you ask? The doctor had such a novel way to get rid of it! Hey, you gotta’ read the book, I can’t tell! People had to rely on themselves whenever they could, but also found help was available from the graciousness of others who had a little more than they did. Life was simple, yet difficult.

Women have always had to be strong.  They were survivors.  They still are.  Our environment and challenges have changed, but the struggle continues.  I’d like to think that our genes have been conditioned by our ancestors dealing with adversity.  Women have always been thus challenged.  We shall overcome and be stronger for it.

So often I read a book with numerous typos. Audrie never seems to have any. She says in her book acknowledgements that her friends in her writer’s group proofread for her. I’d like to give them a hand! They do marvelous work which tells me they believe in Audrie and probably love her to pieces. Each and every one of them must be sharp with very good eyes! Thank you for making the read even more pleasant, ladies and gentlemen.

Audrie writes from her heart in a very entertaining way. I really have enjoyed all her books to date. I hope that you’ll choose to read one. Below are the  covers of her books with purchase links from Amazon. Below that are links to my previous reviews of her other three books.

51qLavZmuXL._AA160_13107824 (2)18056067audrie-clifford-dimensions (2)




Another Damn Newcomer http://wp.me/p40XtX-dK

Dimensions http://wp.me/p40XtX-iU

Maggie Whitson http://wp.me/p40XtX-5u


Here’s a little bit of information from Audrie herself.

Audrie Clifford recent photoMy first book was factual, my second and third books were fiction, From These Roots is both.

I always knew that I wanted to tell my mother’s story because I found it to be almost unbelievable. What I needed to put it in an acceptable format was someone to tell the story from an all-seeing point of view. My mother’s mother seemed to be a perfect solution. The only problem was that I hadn’t known my grandmother. She died when I was only five-years old, after seeing her one time.

Family history, however, gave me some of the known facts of her life and she became “Florence” in my book. All I had to do was write the story to conform to the known facts.

My mother’s story (“Emma” in the book) was written to be as true to her reality as I could make it. She really, truly did intend to commit murder, and admitted it quite casually to me. She really, truly did deliver another woman’s baby in the desert.

Most women don’t have those kinds of stories, so that’s why I felt hers should be told.

The book I’m currently working on was decided on as a bit of challenge to myself.  This is a story of an ordinary life as told by a nine-year old.

The little girl, Janie, had spent her previous years living in an apartment in the city. She and her girlfriends were trying to emulate the older girls and had already decided about their piercings and tattoos and other marks of sophistication. Then her father dropped the bomb of saying they were moving to a small town because of his work. Janie was disgusted beyond belief and when the old lady next door to their new house yelled at her, that was just the beginning of her new life.

About eileendandashi

I am a lover of books, both reading and writing. 2018 marks the beginning of my own journey from writer to published author. This blog will showcase various authors' thoughts on the elements of novel crafting, and my attempts to find my voice in writing. While journaling this journey, I hope to encourage others to follow their dreams. Book reviews continue as I have the last four years, only making time for my new pursuits.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Memoir, Women's Fiction and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Uniquely Told By Two Dead Women — FROM THESE ROOTS by Audrie Clifford — Fiction & Memoir

  1. oneaudangel says:

    Eileen, you’ve done it again. What a wonderful review! Golly, you’ve made me want to read my own book all over again.


  2. Peggy Newman says:

    What a marvelous review! It’s made me want to read the book all over again!
    Peggy Newman


  3. Now that I know who Addy really is, I’d like to do the same! After all, who wouldn’t like to know how Audrie fit into this family.


  4. I believe I should be saying that! You’ve done it again. 🙂


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