19 April 2011

Whilst Wandering Through a Catalog

When I name beloved books that I first read in junior high school—The Family Nobody Wanted, The Story of Walt Disney, What Katy Did/What Katy Did at School, A Wrinkle in Time, Have Spacesuit Will Travel, Especially Dogs, The Morning of Mankind—there is one I always forget to name, but the book itself is so memorable that I smile at its title just thinking about it: Laurie Lee's Cider With Rosie, although I first knew it by its American title, The Edge of Day.

This was a magical book. Lee was born during World War I and grew up impoverished but surrounded with the love of his mother and older sisters in a small English village. This was the first time I had ever read prose that sounded more like poetry; Lee's use of description and language was like a song set in paragraphs, a chronicle of his home and village life, and his adventures in growing up.

Google Books has some sample chapters of this extraordinarily lovely autobiography here; perhaps you too will fall in love with its delightful prose.

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