Book Recommendation about Living in Maine

Old Maine Woman by Glenna Johnson Smith

A delightful book of short stories and essays, full of humor. I found myself giggling often!

Published by Islandport Press. Read an excerpt here.

About this Book:

Glenna Johnson Smith writes with eloquence and humor about the complexities, absurdities, and pleasures of the every day, from her nostalgic looks at her childhood on the Maine coast in the 1920s and 1930s, to her observations of life under the big sky and among the rolling potato fields of her beloved Aroostook County, where she has lived for nearly seven decades. The book also includes some of her best fiction pieces.

This book is available through the Maine library system.

Reviews:

“The writing in these essays and short fiction pieces is lyrical and steady, humorous and yet pensive, nostalgic but always optimistic. That could be a description that perfectly fits the author as well. ”
—Cathie Pelletier, Author

“These pieces are funny, profound and poignant, offering an honest, sensitive and nostalgic portrayal of childhood, growing up, marriage, children and single motherhood in Hancock and Aroostook counties.”
—Bill Bushnell, Bushnell on Books, Kennebec Journal

“Glenna captures rural Maine with great insight and humor.”
—George Smith, georgesmithmaine.com

 “This collection of essays and short fiction is fun and insightful to read. Her humour is endearing”
––The Miramichi Reader
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Bringing Your Ancestors to Life: Read Historical Books

nonfiction, well-researched historical fiction, stories about where they lived, how they lived in their time. When I wrote about my grandmother Harriet and her 1908 letters, I borrowed every book I could find on local history at the library (Porter Memorial Library). Most helpful was: A Maine Hamlet by Lura Beam, published in 1957, second printing 2004. I had read this book as a young girl but this time read it with fascination. Beam describes the village of Marshfield 1894 – 1904 when she lived with her grandparents. My grandmother, Harriet Means Johnson, grew up in Machias less than two miles away from Marshfield in the same time period as Beam. A Maine Hamlet takes one back to another time with stories about Beam’s memories in Marshfield.

Beam was educated at University of California in Berkeley and then Barnard, the college for women at Cornell in NY. She went on to a career in education, sociology, and writing. Her insights are valuable into what is now an elusive place and time for many. She calls us to write about our memories, tell our stories and those of our grandparents.