Monday, December 03, 2012

Who Gets the Drumstick?

Who Gets the Drumstick? Helen Beardsley. 1965. Random House. 215 pages.

I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this memoir by Helen Beardsley. Growing up, I enjoyed watching the classic film "Yours, Mine, and Ours." What I didn't know until I was an adult was that it was based very, very, very loosely on a book. I have read the book at least twice since then and have just continued to love it more each time. The book is told through Helen's perspective, and it begins with the death of her first husband. It chronicles her family's move, her settling down, her first "introduction" to the man who would become her second husband. As she's enrolling her children in school, she meets a woman with a brother who has just recently lost his wife. He has a very, very large family. As this woman is relating the story to Helen, she feels led to send him a poem that comforted her after the death of her husband. And so the two meet first by correspondence. Not that they stay in touch, but, eventually these two begin to correspond with one another and exchange pictures. After getting to know one another, they decide to start seeing one another, just to enjoy each other's company, just to have someone who understands, never imagining that God is giving them both a second chance at love and a happily ever after. But. God is writing their love story. And these two families will become one very, very big family in their own way and at just the right time. Half the book takes place after their marriage. Their are chapters that capture the every day, little, ordinary moments of family life: preparing meals, family arrangements (bedrooms, bathrooms, laundry, chores, etc.), shopping (grocery, clothes, shoes, etc.), holidays and birthdays. Oh, and learning to get along with siblings new and old. The book builds up to the big decision to adopt one another's children.

The book is sweet, tender, genuine, and faith-friendly.

The book is so very different than the movie, in a way. The movie adds a LOT of drama and comedic sketches. And very little of the courtship from the book is related in the movie--not that the movie gets it wrong exactly, but they're going for a different picture or idea. Especially when it comes to Helen meeting his children. Let's just say the movie is about as far away from the book as possible.

I would definitely recommend this one. It's a tender, loving family story.  

Read Who Gets The Drumstick?
  • If you enjoy reading biographies and memoirs
  • If you have always been curious about large families
  • If you enjoy true love stories
  • If you have seen Yours, Mine, and Ours and want to know the 'real story' behind the movie
© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Ms. Yingling 11:53 AM  

Jealous! I love this sort of story from this era, and most of the copies I see on ILL are local circ only! The copies on ebay go for upwards of $40! I'll keep looking.

Melinda 9:35 PM  

I've been wanting to read this book for awhile . . . your review makes me even more intrigued about this book! But it's so expensive on Amazon, and I haven't found a used copy elsewhere yet. Hopefully I will one day . . .

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
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  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
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  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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