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Elinor C. Bemis

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As The Twig Is Bent
by Elinor C. Bemis   

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Publisher:  Windswept House Publishers ISBN-10:  0932433898 Type: 


Copyright:  Jan 1 1992

The Life of a Child Growing Up in the 1930's.

Barnes &

I was raised in an atmosphere of proverbs, superstitions, homemade bread and the New Deal. The influence of the Puritans nourished the precepts of my upbringing as surely as an under- ground river feeds the roots reaching down in the earth.

Outward expressions of love, as well as any manifestation of weakness, were stoically and from long habit and tradition, repressed.

A depth of security compensated. There was the farm, a world of its own, slumbering in the somnolent summer heat; locked in the dazzling crystal of a snowbound winter; murmuring in the awakening of early spring; drowsing in the heavy scent of dying autumn leaves, the full moon slanting through the rustling branches of the hovering elms.

I can only guess at my father's disappointment when I was born - another girl to make three. A farmer, lumberman, wood dealer and market gardener, he needed a son or two, to raise in the tradition of his ancestors, to share the burdens and chores; to carry on his name.

My mother was nearly 40 years old when I was born; by my fifth birthday, two things were evident - I would be my parent's last child and was destined to be a tomboy.

I write for the grandfather who never saw the sun slant through the avenue of maple trees he planted, one by one on grass-stained knees so many years ago; for my father and the son he never had, to ease the ache of a name gone dead; for the mother who held secret dreams unhearkened by callous ears through years of toil and dirt and care.

Most of all I write for all the little country girls with barked knees who grew up in a world of innocence and artless simplicity long perished from the earth.

Professional Reviews

Hale G. Joy, Ellsworth American, February, 1992
"This is a book written from the heart about a time long past, and one that will never come again."

Nancy McCallum, Journal Tribune, April 4, 1992
"Bemis' memory...(is) extraordinary, and, told in her wry, warm, but unsentimental tone, (it's) entertaining and satisfying."

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