It begins when she marries at age 14. Well, no. It doesn’t begin there. That is just the story-teller’s art. It begins at her birth, in this tiny, rural town, and where her parents were killed in their house fire while Maud was off visiting her married sister, who was about to have a baby.
As the house becomes more crowded, she is strongly encouraged to marry the young man who adores her, and the further recounting of her difficult life is just spellbinding.
I really hate to tell you too much about the story because it is such a gem of a read, so I am not going to. I just want to tell you to read it. I almost didn’t, because I don’t usually read memoirs, biographies, and the like. But I am certainly glad I read this one. It’s a doozy.
Her life covers the period where the country went to war, and most towns lost many of their young men. It covered the Spanish influenza epidemic, and we readers were up close and personal with the suffering wrought from that terrible time. It covered the period where women finally got the right to vote, and then the great depression. She lived through the Second World War, and the account of her losses is heart wrenching.
Read it. Such a time in the history of the USA to have lived.