You say your parents drive you
You say you have the most outrageous family on the
You say no on understands what that's like?
the chances are that Bailey White not only understands, but can also top any of your
stories with one of her own. In Mama Makes up her Mind, Ms. White tells 59 short
tales (perfect for nighttime reading) about her kin, her neighbors, herself, and
especially her mother.
In one story, mother and daughter search all over
an uncle's workshop hoping to find the finger he'd just severed in an accident. By the
time they find it, there's no hope it can be re-attached.
concludes her mother as she scrutinizes it, one imagines, like a forensic scientist,
"he'll never have to worry about this hangnail again."
describe her mother cooking roadkill, bullying a classical music station DJ into playing
jazz, dragging shy Bailey into a biker bar to eat smoked mullet and keeping giant night
crawlers in a bowl suspended from the kitchen ceiling. Usually, there's a rational
explanation for her choices, and luckily Ms. White can describe the goings on with a
cool, observant eye and dry appreciation for the humor of it all. This is not a
mean-spirited tell-all. Her affection for her family and her life is evident
Here she describes the bellow of an alligator her Aunt Belle
once "tamed." "It was like a roar, but with more authority than a lion's roar. It was a
sound you hear in your bones." And then her aunt would throw it a dead
You don't find stories, or for that matter, families, like these
very often. So when you do find a book that introduces you to both -- and makes you
laugh as well -- you better darn well make the time to read it.