Author: Lane Aldridge
Paperback, 328 pages
Every now and then, a book comes along that is so rich, so vivid in its description of characters and setting, that it transports you to another time and place, leaving you with the odd feeling you’ve somehow been an active part of that writer’s journey and experiences. There are a handful of writers who have accomplished this, and now, with All in Good Time, Lane Aldridge can be added to that group of authors who enrich our lives simply by virtue of sharing theirs. I have both read and listened to the essays in this volume. Many I have listened to and/or read multiple times, for the sheer enjoyment of them. And whether I closed the book, or turned off the audio, I’ve consistently walked away with the word rich ringing in my mind. The characters are rich. The language Aldridge uses is rich. The experiences themselves are rich.
When one thinks about what traits all the best Southern writers share, certain elements come to mind. Among them is a celebration of eccentricity, a sense of humor in the face of adversity, and an enduring and unbreakable connection to both family and place. Well, in this collection of essays about growing up in the South, Aldridge delivers on all counts.Whether you are reading about the terror of Christmas Eve when twelve-year-old Aldridge is hiding in a bathtub with her mother while a crazed townsperson is trying to shoot the door open, or laughing over Grandma Aldridge’s unique take on cats, and Daddy’s interesting way of cussing, each story leaves you with such a rich (there’s that word again) understanding of the South in the years before the advent of cell phones and Internet.
Each one of Aldridge’s stories, whether humorous or profound (and many are both), is filled with language that reads with a cadence, a rhythm, and with such command of the nuances of language, that whether you are hearing or reading them, you are left with the feeling that you’ve just sat around one of those big, round Southern kitchen tables and listened to her spin you a tale about growing up.
I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon and evening.
~ Debra Sanders, author of the bestselling memoir A Matter of Panache.