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September 26, 2007


Ramona Merrifield

I just read Little Heathens and relived my childhood on an Iowa farm! The one room school house that I walked to, the red brick school house by bus... the animals, the crops, the storms... I was born in 1937 but we were poor and had some years without electricity. The frost on the inside of the windows, the feather comforters and wool quilts...canning season, threshing and haying crews. The hired girl when Mother was pregant again. The song of the meadowlark on the telephone wire. It all came back reading this great little book. Very well written, Thank you Mildred!!!!!!!


I just finished reading this wonderful memoir. I was impressed by how resourceful the author's family was. They found ways to not just cope, but to thrive when others were floundering. It makes me want to continue learning and find ways to be more self-sufficient. I think this book is a gift to our current generation...we who cannot imagine life without cell phones, cars, and (dare I say it?) computers! Thanks for the recommendation!

Joyce Emery

Thanks for writing, Pat, and for saying "this book is a gift to our current generation."

One of the secondary themes in the book that impressed me was how Mildred's grandparents had prospered, and how, by the time of the Great Depression, their impoverished adult children and grandchildren all came to live on land they owned. The multi-generational family worked as a team, trying to sell enough from the farms to pay the property taxes and hang on to the land that meant survival.

Mildred, looking back with the wisdom of her years, lets the reader feel the apprehension of her grandparents, who find themselves going from a comfortable retirement to risking all they have for the survival of their family. It is a story that brings me comfort and strength.

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