Precious Memories
by Phyllis Myers Miller

"We may have been deprived of many material things... but as we grew into the adults we are today there developed a very special bond which was formed back then... We consider ourselves very lucky."

Most of the memories in Phyllis Myers Millers new book, Precious Memories, Stories related from the authors memories of her childhood in the l940s and 1950s, are indeed precious, but not all. Moments of anger and sorrow surface throughout, primarily toward her abusive father. However, the authors childhood in the Midwest is presented as amazingly idyllic. Despite the strong hand and stern rules of their father (a farmer), the seven siblings, and their reliable and kind mother, they loved each other almost unconditionally and remain remarkably unscathed from such a beginning. The book contains prose, poetry, and candid black and white photos.

The cover photograph of the author laughing as she swirls through a hula-hoop says a lot about the books content. Its tone is optimistic, even sometimes ecstatic. This family might be likened to Ozzie and Harriet or to My Three Sons. Not overly disturbed by the lack of heating or indoor plumbing during their formative years, the siblings grew strong bodies and spirits, and most everything was wonderful. Only one of the siblings is not written of much; perhaps he is gay—and that lifestyle was not exactly welcomed in the 40s and 50s.

Miller, a married retired airline stewardess with a love of Rottweilers, wrote this memoir to show her family how much she remembers and loves them and to give the children and grandchildren an idea of simpler times when handmade playthings, hand-me-down clothes, and not much food did little to squelch a  precious childhood. As a period piece, the book has historic merit. Readers who grew up in a similar era or geographic area will probably find it most engrossing.

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