Addie of the Flint Hills
"... a hauntingly beautiful memoir ..."
– Denise Low, Poet Laureate of Kansas, 2007-2009
RECIPIENT OF THE KANSAS NOTABLE BOOK AWARD 2010
Addie of the Flint Hills is the memoir of 94-year-old Addie Sorace. It is a tale of human struggle that transcends time and place to strongly echo our modern family situations and current economic times. Addie's quiet courage will resonate and inspire readers.
Addie, a small-town girl from deep in the heartland of America, begins her story in 1915 as wheat prices are booming. She shares the day-to-day unfolding of her life and the life of her family as they deal with the turbulent U.S. economy of the 1920s and 1930s. The price of wheat drops, followed by precipitous declines in stocks, minerals, and farmland. The story ends in 1935 as the family grapples with the effects of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl.
Addie’s vivid memories transport the reader back to the hardscrabble life that was typical for rural Americans of her generation. Through it all, Addie offers a true and fair chronicle of daily life. She invites readers to come to their own conclusions about people, events, and what constitutes the good life.
Addie of the Flint Hills weaves a complex tale of ordinary folks struggling with familiar themes: a father’s work takes him far from home, a highly-educated woman and mother is alone, and a young girl never learns that she is beautiful. As we follow her adventures, we watch a shy and self-effacing young woman, one who has no idea of her true inner and outer beauty, finally come into her own. For her part, Addie learns that with age comes acceptance and insight, and sometimes, even, a bit of wisdom. The final chapters will melt your heart.
"...riveting... it adds an important perspective to our present-day angst about the economy and our stressed environment...I was reminded of Willa Cather's poignant portraits of life on the evocative but unforgiving midwestern prairie."
- John Hennessey, former dean of the Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College
"...a hauntingly beautiful memoir...that adds to the growing literature about life on the Great Plains. Like Willa Cather's My Antonia, she evokes the human drama set within an epic-scale landscape."
- Denise Low, Poet Laureate of Kansas 2007-2009
"... a gem... [the] Flint Hills past, brought back to life ... It puts you in contact with a mysterious resilience, with the sheer beauty of life blossoming, no matter what."
- Dr. Margory Stewart, Washburn University
"Unique and universal, the remarkable life story of Adaline Rogler Sorace looks to the past with affection, honesty, and clarity of insight. In a voice distinguished by intelligence and refinement she recounts a story of the Flint Hills as strong and as deep as the prairie grass."
- Jim Hoy, author of Flint Hills Cowboys
"... the photographs are pitch-perfect vernacular imagery at its best."
- Jeff Curto, co-ordinator of the College of DuPage Photography Program
"An intriguing view of the early twentieth century. The story carries the reader into a place and time long gone."
- Pamela Riney-Kehrberg, Iowa State University