Silver’s Book Reviews – “Prairie Moths – Memories of a Farmer’s Daughter,” by Judy Dykstra-Brown
- Title: Prairie Moths – Memories of a Farmer’s Daughter
- Author: Judy Dykstra-Brown
- File Size: 2447 KB
- Print Length: 50 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN:
- Publisher: Judy Dykstra-Brown
- Publication Date: June 13, 2014
- Sold by Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00KZBJUGY
- Formats: Kindle
- Genres: Biographies, Memoirs, Literature, Poetry
*The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, which follows*
Step back into time and travel on the dusty-white gossamer wings of prairie moths into the childhood memories of Judy Dykstra-Brown where she grew up on the South Dakota plains. Her dramatic prose and photos will sweep you into her sometimes stark rural life as she lived it in the 1950’s and 1960’s. This was a kinder and gentler time when parents told stories to their children of gray wolves and the perils of being lost in a snowstorm, all the while sparking their young imaginations with their storytelling. Like any child, Judy longed to be free of her home place and to strike out on her own not realizing at the time how amazing her young life truly was.
As a child, I spent many summers visiting my grandparents in Central Kansas. I was immediately transported back to that time and could literally hear the sounds of the prairie grasses rustling beneath my feet as I read the hauntingly beautiful words of Judy Dykstra-Brown. Her writing style is pure poetry, with verses that flow from her memories rich with tales of her home life. Much of her words center on her hardworking father, acquainting the reader with a man who was as strong as the mightiest cottonwood trees that hugged the girth of their property.
I love this passage Judy shares about her father:
“He was a man who planted—
a man with a hard life
who tried to shield us from this life.”
My favorite of her writings was called, “The Summer House.” This is the story of a shanty her father called the summer house which enchanted Judy with all the possibilities of what this humble cottage was and what it could become. She spent countless summers cleaning that old abandoned shack waiting patiently for her family to move there each summer. At home in her winter house in town, the child named Judy would dream of her summer house, remembering her favorite tale of the three bears and thinking her summer house was just right.
I enjoyed and appreciated Judy’s poetic style. Her words are truly enchanting and I was often moved by the vivid descriptions of her home life.
Young and old alike will enjoy “Prairie Moths,” as it is an evocative and lovely collection of verses that will transport the reader back in time to their own childhood, filled with abundant memories of when the vast world stretched before us ripe with all the promises of our own lives just around the corner.
Author, Judy Dykstra-Brown
Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars
About Judy Dykstra-Brown
Judy Dykstra-Brown grew up in South Dakota and lived in Australia, Ethiopia, Wyoming, and California before finally coming to rest in San Juan Cosala, Mexico––a small pueblo on the shores of Lake Chapala near Guadalajara, Mexico––where she has lived for the past 14 years.
Her work may be found in numerous journals, magazines and anthologies, including New Poets in Los Angeles, the Sculpture Garden Review, Agave Marias ( an anthology of ten women writers who have broken boundaries and crossed borders); Veils, Halos, and Shackles: International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women (an anthology that will be coming out in April of 2016.) and an upcoming anthology of stories and poetry by Alzheimer’s caregivers edited by Kenneth Salzmann.
She was a semifinalist in the Atlantic Journal international poetry competition and first place winner of the Tennessee Writer’s Alliance National Poetry Prize in 2002. She has published over 75 poems, articles and stories in various publications and online magazines including “Living at Lake Chapala,” “Ojo Del Lago” and MexConnect.
Her book of poetry, Prairie Moths: Memories of a Farmer’s Daughter; a nonfiction/memoir book entitled Lessons from a Grief Diary: Reinventing Your Life after the Death of a Loved One, and her children’s picture book Sock Talk are available on Amazon and Kindle. Two more children’s books are completed and will soon be available as well.
She posts daily on her blog at judydykstrabrown.com
Please connect with Judy on Facebook at Judy Dykstra-Brown
Thanks for stopping by to meet Judy. I will see you all again!