by Penelope Murnane: I read this book after seeing the author, interviewed recently about it. I actually listened to it on the Libby app. It was read by the author so it was very well-read. She begins with her story of her mother and how she met her husband and the choices her mother made given society’s roles for women. She describes her childhood growing up in Virginia with her brothers and her parents on a farm in great detail. She documents the race relations in Virginia at that time. My favorite part was when she went away to school first to a private prep school and then to Byrn Mawr; because she really describes her evolution and growth from a small town in Virginia to a more worldly outlook. She was able to go because of her academic achievement. This book illustrates how hard work, diligence, and a drive to achieve more than her mother was able to as a woman. It was fascinating learning about her trips to Eastern Europe during the beginning of the Cold War and her tour of East Germany where she learned about their view of “freedom” and how different it was. Also, she describes how MLK Jr. came to a nearby college, and they took a field trip to go see him speak. It culminates with her graduation from college. This book is very topical and shows how far we’ve come in the civil rights movement; yet how far we still need to go. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in a first person narrative of American history from the 1930s-1960s.