A very conversational memoir, this slim book traces Tim Bazzett's early childhood through high school growing up Catholic in small town Michigan. The first in a series of books (a trilogy so far), this book tells the everyday experience of Bazzett's growing up years. It introduces the reader to his family and to the friends and acquaintances who were important in forming the boy he was. He shares his Catholic school upbringing, his role in the family hierarchy, and the ordinary existence of a boy doing his chores, tackling his homework, and discovering girls in mid-twentieth century small town America.
Bazzett acknowledges his debt to his youngest brother and his mother in recreating his story but even so, he has an amazing recall of events and people from his past. The memoir is mostly chronological but also organized thematically in chapters that tackle things as varied as the way he and his brothers played in their free time to extended family visits to driving to seeing his first (nearly) naked woman. The writing is well done and this nostalgic reminiscence of a book, this personal letter to his children, will definitely appeal to readers who remember this innocent time in their own lives as well as in the country. For those a bit younger, the evocation of time and place and the delights of childhood and growing up have a more historical flavor but personalize that history and offer a peek into daily life that our history books in school ignored.
Thanks to author Tim Bazzett for sending me a copy of this book to review.