From white trash mill village girl to Senior Cinderella. In Alabama Blue, Toni K. Pacini shares her tumultuous journey. A girl raised up like an invasive weed in an Alabama cotton mill village where illiteracy, bigotry, religious fanaticism, and abuse were as commonplace as fried chicken on Sunday. From pillar to post, and coast to coast, she sought a dauntingly illusive refuge.
Toni fled a life predestined for sorrow from cold cradle to cold crypt, and she made it! Her life needed a major re-write, and in Alabama Blue, she rewrote the hopelessness into hope, the sorrow into joy, and left the past to rest, as she moved forward into a new tomorrow.
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Listened to this one twice. Excellent!
- josie "Thank God for books of all kinds and ears to hear"
A universally relatable story on many levels.
Haunting, absorbing, triumphant
I was struck most by how close to the edge she lived - as a child, a young adult and even in middle age. It was like a swamp was always sucking at her feet, trying to drag her back. The best part is that resounding pop when she finally pulls completely free.
Yes, both sometimes. Sometimes I could tell what was coming and I had to stop. "Look away". Take a breath. But come right back to it.
I am not a fan of memoirs in general. However, this one is not a run of the mill life story - even if it does start in a mill town (lame pun intended). Interesting and well told, it led me to relive those decades the way I lived them, by all the things that were recognizable and to be fascinated to see it all from Ms. Pacini's perspective. She is a relatable character / person. It's hard to use the word "fun" about a story of a child's hard-scrabble start in life and the epic battles she fought as an adult. But it is a plain *good story* and yes, that made it fun. In this audio version, her southern accent and the careful traces of emotion that come from it being narrated by the author made it particularly enthralling. I would recommend this story to anyone - not because there is any profound lesson in it (although there is), or because it's one of those where you come away admiring the courage and tenacity of a fellow human (although you do) but just because it is an interesting story, vividly told.
- Susan Joslyn