Ordinary Light

  • by Tracy K. Smith
  • Narrated by Tracy K. Smith
  • 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Tracy K. Smith has a fairly typical upbringing in suburban California: the youngest in a family of five children raised with limitless affection and a firm belief in God by a stay-at-home mother and an engineer father. But after spending a summer in Alabama at her grandmother's home, she returns to California with a new sense of what it means for her to be black: from her mother's memories of picking cotton as a girl in her father's field for pennies a bushel to her parents' involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.
These dizzying juxtapositions - between her family's past, her own comfortable present, and the promise of her future - will eventually compel her to act on her passions for love and "ecstatic possibility" and her desire to become a writer. But when her mother is diagnosed with cancer, which she says is part of God's plan, Tracy must learn a new way to love and look after someone whose beliefs she has outgrown.
Written with a poet's precision and economy, this gorgeous, probing kaleidoscope of self and family offers us a universal story of belonging and becoming and the ways we find and lose ourselves amid the places we call home.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Simply spoken - poetic

An honest memoir from the youngest child of an American
Family - beautifully read and not easy to stop push on audible. I felt calm as I listened. I wanted to meet this woman and know more.
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- CarolynneRHarris

Told Her Story Well

I enjoyed Tracy K. Smith's memoir. The primary purpose of it was the sharing of her life with her mother and her mother's death. At one point Tracy mentions discovering the value of telling one's own story; she did that well. I imagine that she received many blessings in the telling of her story.
Tracy must be a little bit older than my children. It was good to be reminded of how life is the same and yet different in each generation. Also, I found insights into the way Tracy was impacted by racial prejudice. Those of us, who have not had to experience skin color as an issue, may still have doubts about our value during our youth but we have not had this to contend with and I think it is helpful to be reminded of the pain of our sisters and brothers. That said, I hope that potential readers will not avoid this read by assuming it is a treatise on race relations for it is not. This is a touching memoir full of love and coming of age issues in the late twentieth century. I truly am grateful to have learned about this writer.
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- Jean

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-06-2015
  • Publisher: Recorded Books