Aunt Jane of Kentucky

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Eliza Calvert Hall was not only an author of fiction but a poet, essayist, folk art historian, and passionate advocate of suffrage and women's rights. As she fought with the timeless problems of work and motherhood, her attempts to heed both the call of her art and her duty to family often left her anxious and frustrated. The fictional world she created, with serene "Aunt Jane" at its center, was therefore all the more remarkable.
Aunt Jane is Eliza Calvert Hall's most unforgettable character. She was a usual old woman from Kentucky. At first time she appeared in the story "Sally Ann's Experience" dressed in a purple calico dress with a white kerchief tied around her throat. The pockets of her gingham apron always had a piece of knitting or some other handiwork. Her cap was a "substantial structure that covered her whole head and was tied securely under her chin." Her voice was a "sweet old treble with a little lisp, caused by the absence of teeth, and her laugh was as clear and joyous as a young girl's."

While hearing about the colorful characters she has known, we also learn that Aunt Jane enjoyed a companionable, egalitarian marriage to her husband Abram, now dead. She also had two brothers, and they both were killed in the Civil War, and at least some of her children have also predeceased her. She occasionally sees her adult grandchildren but prefers staying at home, contentedly sewing her quilts, tending her garden and recollecting people and places from her past. Unafraid to speak her mind, she is nevertheless an incurable optimist, accepting change gracefully and seeing all the good and bad in her long life balancing out for the best--in many ways, the opposite of her opinionated, care-worn and often unhappy creator.
Aunt Jane is a wonderful character. Reading this book you really feel like you are in the room with her, listening to her share memories as only she can. There are several references to clothes and traditions that seem unfamiliar and sometimes unknown to us now, but not so much that the reader couldn't figure them out and enjoy the stories. This book is not only a book about the past of the United States, it is a view into everyday life in the 1800's. Aunt Jane is wise and funny and the characters she describes in the book come to life. Sometimes their lives seem to be easy and careless, but sometimes they don’t. "Aunt Jane of Kentucky" is a book, in which every page has a real life advice. Besides, everyone who is tired of modern non-stop life, will definitely enjoy reading "Aunt Jane of Kentucky", a book describing ordinary life, when people could love and valued what they had. Reading this book is like diving into childhood, when everything seemed so simple and light. Witty phrases and cute and sometimes naive characters will charm you as soon as you open the book. "Aunt Jane of Kentucky" is a classic, that needs to be read.

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