I had the opportunity to read and review At Home In Dogwood Mudhole authored by Franklin Sanders. There are 2 volumes to this title, and I read Volume 1. The book contains a series of stories from the heart and home of one American family living in the Southern U.S. collected over several years. It is the story of a family over the different seasons of life as they travel through and live in different parts of the American South.
The book had me at the very first page – it’s that kind of book that, once you start reading, you don’t want to put down. I love the skillful way Sanders weaved humor into the stories. It is funny – not “corny” funny but the type of “funny” that makes you think as well.
I also found the book surprisingly informative and even educational. There is so much history in the stories, not the dry type you find in typical history books but stories of real people, stories that tell the history of his family and the land they live in. I found myself learning along with Sanders what it’s like to move from a fast-paced lifestyle to one that is attuned with nature and the land.
I also liked the non-threatening and casual way Sanders shared his relationship with God – like it was as natural to his life as breathing. I never felt like he was shoving “religion” at me; rather he would part the curtain for a few moments to show the reader how God works behind the scenes in his life and gently draw it close again. It leaves you with a deep impression of a God in control of everything even if it doesn’t appear that way on the surface.
If I were to sum up what I learned from the book, it is in this line that stood out for me: “Life happens; later you figure out what it means.” I remember thinking that this is the line that sums the book up for me. Why? My countrymen are recently suffering from the devastation of Super Typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda) and I remember sharing on social media to a friend how thankful I was it didn’t hit Manila where we live. When the horror of what had happened to the other places which were hit by the typhoon started coming out in the news, I remembered this line from his book. It sounds so callous when applied this way, I know. We were spared while so many were not. And I am still trying to figure that out, and I think I always will, as my other countrymen surely will. I know God, in his sovereignty – has a purpose – a reason – for all this for my countrymen: I know God is in control whatever the circumstances, which you can also glean from the stories in the book.
Having said all that, At Home In Dogwood Mudhole Volume 1 is a wonderfully funny book and an excellent and thoughtful read that I highly recommend. It is available here in Paperback format for US$22.95 and US$ 16.95 in Kindle, ePUB and PDF format
You can also read what fellow Crew members have to say about At Home In Dogwood Mudhole by clicking this link.
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