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Among Friends

By (author) M. F. K. Fisher
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Vintage, London, United Kingdom
Imprint: The Hogarth Press Ltd
Published: 27th Jan 1986
Dimensions: w 130mm h 190mm
Weight: 245g
ISBN-10: 0701210206
ISBN-13: 9780701210205
Barcode No: 9780701210205

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Kirkus US
Mrs. Fisher applies to her childhood memoirs the same wisely apportioned appreciations that illaminated her Map of Another Town: A Memoir of Provence (1964). To the Irish-Anglican, Episcopalian Kennedy family "doggedly" settled in among the Quakers of Whittier, California, in 1912, the surrounding Friends were decidedly distant. ("I was never asked inside a Friend's house, in the more than forty years I lived in Whittier.") But the Kennedy household was a place apart - Father, "a decent young man. . . with an occasional wild gleam in his eye"; Mother, a loving, languorous odalisque; Grandmother, a Puritan fountainhead of domestic Blue Laws; four children; a floating population of minions, relatives, and a handful of intimates. "[The parents] gave us all we needed to stay unharmed, unpuzzled for a time." Kennedy transients are revivified through both a child's acceptance and adult adjustments: a courageous and adored "aunt," "mighty as a ship's prow, cutting through our lives"; some dear demented elderly "batties"; a few memorable contributors to the table, including a papery Spanish lady, useless but for two penultimate dishes; a gentle handyman who made great if unsanitary candy. And there are touchstone memories - the circus, an organ grinder, the Elks Christmas party, a pleasing chaw of street tar, the glowing physical presence of both parents. Here the many colorations of love are "interpreted into a personal dialect of the human language." (Kirkus Reviews)