Thursday, February 10, 2011

Onions in the Stew

Onions in the Stew by Betty Macdonald. Amazon ranking 1,116,580 

I remember twenty five  years ago when I picked up The Egg and I at a library book sale.  It was a quarter.  I read that book till it fell apart.  But this was BEFORE THE INTERNET.  I was reduced to combing used book stores looking for that and many other titles I kept on a list in my head.  I was filled with joy when I was at The Strand bookstore in New York City( for our first anniversary) and I saw Onions in the Stew just sitting on the shelf like it had been waiting for me to grab it and hustle it home.  It continues the story of Betty and her new husband( what happened to the old husband?) her children( when did the second daughter happen?)  What? How? Who?  I was confused yet elated to be immersed in her life again.  The book zips along, not glossing over her divorce but not giving me any of the sordid details I wanted either.  She tells us of their tame(ish) raccoons, and ill tempered dog, the nasty weather, the troublesome appliances. 

So what you say? You can hear all that ( well, excluding the raccoons) just by calling your Mom.  Noonoo, you can't.  While I'm sure your mother is charming, Betty MacDonald is  not just funny, but wry, with a keen sense of the ridiculous in the every day.  Her books are effervescent and completely absorbing. 

I started this blog because so many books are being lost.  Who will remember Onions in the Stew, or Life with Father, or The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio? It makes me sad, and so I'm throwing my voice out into the void and hoping that I can throw a life raft to these charming wallflowers.


  1. This is a cool idea. Once I unpack my books I will have suggestions for you.

  2. I love the idea - and it will help me build my reading list - if I ever get time to read sthg not about babies!

  3. Maybe this will get me back into the book reviews! Thanks Celia!

  4. Yay! I need some good book recommendations! I have been on a Hardy jag lately but honestly that stuff is beautiful prose and sad, sad, sad plot. Cannot take it anymore...