Book: From the Back Pew

From the Back Pew: Life and Love in the Last Small Town in America
Wendy Lestina
2003

This is an entertaining book that is made up of the collected “From the Back Pew” columns Mrs Lestina has written over the past few years for The Ferndale Enterprise. Her subjects range from a surplus of Zucchini to the events of September 11, 2001 and her commentary is always amusing. She lives in a small, Victorian town in Northern California called Ferndale, and it happens to be where my father grew up (which is why the book came to my attention). It is a small town where everyone pretty much knows everyone else and the makers of pot-luck dishes can be easily identified by tasting the dish itself.

Mrs Lestina has a wonderful, flowing writing style and an extremely casual and comfortable voice (made largely possible by the medium – newspaper columns). The book is fun to read and feels more like a conversation than anything else. Even when I didn’t know who the people she was talking about were (although many I at least recognized by name), I could follow the flow of what she was talking about. It really made me want to move to a small town! I also liked the episodic format of the book. Each column is completely self-contained (even when they occasionally have running themes or jokes that jump from column to column) and that makes it easy to pick up and put down. I also found it wonderfully good at cheering me up quickly! Nearly every column made me laugh at least once.

I really enjoyed this book. I would definitely recommend it, even if you have never lived in a small town. It’s funny and light and wonderfully well written!

Post a Comment