I was born in 1948, the same year as Gildiner and grew up in a small Ohio town so that made Gildiner's stories especially appealing to me. She is an excellent writer and she captures with sensitivity the sometimes perplexing world of childhood, especially that of a "different" child in an eccentric family. Not being Catholic, I found the insights into a Catholic school education in the 50s interesting, if surprising. The end of the book, which deals with the end of innocence "by firing squad" came abruptly, as the end of innocence usually does. Others found this unbelievable; I didn't, but I wished for a more fleshed out conclusion, somehow.
Brilliant memoir of an unusual and enjoyable childhood!
I've added this to my favorite all-time reads list.
This book was a real hoot. Those who grew up during the 50's and early 60's would take a walk down memory lane. She mentioned things that I had not thought of in years, since I grew up during that time. If you want to read a funny book, then read this.
Meh . . . this book was okay. I have read several reviews where this was compared to The Glass Castle - I wouldn't agree. This book was "kinder and gentler" than that - and it's certainly no Augusten Burroughs, so if that's what you're looking for here, you're not going to find it. Cathy has typical 50's parents - mom stays home and volunteers, dad works every day at a drugstore he owns in a small town - it's really more "her" that seems out of place (she admits herself that today she would be classified as ADHD.) A central theme in the book are her daily antics at parochial school . . . I'm not Catholic, and even though I found the reflections somewhat amusing, I don't think I identified with them as much as someone who has been through a parochial school background would. If you like reading about small towns in the 50's, this book would be for you. I wouldn't necessarily pick up another title from this author.