This is a memoir of Haven’s early childhood in a small Indiana town. I was originally interested in the book because of the silly looking baby on the cover. Turns out that silly looking baby was the author. She was born small and somewhat funny looking. She barely managed to fight a bout of sepsis in her ear as a young infant. She about died before a young doctor, with a box full of anti-biotic samples happened to reach in and select the only vial of anti-biotic that could have saved her. Although she herself does not believe in God, or at least the God of her mother’s faith, she is a living miracle.
Zippy, as Haven’s father called her, is quite a character. She’s a Calvin meets Pippy Longstocking for the Heartland. Her adventures cracked me up. At one point her much older sister informs her that she is adopted. Zippy runs to her mother for the truth. Her mother invents a story that she swapped a wonderful blanket for her from some gypsies. She not only bought the story, but she embraced her gypsy heritage. She had spunk and charisma. I would very much like my daughters to have some of those traits.
I enjoyed the glimpses she gave of family life in the late 60s and early 70s. Her parents were far different than mine and actually more like my own marriage and family. I will be the mother reading on the couch and taking the children to church (although not to a Quaker service I’m sure) while Danny will be the father full of adventure. The only personality swaps are that Danny would read the science fiction and I’d be more likely to smoke, drink, and gamble.
This book was enjoyable to read. Reading about a pleasant childhood is too rare of a commodity. What didn’t kill her only made Zippy more resilient. Who says a runt can’t win?
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