3 out of 4 stars
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"We all must choose to face our Goliaths rather than shrink and tremble in fear at the size of a giant."
Rex Ledford lived a life full of hardship and poverty. His family resided in a rented slab shack built under the transmission lines that fed power to the city of Cramerton, but their house had no electricity, no running water, and no window. The only certain in his life was that his dad, Paul Ledford, would be drunk during the weekends. His dad's alcohol addiction and drunken rages made their lives miserable. The only person who provided them a sense of stability in such an unstable environment was his mom, Lucy Hooper. Things changed when his drunk dad smashed a heavy, thick, clear glass, peanut butter mug on her head. Years after Rex Ledford learned about the mustard seed faith, a little puckerdilly kiss was planted right on his lips.
The Puckerdilly Kiss is a full retrospect of Rex Ledford's day-to-day struggle for survival from a dysfunctional family, abusive and alcoholic father, extreme poverty, his own daredevil antics and meritorious saga, his amazing 62-year long love story with Marie Cherry, and their extended families. I enjoyed flipping on the pages for the preserved photos with names carefully peppered in between the contents. It's a labor of love that would constantly remind them of Rex and Marie Cherry Ledford, their extended families, and their children's younger years. All characters are likable other than Paul who experienced redemption shortly before he died.
I have not immersed myself in reading any memoir other than this book. The writing style and the narrations left me engrossed like an open-mouthed little child making videos of the story on the mind while listening to a proficient storyteller. The story still lingers on my mind long after reading it. If filmed, this could produce a thriller action movie full of twists with romance, faith, and familial touches.
This nonfiction book is narrated from the first-person point of view of Rex Ledford. Only the epilogue is in Teressa Ledford Woodward's perspective. I admire her for capturing her dad's voice and the essence of his style in an excellent art of ventriloquism. I laugh, cry, and hold my breath on her father's stunts while reading the story. Rex Ledford's childhood life made me cry. It reminded me of my own which was pestered with misery brought by poverty, and abusive and alcoholic father.
All audiences would love this collection of true, yet unbelievable stories from the lives of Rex and Marie Cherry Ledford, their extended families, and their children. I recommend this book to all audiences above 18 years old because the daredevil antics Rex Ledford tried as a kid might be followed by the young audiences that might create catastrophic consequences. Aside from that, subjects about abuse and alcohol are not suitable for very young audiences.
I rate The Puckerdilly Kiss by Teressa Ledford Woodward 3 out of 4 stars. Despite the few errors I have noticed while reading this book, I'm confident enough to say that everyone will like and enjoy reading it. Those who are not into memoir would surely exclude this book. There are a lot of quotes I like in it. I admire Rex Ledford when he declined his dad's invitation to drink saying, “I won’t have that stuff around my children. It has ruined your family; it won’t ruin mine."
The Puckerdilly Kiss
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