2 out of 4 stars
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Good Night, See You Tomorrow, I Love You: Would you want to hear your child or spouse tell you these sweet lines every night? The author’s firstborn son and husband did!
The book Good Night, See You Tomorrow, I Love You is an autobiography by Bebe Proctor, now over 70 years old. With that heartwarming message in mind, the reader could only expect a touching story. And the reader will not be disappointed.
Bebe was born in Appalachia. They were so poor that she thought her cousins who had their fill of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup were rich. At sixteen, she married twenty-year-old Alvin who was then running his father’s gas station. With determination and a strong faith in God’s sustaining mercy, Bebe completed college and many other vocational courses. Her husband Alvin who couldn’t read or write when they got married eventually got his GED and learned to love reading. They raised two boys who turned out to be successful businessmen, married wonderful women, and produced seven children, all well-educated and serving God in various ways. The miracles that she experienced, from healing to material provision and heavenly protection, make the reader feel good. Bebe’s faith remained strong even when she was afflicted with spasmodic torticollis so painful she could not sleep or when she took care of Alvin after he was paralyzed after a bad fall. While not exactly a rags-to-riches story, Bebe’s life inspires, invites not a few tears, and tickles the funny bone.
Bebe is a witty storyteller. The book has a lighthearted tone throughout, even amidst the gas blast that threatens to blow up their gas station, the visit of the Hells Angels, and the myriad health issues that befall her and her family members. Her tales involving different animals (domesticated pets and deadly pests alike) are hilarious. Several family photos are included in the book, further enlivening the story and its characters. Bebe says, “I wanted to share my story to let others know that we are stronger than we think and we can accomplish anything with God's help.” That goal she manages successfully.
Despite the many uplifting stories, I give the book only 2 out of 4 stars. The editing is a problem, as there are incorrect words (“stint” for “stent” and “laid” for “lay” are two), misused punctuation, and misspellings. But the greater issue is in how the book is organized, especially once Bebe gets married. The stories jump from one timeframe to another, thereby confusing the reader. The chapters take the names of the States that they lived in. But as the family moves often (and back and forth, too) and there is a huge cast of characters, it is difficult for the reader to follow along. In the midst of all the storytelling, Bebe forgets to mention Alvin’s surname. (Maybe she did, but I didn’t catch it in the confusion.)
I suggest some improvements to make the book really stand out. A family tree could be drawn to clarify who’s who. The stories could be organized by year and by family member. A timeline could be added to show where they lived and when. And of course, an editor’s participation would be most welcome.
This book will be enjoyed by readers who like true stories of ordinary lives. Sick people temporarily confined to bed will conquer boredom with Bebe’s humor. Those who care for disabled family members will find Bebe’s example encouraging.
Bebe shares many wonderful lessons with her life story. Family is a wonderful gift; be grateful for yours. God is only a prayer away; reach out. Count your blessings; they always outnumber the trials. And remember to tell those you love: “I love you!” And mean it.
Good Night,See You tomorrow, I Love You
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