“Good Morning, Young Lady” by Ardyth Kennelly is the only book I’ve read more than a dozen times. At age 12 I got my hands on this musty old hardcover, dust jacket missing, after my mom’s stepmother died. Did she love this novel as much as I did? I can picture her in that stucco house with plastered walls, a built-in bookcase, and hardwood floors, but I cannot recall her ever talking literature with us. Mom’s father was a bricklayer with an eighth-grade education but he could pass for a college grad, he had read so many lofty books. Aristotle. Plato. Browning. He died when I was five. I never heard him share his thoughts on books but I did, somehow, inherit his love of reading.
What made this obscure 1953 novel so captivating for an adolescent reading it for the first time in 1975? Why do I keep revisiting this story half a century later? Do I really need someone else to share my love for this Cinderella story set in the Old West, to talk about the cast of characters as if they were our friends and neighbors? Like a zealot, I would buy out-of-print copies online and send them to friends and relatives. Not one of them none liked the book. I felt so alone–until a man named Frank in Utah outbid me on eBay. I found his email address and we corresponded ….
…. And I’ve had some technical difficulties with WordPress and will come back to this another day.