Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, totally worn out and screaming,
"WOO HOO, what a ride!"

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Review: The Home Fires Are Burning...My Feet! by Nora Barry

Stories From the Domestic Front

The Home Fires Are Burning...My Feet! is a dry, funny book about surviving life with teenage sons, mid-life job crisis, high school football, and turning 50.

With humor that recalls Erma Bombeck, The Home Fires tackles middle-age sex and gardening, the similarities between Vladimir Putin and "The Little Mermaid", the magic of witchcraft and student drivers--and why pink is actually a good color for living rooms if you have teenage boys in the house.

Boy, can I relate! I loved this book! As soon as I saw the comparison to Erma Bombeck I had to read it. Humor is always a draw for me and this is about teenage boys as well. Score! Nora Barry writes with intelligence and wit, heart and humor, sincerity and snark. And I do love snark. She shares her true stories of teenage boys and middle-age, and how she copes with both. Fortunately, for the reader, she does it so very well. I've dealt with many of the same issues she mentions and it's nice to know I'm not alone. And there have been plenty of times as a parent where I've been so frustrated that I had to laugh to keep from crying. A sense of humor and the support of family and friends gets me through. That's what makes me appreciate this memoir even more.

Barry was a divorced mom to young sons Wally and the Snapper when she met George. Although he had never had children of his own, he quickly stepped into the role of father figure and partner. I'm guessing with his described similar sense of humor and gift of repartee, he fit right in. The hilarious essays that make up The Home Fires focus on the high school years and the transition to the empty nest. As an author, she knows how to tell a story, choosing just the right words to keep you turning the pages. As a mom, she knows how to convey the emotions, choosing just the right words to explain the highs and lows of parenthood. Quite simply, she nailed it.

I'd never used the highlight function on my Nook until I read this, and then I was using it constantly.  These were a few of my favorite quotes:

*Explaining to her son why he was doing yard work for mother's day -
I was in labor between 12 and 27 hours with you two, so each year on mother's day I like you to do hard labor, too.

*In reference to her son's bedroom -
One of my friends who has two boys in their twenties advises me to just close the door. But I need to open the door, if only to open the window and let the locker room aroma out.
*While thinking about the future and how someday her sons will add two more people to the family -
Two women I don't even know yet who will eventually know more about my sons than I do.
And to lighten the moment -
The upside is I'll have someone to go with me to the lady's room.

I rarely read a book more than once. There are just too many out there to read. But this book is different. I've already read it twice and laughed my ass off both times. And I will read it again. I even bought an ebook for my friend who also has three boys and she loved it too! I look forward to anything Nora Barry writes in the future.

Thank you to the author for an ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Release date: 2011
Publisher: Druid Media, Inc
Pages: 298 (paperback)
Type: memoir


  1. I used to love to read Erma Bombeck. We truly lost a gem when she passed away. THis sounds like such a fun book. I didn't raise sons but I bet it's still a fun read. Glad you enjoyed it so much!

  2. Well, now I'm already resenting this new person Gage will bring into the family someday, LOL! I've heard from more than a few people (so that must mean it's true) about the locker room smell. Definitely not looking forward to that!
    I think I need to add more laughter to my life, especially on days like today when Gae willfully spilled his sippy cup out 5 TIMES at grandma's. I would have laughed if I weren't too busy swearing to myself :)


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