cover image Between Them: Remembering My Parents

Between Them: Remembering My Parents

Richard Ford. Ecco, $25.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-06-266188-3

Ford vividly and gracefully preserves his memories of parents, his life “between them,” and the small Southern towns that provided the limits and the possibilities of their lives. His parents—traveling salesman father Parker, and housewife mother Edna—were married in 1928; and though they wanted a child, they didn’t need one to be “fully formed,” according to Ford, who was born in Jackson, Miss., in 1944. One section of the book is devoted to Ford’s father, Parker; Ford completed it in 2015, nearly 55 years after Parker’s death. Ford wrote the section about his mother, Edna, shortly after her death in 1981. When his father took a job selling laundry starch for the Faultless Company, he traveled through much of the South, and he and Edna lived on the road, in hotels in Memphis; New Orleans; and Pensacola, Fla.. Before Ford started school, he often accompanied them, but as he grew older, he became increasingly aware of his father’s absences, determining that “permanence was something you fashioned.” Following Parker’s death from a heart attack when Ford was 16, Edna took a series of jobs and became brisk and businesslike. Every page of this little remembrance teems with Ford’s luxuriant prose, his moving and tender longing for his parents, and his affecting and intimate portrait of two people simply living life as best they can as their world changes around them. [em](May) [/em]