Lynn’s Review: A Time To Speak
A Time To Speak is the biography of Sarah Mankowski’s mother Ava Lee Holly. This is the remarkable story of a remarkable lady and I highly recommend it to all.
The book is divided into 3 parts.
Part 1 is about Ave Lee’s husband Fred Holly’s boyhood. He was born in Lakeland Florida and like his daddy he was born with very poor eyesight. As the story begins it is 1933 and the family is preparing to send him away to the school for the blind in St. Augustine. At school he must live with a bully named Joe who gives him the nickname Dago because of a speech impediment.
Part 2 is about Ava Lee’s childhood in rural Alabama during The Great Depression. Because Ava Lee is also visually impaired her mother doesn’t see any point in sending her to school. Finally, at the age of 9 she is allowed to go away to the school for the blind in Alabama.
She is placed in with the much younger first graders, but she gives no hint that this bothers her at all. We get the feeling that she was so happy to be in school that she didn’t mind. Besides, so much was completely new to her like sliced bread, Halloween and bath tubs.
In Part 3 Ava Lee tells about her life with Fred and the challenges of raising 3 daughters. She never loses her love for knowledge and even though the family goes through many rough times they always have their library books.
One thing most readers will take away from this book—even though times are rough right now, most of us have no clue how rough some have had it. I look at my life and I wouldn’t dare complain after reading A Time To Speak.