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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
In her debut novel, author Katherine Ann Lee takes readers on a journey through time in From Dust to Dust and a Lifetime in Between, a story that takes place in 1920s Church Stretton, England. Inspired by her beloved Nana, Mary Eileen Cooke – Mollie to her family and friends – Lee shares with us her grandmother’s true story, a loving tribute to Mollie who wanted to write it down herself but was sadly hindered by her dementia. We follow Mollie who lives with her loving family. She is nicknamed “Mollie the Milk” during World War II, as she delivers milk for the Fulhampton Dairy, a job that she loves very much. We share her heartbreak when her first love, a young soldier named Jack Meredith, did not return from the war. Mollie finds love again, and we continue to ride with her through her joy and sorrow.
The prose is charming and written in a bubbly and witty first person point of view. I thoroughly enjoyed Mollie’s personality. Lee never takes the story of her grandmother over the top into melodrama, but grounds it with the true facts that easily engage readers, making From Dust to Dust and a Lifetime in Between unique. Unfortunately, the final parts of the book focus on Mollie’s gradually obstructing dementia, including her declining physical health. It deeply saddens me and makes me somewhat reluctant to finish the book as it is the same as saying goodbye to Mollie. Overall, apart from being a very worthy read, Mollie’s story is especially for anyone who loves to reminisce about a beautiful and nostalgic slice of life from the past.