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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
The first in a series, The Early Years: A Memoir by Rachel G. Carrington documents a couple’s early years together which begin with a young woman’s bold decision to follow her heart. Rachel grew up in a large family from Kentucky. With slim prospects of studying beyond high school, she took advantage of the opportunity to learn and did well in school. In 1947, she was granted an exciting offer: a sought-after, all-inclusive college scholarship. Her dream of becoming a teacher was now achievable. By this time, she had met Brad Carrington, a war veteran who had returned from WWII to find his young family in disarray. The memoir covers their challenging first years as they worked together to build and provide for their family.
In between the challenges the couple faced, The Early Years includes many uplifting happy memories such as the birth of their children and their reunion with Brad’s children. Their love story is a beautiful demonstration of commitment and courage. The main characters, Brad and Rachel Carrington, excellently exemplify these qualities: Brad is devoted to his family and works hard to provide for them while Rachel supports him following the dissolution of his marriage. I loved that the memoir also explores Rachel's background, including her relationship with her siblings and parents, which offers more insight into her earlier life and helps connect with her as the narrator. There are also many interesting characters in the story including the landlords they encountered during those first years. I am looking forward to reading more about this fascinating love story in the memoir’s sequels.