About the book, The Gulag P-Pa Diaries
- Genre: Memoir / Christian / Humor / Grandparenting / Family
- Publisher: CKN Christian Publishing
- Date of Publication: April 22, 2020
- Number of Pages: 268
- Scroll down for the giveaway!
As new empty-nesters, Harriet and Preston next looked forward to becoming grandparents. Their journey to assuming the names of Mema and P-Pa, however, took a tragic and unexpected turn.
Buy, read, and discuss this book:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | Goodreads
About the author, Preston Lewis
Lewis is the Spur Award-winning author of thirty novels. In addition to his two Western Writers of America Spurs, he received the 2018 Will Rogers Gold Medallion for Western Humor for Bluster’s Last Stand, the fourth volume in his comic western series, The Memoirs of H.H. Lomax. Two other books in that series were Spur finalists. His comic western The Fleecing of Fort Griffin received the Elmer Kelton Award from the West Texas Historical Association for best creative work on the region.
Connect with Preston:
Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon author page
Part conventional memoir, part Condamant’s (sic) Log from the eponymous Gulag P-Pa, Preston Lewis’s latest offering is both hilarious and heartfelt.
It’s a year-by-year recounting of his life as a temporary caregiver (with his wife Harriet) of his grandchildren – four girls and one boy when the story opens, though as a three-month-old, the boy really isn’t a true “inmate” of the gulag, and it masters the emotional combination of laughter-through-tears from the very first page.
(“Condamant,” by the way, is one of the granddaughter’s malapropism; she meant “Commandant.”)
But, this book, The Gulag P-Pa Diaries, is more than just a reminiscence of life with growing grandchildren. It’s also a reflection on the nature of parenthood. “The first step toward becoming a grandparent is having a family of your own, of course,” Lewis writes in chapter three, one of the traditional memoir chapters, and then goes on to describe his courtship of his wife.
Written in alternating chapters of memoir and diary, this book is a look at the very real lives of a typical American family, and while some of the events and family jokes (like the “poople heart” earned for dealing with dramatic diaper incidents) are often silly, the real thread holding everything together is love.
We are given a glimpse of a sweet man who is literally lovesick as he gets to know his eventual wife, and we are shown how even the most contrary three-and-a-half year old can be incredibly charming. We see the expected difference between how woman (Camp Mema) and men (Gulag P-Pa) handle discipline and structure, and we cry (or I did) when the author mentions his first grandchild who died before he ever got to hold or know him.
If your grandparents are still alive, this book will make you pick up the phone to call or Facetime with them. If they have left this world, this book will leave you wistful, and perhaps a little weepy. Either way, this is a charming, funny, very real story, made even better by being true.
Goes well with: a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of chocolate milk.
Book signed by P-Pa (the author), Mema, and The Grands
Book signed by the author
AUGUST 4-14, 2020
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“Hilarious and heartfelt.” Love it. Sounds like a must-read for parents and grandparents and all who have fond memories of summers with the grandparents. Thanks for the review!
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