Picking up where A Girl Named Zippy left off, Haven Kimmel crafts a tender portrait of her mother, a modestly heroic woman who took the odds that life gave her and somehow managed to win. When we last saw Zippy, she was oblivious to the storm that was brewing in her home. Her mother, Delonda, had literally just gotten up off the couch and ridden her rickety bicycle down the road. Her dad was off somewhere, gambling or 'working.' And Zippy was lost in her own fabulous world of exploring the fringes of Moorland, Indiana. Increasingly frustrated with the limitations of her small-town, married-with-children life, Delonda decides first to learn how to drive a car, even though she won't have access to one. Next, she applies to the local college, eventually graduating with honors at age forty. We happily follow Zippy from one story to another, but we know this is really her mother's book: the poignant tale of a strong woman who found a way to save herself and set a proud example for her daughter.
This is a terrific story of a little girl growing up in the midwest. But, more importantly, it is a story about how a woman trapped in an oppressive marriage gathers herself up and transforms her life. Although subtle, it should serve as an inspiration to us all. I hope there is a third installment, as this leaves you wondering about what happens next.