The hardscrabble place, Gloversville, literally an old glove-making manufacturing town in NY, that is the setting for much that we?ve read by Richard Russo through the years takes center stage in his memoir as well. It was both a place you wanted to leave but one you could not leave behind even when gone many years. This was especially true for Russo?s mother.

At its heart, this is Russo?s story, but for much of the book it?s his mother?s and her curious obsessions that fill the chapters. I almost wondered who would pull the basket off these stories about a mother he clearly loved and cared for, but who was also such a thorn in his side! The last few chapters explain all, leaving me feeling more than a little sad for women like her.

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