Review of Running on Red Dog Road: A Memoir

Leah Courtney
I love to read memoirs. I don't know if it's rather voyeuristic to enjoy a glimpse into someone's personal life, but, if so, it must be a pretty popular pastime because people keep writing memoirs. I especially enjoy reading a memoir that sounds authentic, down-to-earth. I loved Running on Red Dog Road by Drema Hall Berkheimer.


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I won't spoil the reason for the unusual title. But it's a reference to where the author grew up. She lived in the Appalachians, in West Virginia, at the end of and after World War 2. Having lost her father in a coal mine when she was just a baby, she lived with her grandparents as her mother moved to New York to work during the war.

Drema shares her childhood and coming of age in the weaving of tales. I was drawn in and swept along immediately. The author of a good memoir must be a good story teller. The account of a life is intensely interesting when told as an interesting tale. And Drema is an excellent story teller.

Throughout all of her adventures- meeting gypsies and visiting their camp, delivering moonshine to her uncle, a trip to a healer for her deaf brother- is woven the love and strength of family and friends. It's a coming of age story that easily pulled me in through the power of story.

I have to admit that I cried. But I also laughed. The story of Drema's childhood is moving and tender.

Running on Red Dog Road is one that I can definitely recommend. I give it 5 stars and a PG rating for content. You can find the book on Amazon here.

Visit As We Walk Along the Road for homeschool support and encouragement.

Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

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