Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Book Review: The Time Mom Met Hitler, Frost Came to Dinner, and I Heard the Greatest Story Ever Told: A Memoir

Book Synopsis:

He was predestined for literary greatness. If only his father hadn’t used up all the words.

 As the son of the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Richard Eberhart, Dikkon Eberhart grew up surrounded by literary giants. Dinner guests included, among others, Robert Frost, Dylan Thomas, Allen Ginsberg, W. H. Auden, and T. S. Eliot, all of whom flocked to the Eberhart house to discuss, debate, and dissect the poetry of the day. To the world, they were literary icons. To Dikkon, they were friends who read him bedtime stories, gave him advice, and, on one particularly memorable occasion, helped him with his English homework. Anxious to escape his famous father’s shadow, Dikkon struggled for decades to forge an identity of his own, first in writing and then on the stage, before inadvertently stumbling upon the answer he’d been looking for all along—in the most unlikely of places. Brimming with unforgettable stories featuring some of the most colorful characters of the Beat Generation, The Time Mom Met Hitler, Frost Came to Dinner, and I Heard the Greatest Story Ever Told is a winsome coming-of-age story about one man’s search for identity and what happens when he finally finds it.

My Review:

The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover, with a sepia photo of desk top with an antique typewriter and old fan.  Then I read the description and the mention of Richard Eberhart, and knew I had to read this book.  I was an English major (creative writing: poetry), and always found Eberhart's poetry very powerful -- especially "The Groundhog," a moving poem about death.

This is a fascinating read for anyone who loves poetry.  I enjoyed seeing the glimpses of famous poets that Dikkon Eberhart met through his childhood.  The literary anecdotes in this memoir make this a compelling read.

It was also interesting to see how Dikkon Eberhart's life changed as he reached adulthood and forged a life of his own, with writing, the stage, his own family, and finding great strength and comfort in his faith.

The Time Mom Met Hitler, Frost Came to Dinner, and I Heard the Greatest Story Ever Told is a beautifully written book, sure to interest fans of memoirs, poetry, and strong writing. 

About the Author: 

Dikkon Eberhart is the son of Pulitzer Prize–winning poet laureate of the United States Richard Eberhart. He grew up surrounded by the great writers of the mid- to late- 20th century. He holds an MDiv. and an MA as well as a PhD in religion and art from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.

Dikkon and his wife, Channa, have four grown children and two grandchildren, and they currently make their home in a small Maine coastal town, where their Baptist community recently honored Dikkon by electing him a deacon and a church board member.

I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review.

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