By Al Ainsworth
Note: On SmashWords, the author has discounted his book until April 1 if you use the coupon code LK87S
Lines in the Gravel is an engaging, often humorous, series of snapshots about Al Ainsworth's experiences growing up in Star, Mississippi. It is one story-told by a collection of stories-of family and faith that transcends his own experience to connect with others who seek to perpetuate their own values through the stories they tell...and re-tell.
Lines in the Gravel might appear at first to be simply a nostalgic collection of the author's childhood memories. However, the author teaches that "Nostalgia reaches into the past with both hands to grasp something that is gone and likely never will be again. Legacy, on the other hand, reaches into the past with one hand to grasp what is teachable and passes it forward with the other hand to the next generation."
As clearly defined in the subtitle, 'and 52 other re-told childhood tales', this book is a collection of glimpses into the author's life as a kid growing up in Star, MS, back in the 60's and 70's, a town small enough to handle directions like 'take THE Road to THE Big Road, turn Left and head to THE Highway.'
His godly parents and competitive siblings made for a very interesting childhood, where gardens grow Chicken and Dumplings and terra-cotta planters get decorated with designer duct tape. Pranks and tricks abound, and nobody at all seems to go by their given name.
Violence: There is mention of a family pet that chased cars and catches one. There is suspicion that the accident is really a murder perpetrated by another family pet. But no arrests have been made.
Language: backwoods. Seriously, I do not recall any swear words in the work, but there was a significant proliferation of odd name calling. :-)
Sexual Content: Nope.
Spiritual content: Every story in this collection has a reference to living right, coping with loss, dealing with family, and other life lessons. But there's not a lot of scripture, and the book is not at all 'preachy'.
Al's collection of family tales contain some honest humor and Godly wisdom. He unpacks many of the stories from his growing years with candid honesty and humor that will get you grinning and thinking time after time. I gave it Five Stars.
I tell stories with ingrained values. I began with a collection of my own childhood stories. Called Lines in the Gravel, the book's stories collectively tell a bigger story, that story is a primary vehicle in passing our values from one generation to the next.
Stories from the Roller Coaster was my second book. It tells the story of how God changed the plans I had for my own life over and over again...and how He shaped me through those changes.
I am currently working on a series of sports books, the Coach Dave series. Centered around a new young coach in a town set in its baseball ways, the Coach Dave books help youth baseball players, parents, and coaches find the values that sports can teach...if we will intention to find them.