Book review: 'Prairie Lite' columns entertain, educate

By Rosemarie Howard

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, April 28 2013 3:00 p.m. MDT

"STOP ME IF YOU'VE READ THIS ONE: Prairie Lite," by Carla Kelly, Plain Sight Publishing, $14.99, 208 pages (nf)

“Stop Me If You’ve Read This One” by Carla Kelly is a collection of the author’s “Prairie Lite” columns written for the Times-Record newspaper in Valley City, N.D.

Although Kelly has written some historical nonfiction, she is best known for her historical fiction and Regency-era romance novels. It's delightful to discover the real personality behind the fiction writer.

Selected from four years’ worth of columns, the articles are grouped into five main sections: “War,” “Places/Moving,” “Writing and Education,” “History/Tradition” and “Family and Everyday Life.”

Kelly brings a broad view of the world to her writing, partly because her father was in the U.S. Navy and the family moved quite a bit, and partly because she has a background in and love for history — particularly military history.

She shares glimpses into her childhood memories, her family, husband and children, memorable people she has met and places she has visited.

Her ramblings range from the claim that chicken fried steak should only be eaten in Texas to asking for the return of a neighbor’s pink bikini stolen from the woman’s clothesline. Veterans are honored along with her Scottish ancestors. There is something for everyone.

Written in a personal, folksy style dotted with cheeky humor, the columns are engaging as well as educational. Each selection is about two pages long, so it’s easy to browse through the book and choose one or two titles that appeal in the moment.

Candidly open about her membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kelly makes references to attending Brigham Young University in Provo and shares a few personal spiritual experiences andquotes from LDS Church leaders.

This is a very family-friendly book and had clean language.

Kelly is an award-winning writer who currently lives in Wellington, Carbon County. Her most recent publications include “Reforming Lord Ragsdale” and “Love’s Vigil Keeping.” She volunteers at the Railroad and Mining Museum in Helper. Her website is www.carlakellyauthor.com

Rosemarie Howard lives in a 100-year-old house on Main Street, Springville. She enjoys helping people discover and share their personal stories. Her website is at dramaticdimensions.com.

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