It Was What It Was

My Memoir

Non-Fiction - Memoir
204 Pages
Reviewed on 03/10/2018
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Author Biography

I am the product of small-town South in the post-WWII era, including the teen years in the 50s. It was , arguably, the most desirable decade in the history of our great nation.

The economy was booming, communities were safe, faith was foremost, life was easy, and the future was bright. I felt it to be a story that needed to be told; such a remarkable contrast to the unrest and hostility that we see in our great nation today.

My book is filled with stories and characters that many readers can identify with. It is both humorous and nostalgic but will leave the reader with a sense of belonging.

I retired as principal of our county high school. I chair our regional hospital board, serve on the Downtown Development Authority for the city of Lavonia, Georgia, where I grew up, and am lay leader in Lavonia First Methodist. I live in the family woods with my husband of 57 years and our beloved Cocker, Gracie, a rescue dog.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite

It Was What It Was: My Memoir by Diane Haley Toney is a memoir of growing up in the idyllic post-war era of the American South during the 1950s. It Was What It Was begins without much of a preamble and jumps into the beginning of the author's life story of growing up in Lavonia, Georgia. The story is mostly written in a sequential manner, although it does jump around a bit at times, and covers the years of growing up with family and community, the background and histories of various family members and their anecdotes, ways and means in which people made their living in those days post-World War II when the economy was starting to stabilize, and many more stories revolving around cotton, bootleggers, segregation, religion, community, etc.

It Was What It Was is an interesting memoir about how life used to be over 50 years ago and the values and ways of people who lived in those times. Diane writes in a straightforward, candid manner and most of the family stories especially are told well from her point of view. I liked the direct and, at times, almost artless style of writing which is well suited for a memoir of this type. Although the topic of segregation and discrimination has been briefly touched upon here and there, I did wish there was more material presented regarding this equally important part of history. It would have been of historical value and interest if we had gotten to see the perspective of people of those times in more depth and detail regarding this issue. Still, overall, I found the book to be a short and interesting read on the life and times of days long ago.