Down East 2013 ©
Ashville native Glenna Johnson Smith shares a lifetime’s worth of poignant reflection in Old Maine Woman (Islandport Press, Yarmouth; paperback; 162 pages; $16.95). After graduating from the University of Maine in 1941, Smith moved to a potato farm in Easton, a small town in Aroostook County. These autobiographical essays provide a glimpse into rural Maine life, but their themes, from a son’s time in Vietnam to divorce, are universal. For the most part the essays, when they avoid a diary-like structure, convey the peaceful, pastoral way of life that often seems so elusive these days. Tucked into the collection are some of Smith’s short stories, as well.