Papa’s Pearls Book Review


Do you have a character in the family?  I think we all do!  Someone whose wisdom and idioms just stick with you forever?  I think my family has had a couple! My Great-Grandmother, I do believe had her own bucket full of sayings that she passed along to my Grandmother who of course shared them all with me.  My mother and I catch ourselves saying… “As Grandma would say….”  These moments always bring a smile to my face.

I recently received a wonderful book called, Papa’s Pearls: A Father’s Gift of Love and Wisdom to His Children and Grandchildren,  for review.

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Papa’s Pearls: A Father’s Gift of Love and Wisdom to His Children and Grandchildren is the story of a boy who grew up as a tough street smarts kid during the depression.  He was a child whose life could have easily turned down the wrong paths.  Yet he manages to transform himself into a successful, wise and very loving husband and father.  We get to meet “Papa” through the voice of his daughter, Diane Flynn Keith.

This is the sort of book that you’ll enjoy reading in nearly one sitting.  It’s the perfect book to curl up with during a quiet afternoon with a nice cup of tea nearby.  Each of the 17 chapters is titled with a pearl of wisdom that was near and dear to Papa.  The reader is brought back in time to the depression era where we come along during the rough and tumble upbringing of the man who is the center of this book, Diane’s Papa.  Papa finds himself in an unconventional school as a child, running on the edge of the law as an adolescent, serving in the Civilian Conservation Corps as a young adult, and eventually turning himself into a self-made and respected man in the plumbing business. What truly drew me in were the stories that shared Papa as a loving husband and wise father.  As a history lover I enjoyed the peek into life as it was hear in America so many decades ago.

Papa gained much insight and wisdom through his tough life and upbringing.  He lovingly doles out lessons he learned and wonderful commonsense ideas to his children and grandchildren through little nuggets or snippets his family adoringly referred to as “Papa’s Pearls.”  This is story telling at it’s finest as the author draws you deep into her memories about life with her father.  Each story warms your heart and gives you food for thought for your own life.  Daughter Diane makes you feel, in a way, as if you are sitting next to Papa yourself.  His arm is wrapped around you and as he shares his thoughts with you personally.  Your heart will long for the person in your own life, the one I mentioned above, whose wisdom you so cherish.

Papa left a legacy for his family.  His little Pearls of wisdom are sure to last generations.  His impact, his love, his nature, and the lessons he learned through the hard knocks of a rough life will spread far and wide through the generations of his family.  Through his daughter’s book countless other families, that Papa never had the chance to meet, will also benefit.

So what were some of “Papa’s Pearls?”  Some of my favorites include… “You Don’t Kick Someone When They’re Down, You Give ’Em a Hand Up.” Or “What Are We Waiting Around For? Let’s go!”  There is  “Ya Gotta Do What Ya Gotta Do” and “Tell Yourself You Like It.”  The last one was one struck me and stuck with me for a long time.  I mulled over how it could apply to my own life.  Diane describes how her father (a self-made successful plumber) and her brothers would find themselves having to slush around in stinking sewers in order to get a job done.  Papa told his boys that the best way to get through something you hate is to “Tell Yourself You Like It.”  I so agree with that.  There are plenty of things I hate to do but have to do.  I know that just by shifting my attitude I can change my whole outlook and make a dreaded chore just that much easier.  That’s a lesson I need to teach my own children.

I highly recommend you read Papa’s Pearls: A Father’s Gift of Love and Wisdom to His Children and Grandchildren.  While I chose to read it to myself the first time through, I’m eager to read it aloud with my entire family.  I can envision some mighty constructive conversations about life started through the pages of this book.  I think Papa’s Pearls could be the perfect conduit for passing along my family values to my own children.  I plan to keep it nearby to pull out and share whenever a particularly relevant lesson deems sharing.

Papa’s Pearls: A Father’s Gift of Love and Wisdom to His Children and Grandchildren is available through Homefires for $21.97 which includes shipping. The book is also available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle edition.


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  1. Hi Crystal! Thank you for reviewing “Papa’s Pearls.” It warmed my heart to know you gleaned so much from Papa’s simple but powerful axioms and the stories that illustrated them. 🙂 I thought you might like to know that I’m having a Papa’s Pearls Father’s Day Contest. Share a memory about your own father or grandfather on my blog and be entered to win a $50 Gift Card to Amazon. Get the details here: Thanks, again!

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