Addie of the Flint Hills: A Prairie Child During the Depression By Adaline Sorace

May 20, 2011

      Addie of the Flint Hills is the autobiography of Adeline Sorace, born in the Flint Hills of Kansas in 1915.  Now, while overlooking New York city from her high-rise apartment, Adeline recounts her life.  Her grandparents were among the earliest settlers in this territory and came to Kansas on a covered wagon. She recounts her memories of the prosperous 1920s, cattle herds and cattle auctions, life during the Great Depression, the comings of the dust storms and droughts and later times when here father had to go away to find work.  Addie’s memories transport the reader back into the hard life that was typical for her generation, growing up in the turbulent economic times of the 1920s and 1930s.  In the end, her tale of human struggle echoes with our modern era of economic difficulties.
Addie wrote this book as a reaction to the news about the current economic difficulties America is facing. She wanted her grandchildren and other members of a younger generation to know that “Today is Heaven”. Addie, her parents and her grandparents lived through hard times and, almost without realizing it, built something better for themselves and their communities.  Her message is one of hope for the future whatever the present circumstances may bring.

In her book Addie talks about her relatives who came before her.  Her grandfather learned wisdom about his new land from local Indians, and in the years of drought they were only family who had water in their well. Her family had a positive attitude on educating women. Her grandmother received a college degree and became a teacher. In 1935, Addie trained as a nurse at the University of Kansas and describes patient care and medical treatments in the days before antibiotics. After the war she went to New York City where she married Alfred T. Sorace, an Italian American. She had two children and four grandchildren. Addie wrote her book in 2009 at the age of 94. At the end of the book Addie encourages readers to write a memoir of their own because everyone of the older generation have so much to share with the younger generation.  She also gives advice and ideas on how to go about writing a memoir.

Reviewed by Library Staff